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Bargain book yields surprise within its pages

As garage sales go, this one was a doozy.

David Bessler ought to know. He goes to nearly 1,000 each week prowling for bargains - inventory he resells at The Peddler near Kabekona Corner.

Bessler went to a sale near Laporte May 29 and bought some books. This particular book, "American Indian," has a good resale value, usually 2,000 percent.

But this particular copy had something else in between the pages - some marijuana leaves drying. Bessler discovered the stash after he returned to his shop.

"I'm a former cop and I'm the weed inspector in my township," Bessler said. "I know what marijuana looks like."

His police duty was a three-year stint as a military cop, stationed in Germany.

He described the contraband as "five sprigs, you know, five to six leaves," Bessler said. "They were still green."

Being a former law enforcement officer, he called authorities. He said a Hubbard County deputy pinched the package the pot was in, smelled it and agreed.

The deputy left Mary Jane with Bessler, who promptly put it on display.

"I thought customers would get excited by it but they didn't even notice," he said.

When the antique dealer decided it probably wouldn't generate the type of business he was trying to cultivate he ditched it in his garbage. "It's still out there," he said Monday when contacted by the Enterprise.

Bessler believes this may be the oddest experience he's had at a sale.

He buys and sells a lot of books, especially those that have Native American and World War II subject matter or how-to books. They're all hot sellers, he said. But this particular book was just plain hot.