Sunday, January 16, 2005

Normandy Dr. Druid Hills “Estate Sale”

Disappointment number one: This was the same humble ranch house where a sale was held in December. The same ranch house that is not really in Druid Hills, the same one that was the residence of the day sleeper, and was filled with redundant microwave ovens and boxes of Tupperware. The same “Garage sale-entire house” sign was in the very same place I had seen it a month ago. I didn’t even bother to stop.

St. Charles- Virginia Highlands “Yard Sale”

In front of a large two story home divided into apartments a couple in heavy coats watched over a small selection of goods in the yard. Among the items are an espresso make, a large pair of JBL speakers, and three empty Ray Ban cases. Among the books are “No one gets out of here alive”, “The iceberg hermit” and “The portable Do it” There is also a table fan and a pair of snow skis and boots.
I buy nothing.

Ninth St.- Midtown “Estate sale”

Disappointment number two:
This was the sale of the divesting Virginia gentleman advertised in the AJC. I was eager to investigate this site. Why was the gentleman selling his family belongings? Had he fallen on hard times because of falling tobacco prices? But when I arrived at a modest brick bungalow with pink flamingoes and a snow sled in the yard I noticed a sign on the front porch. It read “Sale postponed-family illness”. Next to the sign was a large green machine of unknown use. Was this a family heirloom? There are so many questions to be answered. Why was there a sled in the front yard when there was no sign of snow? What does the machine do? Was the sled named Rosebud? Perhaps I will find out next week.
I left perplexed.

Heritage Dr, way beyond Toco Hills, Estate sale

Driving up Briarcliff I realized that this sale was not in Toco Hills at all but several neighborhoods beyond. But the thought of going to a sale of “a wealthy political mogul” as advertised in the paper was something I had to do. I drove up Briarcliff past the real Toco Hills where I saw observant Jews walking in heavy coats and warm hats to Beth Jacob. I continued past the Target, past the neighborhood I call Motor Hills. Here all the streets are named after cars. There are streets with names like Chrysler, Continental and El Dorado where large expensive ranch homes are found. Others streets such as Valiant Dr. have more economical homes while Renault Lane has smaller homes that need to be repaired on a regular basis (if you can get parts for them). As I near my destination I see to my right a large gated replica of the White House. This is the home of a local businessman who built his own White House for all his neighbors to gape at. Occasionally there are tours tours. On the tours you might hear a guide say “This is where Lincoln would have slept if this were the real White House, this is where Monica would have et al” I wondered if there was a connection between the nearby mogul and the faux presidential palace? Perhaps this mogul was a Karl Rove wannabe who planned the career of his neighbor in the nearby palace? There are just too many questions that must be answered on Saturday mornings.
When I arrived at the sale it turned out the rich mogul lived in a somewhat humble ranch house (I’m sure Rove’s home is bigger than this). Signs around the home directed buyers to go through a garden gate and enter on the side. The back yard was blocked off with yellow security tape. Inside I was greeted by a beefy security guard, probably not unlike the one Rove uses. Only three rooms and the garage were open. When I asked a sales person who the mogul was she said the family was related to a former mayor of San Antonio and the items for sale had come from the mayor’s wife. I had always assumed San Antonio was run by political jefes not moguls. The sale featured only selected items that the family, whom I was told was still living in the home, wanted to rid themselves of. There were no everyday common items like old food or exercise videos that would shed light on the mogul’s lifestyle. Each of the rooms were set up with tables and nearly all the small items were placed in glass topped display cases. Despite the lack of everyday stuff there were some remarkable finds. On a cabinet in the living room (if it was a living room) was a stunning plastic troll with a clock in his belly; he stared across the room at a wall from which several nudes paintings were hanging. One of them was a Garden of Eden scene where a naked Eve was offered an entire basket of apples by a devil that was part snake and part tree. It was titled “Persistence”.
In another room was another demonic motif in the form of a clay sculpture of four devils playing some sort of board game. Not demonic but just strange was a ceramic ashtray with a large griming mouth on it. Classic style and primitive crafts seemed to be the main influence in the mogul’s collected belonging. In the dinning room was a large brass Spynx, nearby were a pair of very large metal greyhounds balancing vases on their heads. On one wall was a cryptic plaque of an eye with a dagger below it plunged into a heart. Nudity was found in several other items including a glass topped occasional table with the naked image of a woman in relief on the glass. On a shelf an alabaster white naked female in top hat figure sat atop a stopper on a wine bottle.
Back in the garage on a table strewn with exotic fabrics was a Yathzee game. Across from it were three manikin heads modeling hats. Next to one head was a massive bright yellow old adding machine.
I wandered through the rooms trying to find some evidence of the mogul’s life. Some items I notices were an old bright red Corona portable typewriter and an old framed photo of a dozen or so young ladies in front of a root beer stand. There was little here that spoke of politics and the only relic I found that was indicative of life in South Texas was an armadillo plush toy.
I bought nothing.

Lakeview Ave – Decatur “Yard sale”

I drove away from the land of moguls and presidential pretenders back towards my home and one more sale. This was advertised as being in Decatur but was really in Edgewood near the Decatur line. The sale was on the porch of a house high above Lakeview Ave. When I climbed the steps there was no lake in view. Two women were selling a small selection of goods. On the porch was a sleeping bag, two yoga mats, a small framed print entitled “Pond at Shiba, August 1929”, a selection of shoes, a bridesmaid dress, the Mad Gabs game and some Christmas decorations. Media selections included the books “Why do cats sulk?”, “The cat horoscope book”, “Pugilist at rest” and “Grilling for dummies”. A suitcase contained a number of CDs by the Damned, a copy of Sandanista by the Clash and a Man or Astroman CD. In the same suitcase was an original R.Land painted switch plate done for Man or Astroman dated 1997. When I told the seller to hang on to this since it was an early R.Land she said she didn’t want it because her former boyfriend was in Man or Astroman and she wanted to get rid of it.
I bought the Cat Horoscope book and a Link Wray double CD for fifty cents each.

Haralson St.- Inman Park “Yard Sale”

I had called it a day and was on my way to help Margie Thorpe clean out her parent’s West End home, which is rapidly facing foreclosure. She told me to wear protective clothing and that she would provide a mask or respirator. Driving on Moreland I spotted a sign for another sale. In the yard of a not so well kept frame bungalow was a disheveled collection of mostly dusty and broken things. Among them were several guitar stands, a black light, a projection screen, a very dirty and torn weight bench and bar bells, a VHS of Hanson, an edition of the game Clue that provided clues on a VHS tape and table top arrangement of three plush snowmen riding on a sled.
I bought nothing.

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