Sunday, January 30, 2005

Lockwood Dr. – Decatur “Estate Sale”

This sale was in a tiny shabby green bungalow nestled among large infill mac-mainsions. The Inside of the house was claustrophobic. AS I entered two men were dragging a full size mattress out the door. I nearly tripped over some boxes at the entrance to avoid being toppled by the exiting bedding. The home had that closed up and left alone for a long time feel. giving it an atmosphere not unlike what Howard Carter must have experienced when he came upon King Tuts Tomb. But I doubt Carter was run down by grave robbers carting off a mattress at the entrance. Inside (the estate sale house not Tut’s tomb) were six tiny rooms packed with an assortment of objects. Indicating the passage of time was a 1976 calendar hanging in the hallway. Because of the crowding in the front (they still had to get the box springs out) I headed first to one of the bedrooms. Here I found two boxes of books next to several crutches. Among the titles of the books were “My life with God”, Daily guide to Miracles” and “Walking - The pleasure exercise”. Upon a dresser in the same room was a box with the sign saying “car wash rags” beneath it was an old bible with the word “Lindsay” printed with one of those plastic embossed label makers. Leaning against the bedroom wall was a framed photo of a highway passing a river running below a mountain.
In the hall closet were a number of old appliances including a Fry Baby and a 3-D orbital massager still in its original box.
The other bedroom had less stuff. On a wall was a framed photo of what looked like a retirement party, and on a dresser rested a green Rich’s shopping bag that appeared to be from the 1960’s.
In a small bathroom curtains and clothing were hung on coat hangers from the shower bar. On a chair were some blank 1958 tax forms and an empty one gallon can of mixed nut meats.
The kitchen had the usual assortment of hand held cooking utensils. One mysterious item was a yellow and white tapered cylinder with the name Mr. Sprinkle on it. A large coffee mug featured a hillbilly motif depicting a bearded mountain man yelling “Maw come git your coffee!” Also on the counter was a small rectangle of wood with round holes in the top, it bore the name “lipstick bar”. A plague hung on the wall with the words “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get”
Off the living room was a room that could not have been larger than 6 by 9 feet. There I found two boxes of lps most of which were gospel, including “Mama’s Songbook” by Jimmy Swaggart. One of the secular recordings was Bobby Goldboro’s “Honey”. In a box filled with mostly sheet music I found a 1991 copy of the Dekalb news folded open to the classifieds for yard sales. I perused this 13 year old artifact wondering which ones I may have had visited that week in November. It made me fell old, nostalgic and somewhat crazed for having spent so many years of my life wandering through the clutter and discard of so many souls. For a moment I considered all those lost Saturday mornings, could I have written a book, could I have trained and run a marathon, could I have learned another language, or even learned to play the piano? No, on all those weekend mornings I was driving from yard to yard to gape at unwanted self help books and candles shaped like cinnamon buns. The road of life has many turns. In addition to the memory shocking Dekalb News was a Your Health magazine with the screaming headline “Most Hysterectomies Unnecessary”. Among the songbooks was one entitled “Beyond the Blue”. Scattered among the room was a selection of homemade Christmas decorations many in big zip lock bags In a corner stood an umbrella stand holding three wooden walking canes
In the living room, which was now less crowded was a lamp with a glass base filled with black eyed peas. Boxes of inexpensive jewelry sat of card tables in the middle of the room. Most of the floor was covered with cardboard boxes. One contained a selection of cassettes with several by Patsy Cline. In another box were zip lock bags with mismatched assorted items. One contained a giant clothespin, a bag of very tiny clothes pins, the size that a Barbie doll would use and two little cloth ducks. Another had a tea ball, an egg slicer and a callus remover. Yet another had a funnel a mallet and an ice pick. One of the sellers told me that they had bagged them themselves and some were designed for women and some for men. The funnel mallet and ice pick bag was definitely a male thing.
I bought nothing

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