Sunday, September 26, 2004

Saturday 9/25/04

The weather is great, but I need to get this sump pump installed so my basement does not flood when the hurricane Jeanne arrives. So I have to go to the hardware store and spend some time in the basement digging the pit to put the sump pump in. But I still manage find time to visit a few sales.

Fowler St.- Kirkwood

At this duplex the sellers are young and have not had very much of their own history to get rid off. They have gone through a lot of coffee makers as they have three for sale. They also have a set of golf clubs, some popular literature and a few kid’s toys. Over all it’s pretty boring.
I buy nothing.

Seneca Rd. - Decatur

This back yard sale has a rowing machine, an oversized stuffed teletubby the size of a five-year-old child. It’s the yellow teletubby not the Twinky Winky, the purple gay one. A book on Literary Criticism, and a John Jakes novel, “ On Secret Service” A Umberto Eco’s “ The Open Work”, a salad shooter, plus a lot of kid’s stuff of no particular interest.
I buy nothing.

Pensdale Dr. - Decatur

In the driveway of this house a nice looking Sony stereo system is playing an instrumental version of “Cry Me a River”, the system sells for $50.
There a number of office items including three file cabinets and some office chairs. They have one of the ugliest Christmas decorations I have ever seem- an anemic looking snowman figure created from an old wooden board. Books include “Sinus Survival” and “No More Allergies” They also have a Cuisinart ice cream maker.
I buy nothing.

Scott Blvd. - Decatur

At the entrance of an Apartment complex a young Goth looking girl is holding a sale. There is not a lot of stuff here. She does have a large stylish shoe collection. There is also a two expensive looking Star Wars masks( of minor characters) still in boxes.
I buy a pair of Ray Ban Wayfarers for $1.

Ponce De Leon - Decatur “ Colossal Yard Sale”

The Colossal sale is big but its should be called the Dangerous Yard Sale as the buyers have to cross Ponce De Leon at a curve where the cars are coming around at a high rate of speed. Using caution, I wait for the light to change. At the entrance is a sign from a cemetery indicating which direction is the funeral. It is October and people are starting to sell their old Halloween stuff. The seller indicates that I missed out on the coffin. But there is still a big box of Halloween items including masks and party items including a plastic bag of 30 spiders. There is also a large sack of soccer balls, and a lot of old toys. One of the items on her tables includ candles shaped like garlic bulbs. There is a box of cassette tapes the seller made years ago that include David Bowie, the B-52’s and the Grateful Dead. There is a boxed set of a Book and Cassette that features recipes that go with the music on the cassette.
I buy a copy of Eco’s “Foucault’s Pendulum” for $1.

Drewry St. - Virginia Highlands

This is a relatively small sale in a man’s front yard. The majority of the books he is selling are on day trading. He tells me a man can’t make money in day trading any more and that he’s going into real estate. He is also selling an espresso machine and a selection of Hawaiian shirts.
I buy nothing.

St. Augustine Ave.- Atkins Park, “See Elvis Yard Sale”

This is a relatively large sale in the front yard but a lot of the stuff has been picked through. There is a pair of dogs playing poker jigsaw puzzles, a white satin Elvis outfit, a commemorative plate with a picture of Jesus, a book on Feng Shui, a boomerang, several guides on moving to Washington DC, a Linux handbook and a toilet bowl cleaning brush shaped like a potted plant.

Mell Ave. - Candler Park

This sale in driveway is every well organized. Almost to the point where the seller looks professional. Among the items a tarnished French horn, a clock in the shape of South America, an exercise bike and a rice cooker. He has a large group of original artworks for sale that are mainly male figure studies. Other artwork includes large embroidered copies of Blue Boy and Pinkie. In the back he has a number of Tiki party items including grass skirts and large plastic wall mountable Tiki heads. For Halloween he is selling a skeleton in a nun’s habit. Among his books are The Japanese Way”, “The Seven Deadly Sins of Love” and a sushi cookbook. He also has a book on the art of Duane Hanson autographed by Hanson. I consider buying it but balk at the $10 price. I may latter regret this.

End of the Day: One pair of Ray Bans and an Umberto Eco book for a total of $2.00

A footnote:
After these sales I went home and dug in the basement to install the sump pump. When I went out for lunch later I could not resist the temptation and stopped at several other sales in Candler Park, but did not take notes since I was in a hurry. I did go back after lunch and finish the sump pump installation. In addition a friend of mine who is a professional reseller was having a sale at a house around the corner from us on a busy street. Cindy took two chairs that have been sitting in our shed for years down there to sell and made $60.

