All sales final

Fuji Gifts estate sale ends 50-year run


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Froukie Bruckner, of Eagle River, and Julie Rose, of Wasilla, check out a vase during the Fuji Gifts estate sale on Sunday, June 3, in Chugiak. The two-day sale was held to liquidate items accumulated by the late Art Wallace during his five decades of business.

MATT TUNSETH

Fuji Gifts got a sendoff worthy of a local landmark on June 2-3, when hordes of people descended on the quirky Chugiak shop for an estate sale.

“I’ve never seen so many people here,” said Til Wallace, whose brother, the late Art Wallace, owned the cramped store on the Old Glenn Highway for five decades and filled it with items from his world travels.

Chugiak business partners Donna Henegar and Jessica Jansen of Alaska Auction Queens ran the estate sale. Jansen said customers were waiting in the parking lot at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday morning in anticipation of the 9 a.m. sale opening.

“We had 500 customers come through here,” Jansen said.

Jansen said access to the cramped store had to be limited to small numbers of people at a time.

Wallace said the turnout was overwhelming.

“I just can’t believe the people,” he said.

Hundreds of wide-eyed men, women and children visited the store over the two-day sale, plucking from its shelves a menagerie of knick knacks and curiosities — here a ceramic tiger statuette, there a Japanese pinball machine. Til Wallace even brought a pet duck to swim in the store’s back-room fountain.

Most sales were negotiable. After getting a good deal on several woven baskets, Eagle River’s Cathy Liston said she enjoyed the sale’s frenetic atmosphere.

“I just like to bargain,” Lison said.

Jansen said many of the store’s larger items will be sold at auction at a later date. By Sunday afternoon, she said a sizable portion of the store’s massive inventory had been sold. That’s good news for the veteran’s organization Alaska Healing Hearts, which will receive all proceeds from the sale. In his will, Art Wallace stipulated that the proceeds from such a sale go to wounded vets.

“It’s a great cause,” Jansen said.

 

Contact Matt Tunseth at 694-2727 or matt.tunseth@alaskastar.com

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