This has not been a good week. I was plagued most of this week by a painful sprain to my knee. My knee pain began after a bicycle ride and several hours spent cleaning out Clare Butler’s basement on Sunday. The basement is a virtual metropolis of junk and clutter gathered over the last 20 years by Clare and her late husband Todd. In his last two years Todd was healthy enough to go out looking for and buying any strange or odd thing he might come across, but he was not healthy enough to store it in some orderly or thoughtful manner. So I may of sprained my knee moving a mountain of found art, a library of old medical books, piles of games based on 1970’s television programs or shifting through a forest of electronic children’s toys some of which had been altered to produce unusual sounds and constantly blared those sounds as I tried to stack them neatly. There is still much work to be done. One of the reasons I have chosen to write about yard sales rather than simply buying lots of stuff and hauling it home where we don’t even have a basement, is that Cindy has warned me that our home will end up like Clare and Todd’s basement. I have accommodated Cindy’s fears as I now go to sales with a note pad and pen instead of cash and a gunnysack. As for my health after several sleepless nights of pain, I visited my Bosnian doctor on Thursday. Today I am now a new man as my relief came though a combination crack Balkan medical expertise and a trip to Walgreen’s where I purchased a bottle of Aleve.
So today without any agonizing knee pain I set off to see what sales await. I spent nearly all the time in my own neighborhood where there are a number of sales with the Candler Park Arts Festival is going on in Candler Park this weekend.
Polifox Dr.- Lake Claire
There are three sales very close to one another on this block of Palifox. At the first house I find a box of children’s software, a treadmill, a large old Polaroid camera, two very big speakers of unknown make and an executive desktop basketball game.
Across the street are two sales one has just a few items of clothing on a small table. The home next to it has a lot more stuff but also a pack of barking dogs fenced up in the back yard. The dogs bark continuously the entire time I am there. This cannot be good for sales. Through the noise I find two framed prints of kittens one is staring at a wine glass and in the other print the kitten is peering over sheet music. Could these poor kittens stand to live in this house of dogs that won’t shut up. As the cacophony of canine noise continues I encounter, an electric rotisserie, some women’s shoes, four sets of golf clubs with bags and an entire case of safety glasses.
I buy nothing.
Tuxedo Dr.- Lake Claire
This is a small sale not far but out of earshot from the last sale. The seller who reveals to me that he is a real estate agent (who isn’t anymore) is pacing about holding a golf club. All he has for sale is a short clothesline full of men’s clothes, included is a camo jacket. In the yard are a sleeping bag and a lamp.
I buy a shirt for a dollar. I think it appropriate that I buy clothing on a street named after an article of clothing.
Mclendon Ave- Lake Claire.
At a home high atop a rise overlooking the new McLendon Ave roundabout a couple is selling a yard full of baby items. Among the baby items are several child safety seats and a breast milk pump. They also have three lawn mowers for sale, a case of auto-organizers (these let you sort things out in your car) and a box of mugs. One mug say “Super Jogger” another thanks gives thanks to day care workers. Above this sale is a sign proclaiming, “This is a Yard Sale”
I buy nothing.
Sterling Ave- Candler Park
There is a sign stapled to a sawhorse in front of a pile of waterlogged boxes indicating that the sale is in the rear.
At first I though that the pile of wet boxes was the sale. I was a little disappointed that it was a slightly more organized event-taking place behind the home. Going down the driveway I find the entire back yard filled with a lot of old junk spread out on tarps and wet grass. Under the deck is a clothesline full of mildewed men’s apparel. They are slightly damp to the touch and have a somewhat unpleasant odor, hinting of mold. To make it worse a few of the jackets are made of suede. On the ground I find a light labeled “disco ball”. It’s not really a disco ball but a multicolored light that throws patterns on the wall. Next to it are a strobe light and a black light. Other items include a Bart Simpson telephone, two ceiling fans that may or may not have all their pieces, two guitar stands, a very ugly brown sofa, five aquariums, a talking bottle opener, a set of golf clubs, flea spray and a tube of hair cream. Among the books I find a biography of Charles Bukoski, “Beers across America”, from the church of the sub genius “Tales of Bob” and a book of those magic eye 3D paintings.
There are also two computer monitors.
I buy nothing.
Elmira Ave- Candler Park
This old craftsman bungalow almost looks like a Norman Rockwell painting with its white picket fence and children standing over piles of toys they are selling. As I enter the yard I hear the Dad tell one of the kids “ No you can’t have the dollar until you sell the dump truck” Among the children’s things are a three ring binder of Pokemon cards and a Fun with your Cat Science Kit. The box asks “What happens when you put a magnet on your cat?” Among the adult items are a ceramic figure of a blacksmith hammering on some indiscernible object, poker chips, fan blades and candy molds (for candy making not moldy candy) with $ signs on them.
I buy nothing but do leave wondering what happens when I put magnets on my cat.
Candler Park Dr.- Candler Park
The seller here tells me everything on one side of the yard is a dollar. On the dollar side are boxes of popular paperback books, a twister game and a cake pan with the statue of liberty on it. He also has an old Soviet flag that he says was left over from the Goodwill Games. Best of all is a set of five mugs in the shape of cholesterol, on is HDL, one is liver and three are triglyerides. He is also selling a lava lamp but that that is on the higher priced side.
I buy nothing.
Oxford Rd.- Druid Hills Estate Sale
The sign for this estate sale has cartoon flames above it. Does this indicate that the person who died has been cremated?
Inside this Druid Hills ranch I find a number of interesting items but nothing too revealing on the life of the former occupant. In the bedrooms are lots of empty ornate picture frames; I wonder where the art went. Of the framed pieces remaining are a pair of bas-reliefs of composer’s heads. I assume they are composers as I can definitely make out a Bach but I am unsure of the other three. On a bed in one bedroom are four gray wigs, a box of lancets and a diabetes monitor that looks unused. In the dining room a boombox plays “Autumn in New York”, while I listen I notice a Florida novelty figure of an alligator with a black child’s head in its mouth, the seller’s are asking $30.00. In the kitchen I find a wall mounted electric knife as well as a commemorative plate from Natural Bridge in Virginia and a Jim Beam bottle saluting the St. Louis Arch. In a cabinet in the den I find a few books. One of the sellers tells me “there’s only cookbooks down there” as I should not even bother to look. I find a copy of “Italian Kosher Cooking” and “Love and Knishes” Also in the den are spoon rack that says Shalom, a Passover platter and poker chips. I notice then that in the den is a small second kitchen. The late owner had kept kosher. After this sale I doubt if it’s still kashrut since next to the refrigerator is a drawer full of leather belts and since the electric knife was in the other kitchen this leather ridden kitchen must have been dairy.
I buy nothing.
End of the day one shirt for one dollar.