Saturday, August 28, 2004

August 28, 2004 Saturday

Oakdale, Candler Park

This sale not far from my home is a multifamily sale a very well organized. The sellers are wearing name tags. (do I really nead to to know that this is Carla’s massager that’s for sale). The sale is fairly large with most of the front yard covered and an adjoining driveway as well. They also have very professionally done signs with a logo for the sale.
Among the items: A PC,going for $140. high for recent prices. Two cans of Coco Lopez for 25 cents as well as a bottle of pina colada mix. Did Carla or one of the sellers stop drinking or did she find out the amount of horrible fat in Coco Lopez? Old wooden water skis. Some very cheap original art $2 unframed, mostly pencil and water colors. Some anti war stickers. A Palm III for $30 but I have no ideal what used Palms are worth. A box of 45’s. One with a copy of The Shangri Las “Remember walking in the Sand” the 45’s reflect the sellers age, about the same as me maybe older. Sold Lps with artist like Ry Cooder. I buy nothing.

Bargainata- Frazer Center-
Church sales and fundraisers do not allow me to see the selleres lives the way yard sales do but I go anyway since you never know what may happen there. Here I am attracted to get to go inside a Druid Hills Mansion that I have never been inside of. The mansion is great. I talk a little about their cause a hospitality house for local hospitals. Thay have mostly a lot of Crate and Barrelly, new looking items with high but good valued prices. I buy nothing. But I am tempted by some one dollar bottles of tangerine flavored salad dressing.

Mega Sale, Decatur

The name intrigues me. How big does it have to be to be mega. Its big but not huge. The sellers is complaining about the horrible people who showed up two hours before he opened.. A lot of this sale has been picked through. Among the items:
VHS tapes with labels saying Seinfeld and Honey West.
Two boexes of LP’s Bowie, Culture Club Dan Fogelburg.
A PeeWee Herman doll.
Book “Women who Love too Much”
A juicer-(it sells while I’m there)
Skis, an aquarium (its been replaced by a nearly water garden) and a pile of pullover shirts with “ThermQuiet” embroidered on.
I buy nothing.

Huron, Decatur- Moving Sale
On the porch of a duplex is a meager collection of items a woman is selling. She shows me a dark green safa and love seat in the living room.
Collected works of Shakespeare, and ceiling fan still in the box, a few pop paperback (Dan Brown, Ken Follett) and a cassette of the Traveling Willburys.

Montgomery St, Decatur.

The seller is moving from this home she is renting, to a home near Belevdere. Not a lot of stuff:
The Kurt Colbain Journals, A Corporate Finance textbook, ski clothing.
I buy a copy of “ Satan’s Little Instruction Book” for 50 cents.

Adair St., Decatur
Two guys one’s and artist and maybe a musician.
A Squire electric guitar that looks very unused, some unopened DVD’s including “Bubba Ho Tep”
A crock pot with a cover( least expected item)
A board game based on The Tick, TV series, a photo enlarger for $25, Two butterfly chairs. For $25. A framed photo of Princess Di for $3. A bowling ball.
I buy nothing.

Mathews St., Lake Claire

Near where this street dead ends up a high drive way a woman sits among a few boxes of children’s clothes and books. She says she still has lots of good stuff left but she doesn’t. She has a strange look about her. There are lot of cat bowls and a set of napkin rings shaped like cats. Maybe she lost her cat.
I touch nothing.

McLendon Ave. Lake Claire

I sometimes hate stopping at sales friends are having because I feel compelled to buy something from them. A woman I know who sort of makes her living reselling things is set up on a neighbors yard. Her prices are not back and I do find some wall paper that would make a perfect backdrop for the TV studio at my school. So I buy a big roll for $5.

End of the day, One book and one roll of wall paper, total $5.50

August 27, 2004 Friday

Estate Sale, Avondale Estates
Estates sales are not yard sales but they attract me for different reasons. I like being able to walk inside the sellers home. You not only see their stuff, but how they lived, decorated and perhaps died. In some ways this is the last real effect of a person's life upon others as their stuff is parted out and sold to strangers. Sometimes if it’s a good sale all rooms are open and one can wander about their home looking in drawers, cabinets and boxes, perhaps even finding places that the sellers did not know about.
For buying things I do not find estate sales to be a great source of value. Most are operated by professional estate sales companies most of which over value anything that looks interesting, sometimes beyond the price one would find for the same items at a a antique store. I do find that for old paper items and ephemera they are the best places to shop. But often I can tell as in the one I went to this week if they will not have anything I might want just by looking at the décor and the home.
I also have noticed a number of false estate sales. By my definition an estate sale is held when somebody is put away in a home or a grave and all their stuff is sold. It is not a estate sale when a middle age couple moves to the west coast. It is also not a sale that a gay man in Midtown has to show off what fine furnishing he has (complete with a printed price list posted near the entrance). Regarding the rented bungalow he’s living in is some sort of high end gallery. These type of sales are falsely advertised and I resent them but in a sad way do reflect on the false delusions of those holding the sales.
Estate sales are generally begun before the weekend. When I’m not on vacation this limits me from attending them when they begin. If I go to them on Saturday they are picked through to the extent that I cannot make a good assessment of the life of the person whose goods are being sold. This past Friday I had the good fortune to notice that there was a sale in Avondale not far from where I work and that I could leave work and get there before it closed.
The sale was advertised as the home of an octogenarian, that word always gets me and lots of others going so I was hoping for the best. The 50’s ranch house was wonderful to behold, the Octogen has outlandish decorating skills. I can not even name the colors of most of the heavy fabrics that covered the windows floors and walls. Like most octogens she was a woman who had if she had a husband passed him in life many years ago. But other than her wild décor she did not seem to live a really wild life. Among some of the items encountered. A violin and bow in a large heavy frame, several original drawings of pet terriers.
Two large closets stacked with mostly dreadful crafty Christmas decorations. One of the best items was a entertainment unit from the 50’s or 60’s that looked like a oak rolltop desk. One rolls up the top to reveal a radio and a turntable. The turntable looked as though it was never used as it still had the round instructions covering the top. Still in its packing bag is one of those old fat spindles which one could set six 45’s on the turntable to play automatically. The name on the unit is “The New Englander”.
Near the New Englander is a massive electronic organ. I think the owner played this a lot more than the prior instrument since beside it is a large collection of sheet music.
She did not have a lot of books. On one shelf are six of the Left Behind books. She did have a big doll collection, which a lot of buyers are looking at. As well as a fearful looking homemade clown figure.
I bought nothing.