Weekend of 9/17

Atlanta has survived Hurricane Ivan. The city is a minor mess and people are disoriented mostly because everybody though it was going to be a lot worse. I have a flooded basement and no hot water. No one even thinks about having sales on Friday. On Saturday the weather is great, but I’m busy helping Cindy set up her booth at the East Atlanta Festival where she’s selling her art. After that I have to head home and try to get the standing water out of my basement. I see very little evidence of sales between East Atlanta and Lake Claire. I see one small sale in Edgewood, but I’m too busy to do anything but slow down, it doesn’t look like I’m missing much. There is another sale I pass on Fairview but I have no time to browse and it looks like its mostly piles kids clothes.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Saturday September 11

Ridgewood Ave, Lake Claire-

This sale was advertised in the paper but there’s not a lot to it. Most of the stuff is laid out in the driveway. Among the items are a windsock shaped like a monkey, a monkey shaped candleholder, a ceramic basket containing ceramic fruit and a 17” monitor that has a sticker on it saying "free".

McLendon Ave. Candler Park

This sale looks bad from the start its in the garage of one of the new infill homes and it contain mostly kid's stuff. Among the items are two boxes of candles shaped like golf balls, a framed Keith Haring poster, and racks of children’s clothes. A few books including “ The Crafter’s Book of Santas” and “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” Lots of toys including bags of plastic army men and wrestlers, and an old pot bellied wood stove.

I buy nothing.

San Antonio Ave, Virginia Highland “estate sale”

I can tell that this is not an estate sale once again the sellers are misusing the term. Here are two yards with items scatted among them in one yard is mostly some old antique chairs and dresser, in plastic bags for $10 are old copies of American boy. I can tell this is one of those “ I want to be an antique dealer sales but this pitiful stuff is all I have sale” the adjoining yard is something else altogether. There are dozens of boxes of unopened CDs. They are being sold as 15 for 15 dollars. Most are compilations of older material re-released with the logos of companies like Saab and Heineken on them undoubtedly promotional items. I ask the seller if he was a distributor, but he tells me he’s a producer and no one can make money in the music business any more.

I buy nothing but the producer gives me one of the CDs.

Courtney St, Virginia Highlands

A modest assortment of items arrayed in a small front yard. Among them are a Power Puff Girls waffle maker, old law school text books, a copy of "Chariots of the Gods" a copy of ET on VHS, a Better than Ezra CD, a Paula Abdul cassette.
Across the street is a sale that not really in a formative stage as a few pieces of office furniture are in the driveway. A man fumbles around the garage where the is more office furniture and parts of cubicles. He asks me if I need office furniture.

I buy nothing at either sale.

McLynn Ave, Virginia Highlands

Two older women are having this sale but this is one of those sales that have less merchandise than it appears to have. The two ladies are pining the loss the weekend service of the Virginia-McLynn MARTA route when I enter. I hear a shopper remark, “my husband never buys anything”. Among the possessions in the yard are a framed print describing what it is to be a southerner (“eat black eyed peas and sit on porches”) a humidifier still in the box, a soup tureen with UGA’s bulldog Uga on it, a long handled ax, a book on crewel embroidery, a bed pan and a ceramic ashtray with a sticker on it that says “hand painted”

I buy nothing.

West Ponce De Leon, Decatur.

This sale started yesterday so it been picked through a bit. There are lot of children’s items as well as books and tapes on raising children. Among the items, a torn leather sofa (why have nice furniture when you got kids) an Abs of Steel video, a Curious George CD Rom, a book “ How to Sign with Your Baby” which on close inspection is not how to negotiate contracts with infants but rather how to communicate with babies without speaking. A Palm computer with a folding keyboard and at least 3 dock stations, There is a electric guitar next to a lemonade stand. The dad says to his son “ Maybe if you play that thing you could attract some business.” I leave before he does.

I buy nothing.

Fairview Ave, Druid Hills –“Yard Sale of the Century”

This must be a very dull century. They should of just called it yard sale of the millennium it's the same four years. It’s late in the day and there is not a lot left. A fake mustache, a old bike, a Steve Miller Band T shirt, a formal shirt some old tote bags. A woman recognizes me and asks me if I am still a comedian. I ask her if she used to heckle me. She said no but she did say that I once asked her if she was manic-depressive. She tells me now that she is. She also tells me she wants to be a comedian.

