Monday, May 30, 2005

Parkland Lane - Decatur "Estate Sale"

This is the first Friday of my summer vacation and I am able to visit Friday sales earlier in the day. So I decide to visit this and another sale accompanied by Clare Butler. At many sales one is able to find a number of highly personal items, some of which should be kept confidential such as financial records. This sale offered a bonanza of information for any wishing to assume the identity of the presumed late estate owner.
The home is a modest brick bungalow located on a street on the edge of Druid Hills. At the entrance mounted on the brick wall was a large metal sculpture of a rooster. Inside I was greeted by a group of professional sellers who knew Claire from her own addictive yard sale habits. Heading back to the dining room I found a table covered in books and a scrapbook with clippings of the cases of the estate owner, a local superior court judge. When I flipped open the scrapbook the headline of a clipping read, “Gangsterism Girls told to go to church”. It is a shame this judge is no longer on the bench otherwise such thoughtful sentencing would have resulted in the Bush administration selecting him for a Supreme Court seat. Other items on the table included a certificate from the Old Warhorse Lawyers Club, a book entitled “Count all the Joy”, a Bessie Tift College Yearbook and several postcards with paintings of the signing of the declaration of independence and Columbus discovering America on them. In a small room off the dining room was a sofa with a stack of Lps on it. Among the Lps were several gospel recording by Frank Boggs. The most notable recording in the stack was a copy of “The Day Manolete was Killed”. I have not seen a copy of this since my days as an obscure record collector. This documentary LP of a famed matador’s death by goring was at one time the bellwether disc for judging if a recording was strange or not among collectors. You might here one collector say, “that Les Baxter Lp is Ok but its no Day Manolete was Killed”. Upon seeing it Claire immediately seized the copy.

Upon seeing steps to the basement I immediately descended. There I found the treasure trove of information that could lead a dishonest person to assume the judges identity. Here in a old desk with a futuristic space pod looking black and white TV and a framed enlarged copy of a ‘while you were out’ memo atop were multiple files containing credit card information, credit cards, information on banking retirement, investments and whatever else judges keep in their basement chambers. In addition to the identity providing papers the basement yielded the usual assortment of lower level fodder such as gardening supplies as well as a midlevel-disorganized workbench. Sitting on the workbench was a ceramic swan, some power tools odd hardware and a can of a product called Dry Flower Art. That product was used for micro waving flowers to preserve them. On one of the shelves was an item not often seen at this latitude - a special back saving snow shovel still in the box. Atlanta seldom has enough snow to shovel let alone strain one’s back. Another nearby item in its original box was a device labeled a hair remover.
An old shelf of books contained a number of religious titles including “God’s Psychiatry” as well as the worldlier “Millionaires Handbook” which offered instructions on how to protect a multimillion-dollar prize.
Heading away from this source of potential white-collar crime I made my way to the second floor to discover even more valuable personal information. In the closet of the master bedroom I found a box containing more papers including a last will and testament and a death certificate for the judges wife. Next to this box was what may have been a framed oil portrait of the Judge himself. An unscrupulous and cunning individual could take the portrait to a rogue cosmetic surgeon and have his face changed to resemble the judge. The possibilities are endless. Among other things found on the upper level were some men’s clothing (dress as the judge), some women’s clothing (dress a the judge’s wife), sewing equipment, old National Geographic magazines, a plastic xmas tree, a mechanical rabbit in its original box, a bed covered in women’s hats and several self teaching books for playing a baritone ukulele. On the dresser was a strange figure of a boy made out of plumbing parts and a poetry award. On the night table were a collection of find-a-word puzzle books and a book of questions and answers. One of the questions posed and answered was “Did the 100 years war last 100 years?”
Back down stair I looked over a few more things. In what could have been a den was a large assortment of Xmas decorations and a plague for the world’s best father. When I exited I noticed that they had moved a selection of home healthcare gear under the large rooster.
I bought nothing.

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