Monday, August 23, 2004

August 21, 2004

I leave the house late remembering that there was a sign down the corner from me saying that there was a big multi family sale. I go to the address in Lake Claire to find no sale there. I then drive out to Decatur to pick up some photos from Wolf. Seeing a sign I head down a street in Decatur only to notice when I get there that the sale is tomorrow on Sunday. This is really a poor start. Driving down Scoot Blvd. I'm directed by a sign of a sale near the the Fernbank Science Center. This is not a neighborhood I've seem good sales in, mostly smaller ranch homes even though the people here have a bit of money. The sale is in the basement of a home. The selection is terrible. The seller seems to be the wife of a retired or perhaps deceased doctor. Some boring Christmas ornaments, some old overpriced books mostly pop novels from ten years ago. Some kitchen stuff and dusty luggage. I leave empty handed.
Getting back near my home I drive down McLendon, which they are STILL working on so traffic is a mess. I stop at a house with a porch sale only to notice when I get there that this is the stuff left over from a sale last week. Its mostly a lot of kids and women's clothing in cardboard boxes. I spend less than 30 seconds here. I see a sign at the corner of McLendon and Oakdale directing me to a multifamily sale in Kirkwood. I usually don't go over the tracks since sales tend to be pretty lame in Kirkwood and Edgewood. The sale is in this huge new development off LaFrance that I had never ever noticed before. A walled compound of attached suburban style homes, right in the middle of what used to be a very undesirable neighborhood. Two thirtyish women are having sales in their new garages side by side.
Mostly a lot of newer stuff that one would expect from yuppies. I do buy two video cables I can use at work. I attempt to buy a small disco ball for a dollar. But after I give one of the women a dollar the other says its not for sale and I get the money back. I wanted give it to my wife to put in her new water garden. Then they both start trying to sell me a love seat and a sofa. The love seat is only $25 and the sofa special for me only $75 neither of them go with anything in my living room so I buy neither.
Crossing back into Candler Park I see a sign for another multi family sale on Iverson.
This is far better as its three homes in a row with moderate piles of stuff in each yard. Among the items is a PC. Computer prices at yards sales are always indicators of what's happening in the economy. The PCs are for sale obivously because the owner has bought a new one. Non working computers are just put out in the street. So they indicate that someone had enough money to buy a new one. Here is a late model HP with monitor and printer for $30. No indication of what software is on it. The printer comes with a new cartridge in the box, which alone may be worth $ but these things sit at these sales all day. The sale in the middle the larger of the three has a few boxes of books. I find one entitled "You are worthless... Depressing nuggets of wisdom sure to ruin your day." I buy it for 50 cents. They also have the usual selection of college text books most of which are programming texts for C++. Selling your college textbooks is a right of passage. It indicates you don't need these thing anymore or that your nolonger even near the field you studied in. Or perhaps that what they taught you was of no value in today's world. Judging by the books they are at least 12 years old. Is the information even still in use today. They will probably be on the street after the sale or given to Goodwill. They have a little bit of means clothing here but none of it is my size.
Latter in the day after my wife picks me up when my bike gets a flat we decide to try the first sale that was not happening when I stopped there. The sale is on going but there not much of interest for me. Two women in their late 20's are selling a few things, mostly women's clothed on the porch of a quite large Victorian home. I presume they are renting the place. There is a pile of men's clothing . One of the sellers comments "he's not around anymore" did she throw him out, did he leave suddenly leaving his clothes behind. All I know is that he was about my height but a good bit thinner than me so none of it fits. Cindy my wife buys a a dress for $3.

At the end of the day I have two video cables and a book of depressing thoughts, "Your friends don't really like you for who you are" etc.. For a total of $1.10. Cindy in one sale has spent nearly triple that with one dress. Latter in the evening when we are getting ready for a party she tries on the dress but decides its is not festive enough to wear to a summer party. She tells me "It looks more like something I would wear to a summer funeral"