I buy a pair of men’s shorts for $2

Friday September 10

N. Superior, Decatur

This is a small sale in a driveway that I happened to see heading to an estate sale advertised in the paper. There is not a lot of stuff here and it’s really a bit boring. There is a collector’s boxed set of the Ted Turner movie “Gettysburg” on VHS, a tote bag from Cabo San Lucus, manuals for Photoshop 4 and for designing corporate web pages, old graphic design magazines, a box of teddy bears, a box of dreadful looking xmas figurines and a cookie jar shaped like a 1950’s car.

I buy nothing.

Princeton Way, Decatur- Estate Sale

This seems to be a real estate sale. It’s late in the afternoon and the ladies with the aprons are getting ready to close so I have to rush a bit to see everything. I first encounter a table of paper items with books pamphlets, postcards and other things. I find one entitled “ The Strange Case of Jacob Javits” another “ Moscow’s Master Plan for Sovietizing America” The latter is a 1948 publication of the Lutheran Research Society that links Langston Hughes and Eleanor Roosevelt to the Communist International in a plan to mongrelize America among other things. It is not every day that I encounter such things at a sale and I think it is quite bold that the estate sellers place this stuff right at the door so one can see at one that you are picking through the leftover goods of an old right wing bigot and anti semite. Last year I had the fortune to go through the former home, filled with all sorts of wonderful stuff, of George Bright one of the men indicted in the temple bombing. In that sale there was no bold presentation as you entered telling you what you for in for. There you discovered it bit by bit as you searched through the the reamins of one man's life. When I finally asked questions to the new owners of that property they told me the story behind the home and its contents. They did sadly admit that some of Mr. Bright’s old cronies had broken into the house after he died and made off with who knows what.
But at today’s sale we have what is left of a radical right wing Lutheran’s life. Some of the other publications include “The Cross and the Flag” a German language newsletter entitled “ Klutter Blatter”(does this translate to blathering about clutter?) There are also a few postcards of Glacier National Park.
Past the literature I find a number of unusual items, a plastic device that resembles a shoe horn that says “ Chiropractic Back Problems” a desk top statue of the See, hear, speak no evil monkeys and a mug with a confederate flag on it.
In the basement I find a few dozen old VHS tapes among them are episodes of Brides Head Revisited, Treasure Island, David Duke and a Brinks Home Security Guide. There are also three commemorative plates with Presbyterian churches on them (why not Lutheran?) an empty container of Lincoln Logs, about a half dozen ribbons awarded from a men’s gardening society, a poster for Herman Cain, a black man who lost a Republican bid to the senate, this year, and a black velvet painting of a puppy. In a glass case (I presume these are considered rare and valuable items by the sellers) are a old matchbook cover advertising an Elvis Presley belt buckle, some Wallace for President buttons and a credential badge for the 1969 Republican convention as well as a button that says “I milked Rosebud”
This Rosebud was not Citizen Kane’s sled but a famous cow in a local dairy that school children could milk.

I buy “Moscow’s Master Plan” for $3.00

Monday, September 06, 2004

Sept. 5, 2004, Sunday

Chambee, Off New Peachtree

It’s Sunday and I’m out of my normal range but I see this sale at a small ranch home, Lots of, if not mostly children’s items such as radios shaped like the heads of superheros. They have an old washing machine; a box springs an assortment of hip hop Cds and a DVD of David Lynch’s “Mullholand Drive”. There is a large bin of used women’s shoes with a crutch stuck in the bin.
I buy nothing.

Sept. 4, 2004 Saturday

Lake Claire, Howard Circle

No one else is at this first sale perhaps its because some of the signs are facing the wrong direction. A small sale with a few things in the driveway and the garage. A crystal chandelier is priced at $100. An original painting, that I thought was by someone I know. But it was not. The owner says she purchased it at an art fund raiser after she had a few too many drinks. She wants to part with it because it has dogs on it and she is a cat person.. The seller has a ceramic Mexican fire pot for $20. I buy a bicycle pump for $2. After leaving the sale I call my wife she says to go back and buy the firepot. I return later but it’s sold.

