Thursday, June 23, 2005

S. Columbia Dr. Decatur “Estate Sale”

This sale attracted me since the ad in the AJC mentioned lots of ephemera. When I arrived at this very old colonial style farmhouse just off College Ave I encountered a line of over twenty buyers waiting at the door. Knowing that I would not be going to sales tomorrow I decided to endure the long wait as one or two people were slowly allowed inside as others departed. Those leaving carried with them birdhouses, paintings of dogs and old baskets. After nearly 25 minutes I was let into the house. What I found there was disappointment. Regardless of the amount of clutter this old house seemed to have no soul. A great estate sale is not total of its contents but what they indicate about the owner. These piles of books, antiques furniture and ephemera said little to nothing. Among this massed collection were no old bottles of molasses, no home health implements, no ugly gifts that surviving family members did not want to look at. A book collection never fails to tell some sort of story, but the one here said nothing. It was as though this was an estate sale created by a focus group. Some of the ephemera were interesting but none of it melded. Some pamphlets included “Unusual Old World Recipes”, “300 ways to serve eggs”, “250 fish recipes” and “500 snacks”. Random items scattered about the massive home included a 1978 poster for the Inman park Festival, a table full of broken dolls, a book entitled “The complete guide to everything sold in hardware stores” and a portfolio of copies of etchings by Lionel Barrymore. The more I looked the less I saw. Other shoppers seemed delighted the more I searched and sought the more disappointed I became.
I bought nothing.

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