Thursday, September 01, 2005
Estates of living food critics and deceased Catholics - 8/27/05
Somehow knowing that I have completed one entire year of documenting what I have witnessed on Saturday mornings for the past 12 months, I went out today without any care of finding anything remarkable or about what I might encounter. But I did find two very different estate sales, one for a living restaurant critic the other for a non living Catholic.
S. Ponce de Leon – Druid Hills "Estate Sale"
I find I have a certain amount of hesitation when I go to the sale of someone I know. Especially when it is someone who knows that I will be exposing the contents of their sale to the world or at least any one in the world who chooses to view this site. While my intent is to conduct a social scientific examination of sales contents, I often feel I am offering a critique the event. The privacy invasion that I present is one that I feel I am welcome to. Since at one time I considered doing a web site that would reveal the contents of medicine cabinets I had examined at parties. While this seemed a novel with some social worth, more then likely I would just end up losing a lot of friends or never being invited to their homes for social events. This sale was in the home of a local restaurant critic who I often see at yard sales. An avid admirer of all things found at sales this seller was forced to move her massive collection of yard sale clutter to a new location due to the expansionist policies of Paidea School.
Ignoring her pleas not to reveal too much of her life through her divested clutter I went ahead as always to offer no bias or special treatment.
In the tri-level condo most of the major furniture and useful household objects had been removed leaving a wide selection of clutter accrued from yard sales as well as other more normal things simply no longer needed. I headed immediately to the kitchen in hopes of seeing what neglected foodstuffs were for sale. In the cabinet I found a container of sea salt, a jar of instant Café Bustello, a container of Shichimi red pepper mix, a half filled bottle of soy sauce, a jar of Parade peanut butter, plum paste, a bottle of clear Karo syrup and a variety of spices.
In the living room shelves, the floor and all available surfaces were covered with the flotsam and jetsam of countless yard sales. On shelf contained dollhouse bathroom fixtures. On a table was a copy of the Talmud in French and some Braniff Airlines playing cards. Nearby on the floor were an old pair of roller skates and a large plastic Gumby figure of undetermined use.
A large selection of books included many titles in French, as well as "Waste not Want not", "Joy of Motherhood" and "Girl and a Gun". Below the books were stacks of Atlanta Magazine and Gourmet. On one wall were two frames embroidered images of terriers. Two boxes of Lps yielded works by the Judds, Bronski Beat and Danny Kaye. A tower shelf of CDs held what seemed to be an entire collection of "Les Belles Chanson François" from the 1960’s to the 1990’s.
From the living room I headed down a narrow staircase to the basement. There I found more delightful confusion. On the floor were several posters for the Ottoman Empire a group fronted by a pizza magnate that featured the violin work of the late Daniel Pearl. Among the clutter on the lower level were several Barbie dolls and a Where’s Elvis jigsaw puzzle. Further back in the basement I found Pilates and Abs exercise VHS tapes, Halloween and Ester décor, cassettes of Balalaika music, a plastic talking parrot, a Paidea t-shirt, some large old bones, an old PC, a grass skirt and a lot of feathers.
From the basement I headed to the second level. There I found one room with the bulk of the advertised Elvis collection. Dominating the Elvis materials was a large statue of the King in Vegas attire with a missing arm. Near this Elvis de Milo was an Elvis entombed in a water filled bubble. Other objects of note in the Elvis room were a purple wig, some plush bears, a lava lamp and an old zip code directory. Another room upstairs featured a framed John Lennon poster on the wall, a guide toe] NYC restaurants and a hat that said ‘Change your attitude". The final room on that level was a bedroom with the bed still remaining. Piled next to the bed were stacks of Atlanta restaurant menus, the nighttime reading of a food critic. Propping open the bedroom door was a box containing some old road maps.
I considered buying the road maps but had no money on me so I bought nothing.
Posted by Tom Zarrilli/Cindy Zarrilli at 5:16 PM