Decatur, Scott Blvd.

Posters proclaim this to be “ The Yard sale of Death”. Isn’t that really what an estate sale is? The sale is on Scott, a busy four lane street. I at first believe the death part to be the risk you take pulling your car off the road to park then pulling or backing onto Scott Blvd. Down a long driveway and past a large water garden, while a radio blares a Rod Stewart song, two men have a large yard full of items. Normally gay men are a good source of used clothes for me. They are more apt to sell clothes when they are out of style instead of when they are simply falling apart as is the case with straight men. On of my mottos is “Never buy used shoes from a straight man” But here there is very little that fits me. I do find a water garden fountain pump. We attempt to test it but it doesn’t work. Latter the seller says he’s gotten it working and I look in the pond to see a jet of water shooting from the pump. I tell him I need to talk to my wife first since she said she really wanted one with a filter. There are some souvenir dolls from Bulgaria that seem out of place. I see a box of lice treatment. I start thinking maybe its good I didn’t find any clothes. They are selling a Dish Network receiver (a new tech item I’m seeing more of). I realize latter that one of the sellers is in hair care. But then the books give me an indication that perhaps the yard sale of death was aptly named, there are books of Coping with Aids, and on Death and Dying (Not Kubler Ross but some pop imitator.) Was this yard sale partially an estate sale? Is it perhaps a sort of money making wake, celebrating the death of a friend or lover by getting rid of a lot of old clothes, books and CDs. I did not ask. There were also two books on sex one gay one straight and a book on personal references.

Lake Claire, Ridgecrest Ct.

This is an inside the house sale, that had a newspaper ad stating that early birds would be charged double. While I believe nothing is too harsh for those annoying early birds, this seller just could not get the sale together on time or even this weekend. Mostly it’s a lot of unsorted stuff scattered around the living room. The seller takes me aside and asked me what I’m looking for; when I tell her old paper items and documents she looks at me puzzled. I tell here like postcards and brochures, especially from businesses that are no longer around. She tells me there’s a menu for Mammy’s Shanty some where around here but she can’t find it this week, but she will be having another sale next week. When I try to take a box of glue sticks and a scissors from a box of office supplies she tells me she’s not selling them. I browse and find s a video of “ Inside the Playboy Mansion” as well as “Buns of Steel”, a copy of Death in Venice among a lot of old pop novels. Under a box s is a Web TV receiver. Outside in the yard is a pile of baskets and a broken looking telescope. A car parked in the drive way has a Yard Sale Today sign on it proclaiming "inside house". On the car’s doors in block letters is written “Palm and Psychic Readings” along with a telephone number .
I bought nothing

Inman Park Waverly Way

This sale at two big Inman park homes is announced as a multi family sale but its mostly one sale in a yard with the guy next store putting a few things in his own yard. The smaller sale has mostly children’s clothes and some old Lonely Planets including Costa Rica and Nepal.
The main sale included books such as How to Aggravate a Man, The Warren Buffet Way as well as two books on mastiffs. Two boxes contained old copies of Wine Spectator. There were two books on wedding planning as well as some never used paper wedding decorations. Also unused are some oversized BBQ tongs and spatulas (perhaps wedding gifts. if the wedding ever took place). There was also one of those old corner sinks, a basket of tennis rackets, and one of those highly touted but questionable ionic breeze air filters. (Perhaps to remove the odors and dander caused by the mastiffs) I bought nothing.

Poncy Highlands, Street unknown

This was a very small sale. But the sign in front of the house was on a very nice vintage yellow Austin Healy, the kind with the little flip up windows. There was hardly anything here. A strange nude wood sculpture, and old glass door and a large industrial coffee maker. The seller did have an old framed Railroad map but it was priced at $30. I bought nothing.

Poncy Highlands- Bonaventure Ave.

It’s strange to go to sales at homes of people you know who no longer reside there. Larry Tee , NYC DJ and former Now Explosion member lived in this house with a number of other people I once knew. I think Romeo Cologne latter lived here. There is no evidence of them living here now. Lots of kid’s things including a box of Berenstain Bears books, an interactive Nancy Drew CD Rom, clip on cat ears, a box of LPs including Johnny Winter and Mountain. I buy nothing.

At the end of the day I have purchased three cds from the yards sale of death. One by an Italian pop singer, one of 50's jazz and another of 30's and 40's French accordian music.