Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Jody Ln. - Toco Hills “Moving Sale

Among the people I have met in my life there are those who I call accumulators. They are lovers of found objects, appreciators of the strange and self-appointed curators of the curious. Their lives may sometimes be controlled by these habits as they bring into their homes far too many things that they feel are interesting and remarkable. Sometimes they may decide that they might even make a living off of buying and selling such stuff at flea markets or on Ebay. This may offer some economic incentive but it is only a rationalization for their ways. But these noble individuals act to preserve the strange and create in their homs exceptional assemblages that stand out collectively as highly aesthetic and sometimes interactive visual installations. One such environment was found in this ranch house in Toco Hills. The newspaper ad for this sale mentioned thousands of LPs and books, this is often the keywords that tell me this could be the lair of an accumulator. Upon seeing the disheveled carport with broken furniture, golf clubs and a few old helium tanks I immediately knew that there were treasures to behold inside.
As I strolled among the three rooms filled with clutter I came upon a large statue of a primate like creature. The apelike image held a tiny sign in his hands that said “I am Kung loo” the sign went on to explain that this creature was sometimes called Yeti or Susquach. A typewritten poem (that I failed to copy) was at his feet. Past this strange sentinel was a room full of old LPs. I no longer have a turntable I do not have the time and stamina to flip through massive collections as this one. Seasoned resellers were bent over the rows of recordings pulling out the discs then remarking that they could not sell these audio artifacts because they were too scratched. Such profiteering motives disturb me. Would Dr. Leakey digging in the Olduvai toss aside the skull of an ancient hominid because it was missing a tooth?
In what could have been the living room was a sofa covered with old paperback books. A few titles included “How to live to be 100’, “Mork and Mindy”, “Isle of Dreams” “Going steady with God” and “Mecca for Murder”. Above the sofa was a framed poster from the film Superfly. A table in the same room held a collection of old soda bottles with long forgotten brand names such as Zesty and Dr. Well. Next to the bottles was a cardboard box with plastic bags full of black buttons. Another table carried a sign that rear “New Age stuff 1/3 to 1/4 off.” Among the new age gear were chakra balls, prophetic pillows, psychic enhancement cards, dream catchers, a variety of candles and an assortment of crystals. Discarded pop culture icons were everywhere around the home. A large bust of Elvis rested on the floor, a case of Dukes of Hazzard wristwatches sat on an easy chair next to two cartons of ceramic hands used to create latex gloves. Old games such as the Beverly Hillbillies card game and the more active Hip Flip game were stacked on shelves. Underneath a table was a pile old unused flour sacks for such brands as “Shifted Snow”. There were boxes of old comic books and 8 tracks as well as a copy of the Dairy Queen Party book. Other oddities found were a box containing a Masonic bible and a sugar cube as well as a large collection of suede purses. Outside on the patio things were more confused with piles of toys, mingling with old caps, more purses and camping gear. One box contained three toy icons of American cuisine- Ronald McDonald, Mr. Potato head and the Jolly Green Giant’s heir Sprout. Nearby was a toy pistol with direction for safe use indicated on the box "Never point your gun at anyone". One patio box was filled with those plastic bubble capsules used in gumball machines. I examined one to find it contained a New Kids on the Block sticker. Next to a scale Model of the Frankenstein Fliver was an unopened kit for creating a macramé owl.
I bought nothing but told the seller that I appreciated his collection.

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