Monday, September 12, 2005

A year in the Yards of Clutter.. Part II - My Purchases

In the past year I have recorded visits to 238 yard and estate sales. That number would be higher if I counted the few dozen I attended but did not document. In those 238 sales I purchased the items listed below. In my excursion thorough the yards of clutter I attempted to unveil the lives of individual through what they are ridding themselves of. Now as I examine what I have gleamed from these sales and brought into my home I can now look inward and examine my own life based on what I purchased.

I bought more books than anything else. I’d like to think that I’m an avid reader but I often buy more than I have time to read. Here’s what I acquired in those 12 months.

“How to Speak Good English”- A small book that I purchased as a gag. The 1932 work is amusing at times. I don’t know where I put it.
"You are worthless... Depressing nuggets of wisdom sure to ruin your day." This parody of inspirational books scared Cindy and she told me she didn’t want to see it any more. She was afraid it would cause her self-esteem to disintegrate. I think I hid it in a closet.
“ Satan’s Little Instruction Book” This parody was not as amusing as it should have been. I think it’s still in the back seat of my car.
“Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable” - This is a work I added to my home reference shelf.
“Vern C. Gorst Pioneer and Grandad of United Airlines” I bought this for a dollar then sold it a few months later on Ebay for $26.00.
“Island of the Colorblind” I read this Oliver Sacks book this summer.
“A History of Reading” I started reading this work a few weeks ago but haven’t gotten into it.
“The Pillow Book” I purchased this book of Asian erotic art with the intent of reselling it. A lot of copies are up for sale on the Internet for around 10 dollars. I was hoping it could go for more.
“Stuffed Animals and Pickled Heads” - I read this wordy work on the history of taxidermy and natural history museums this summer.
“Thou improper and thou uncommon noun” Another work I added to my reference collection. This work is on the etymology of words that were once names. It makes good casual reading.
“The Cat Horoscope Book” - I’m not sure when my cat’s were born so this work is not too useful. I’m not sure where I put it.
“Sex American Style” - This large illustrated paperback set on my coffee table for a few weeks. I read about half of it.
“Foucault’s Pendulum” This is a book I’ve been meaning to read for some time, but I haven’t started in yet.
“Modern Humor for Effective Speaking” The jokes are not that funny in this 1945 work. Here’s an example from the chapter entitled Fighting Forces- An enthusiastic young selectee was being given an intelligence test.
“What” asked the examiner “does R.F.D. stand for?”
The light of recognition shone in the lad’s eyes, and he answered proudly:
“Relano Fankin Doosevlet”
“The Panama Canal” - As a child of the Canal Zone I could not help but purchase (for one dollar) this 1913 work with a distressed cover. I considered selling some of the maps in it on Ebay. But did not want to cut up the work. I have perused a few sections of the book.

Clothing and Accessories
I always think I’ll end up with more clothing purchases from sales. But when I looked back I did not add a lot to my wardrobe other than sunglasses.
Ray Ban Wayfarers – I wear these all the time a great deal for $1.
A pair of Ray Bans - An even better deal for 25 cents
A pair of Ray Bans - I think I lost this pair. I haven’t seen them in a few months.
A pair of men’s shorts - I think I’ve been wearing these this summer. They were only $2
A long sleeve shirt - For a dollar I bought this shirt but I can’t recall what it looked like. I think it’s in my closet.
A suit – I paid ten dollars for this suit just a few weeks ago. I need to get the pants taken up. It’s on a hanger in my closet.
A pair of two-tone dress shoes - These look sharp and cost a dollar. I’ve worn them to work several times this school year.
Cufflinks shaped like Georgia – I think they’re in a drawer. I haven’t seen them in a while nor have I worn them.
Ultra suede sport coat - I paid $10 and have worn it many times to work. Aside from the Ray bans my most used clothing purchase.

Art supplies and materials
This year I had a photo exhibit, Cindy had a show in Florida and sold art at several neighborhood festivals and I put together a video studio for my students. Thus we were in the market for a lot of materials.
Two boxes of large format printer photo paper. – I ended up not using this paper for the prints for my show. The boxes are unopened.
2 video cables – I picked these up for a quarter and took them to school. I may have used them in the studio.
Roll of Wallpaper – I used this as a backdrop most of last year at school. I’ve replaced it with some photo backdrop paper I got on Craigslist.
I bought the following artwork for the frames, which I used for my Makeshift Memorials show.
A large etching of a cross-eyed woman.
A print of an iridescent jungle scene.
A print of a cheetah.
Two bird prints.
A print a cattleya sknneri from the New York Botanical Garden.
All the prints were tossed out when I placed my photos in them.
Two wooden frames without prints
A painting of a horse called Midnight - I gave this naïve pet painting to Claire Butler to add to her collections.
A piece of artist linoleum – I gave it to Cindy to create linoleum prints. I paid fifty cents for this the art supply stores want around $30 for the same sized piece. Her prints sold well at festivals.
A pair of easels - These are very lightweight wooden easels that can in handy to display art at festivals. I got both for four bucks.

Household and décor
Commemorative plate from Cristus Gardens in Gatlinburg – I have a few commemorative plates hanging in my kitchen. But I can’t remember if I kept this one or gave it to someone. It’s not in my kitchen.
Commemorative plate of the Edaville Railway – I also do not know what I did with this plate.
Two old Pyrex mixing bowls - These replaced bowls that were broken or lost. We use them on a regular basis.
Sword – Cindy told me she wanted a sword for a sculpture. She did not use this one. It’s now under my bed.

Food and Beverages
I low to see consumables at sales, I did not buy any food but I did buy wine.
Whole Foods brand French Merlot and a bottle of Fritz Haag Riesling – A good deal on wine the Merlot was OK, the Riesling was quite good.

I find I am a very picky music buyer. I do not buy as much as I used to.

Link Wray and the Raymen/ Mr. Guitar/ Original Swan recordings – A double CD I thought I would listen to this more but I only played one disc once.
Autographed Lester Maddox Lp – This was a famous Lp that I could not resist when I saw it. I do not have a working turntable so I have not listened to it.
Bossa Sempre Nova – This collection commemorates 30 years of Bossa Nova. I’ve put it on once or twice.
Best of Clyde McPhatter CD – I like this recording and have played it at least six times.
Laura Pausini/ le cose che vivi – Italian pop singer, it doesn’t have a lot of substance. I’ve listened to it a few times expecting it to be better than it is.
El Raunch Oh! Grande../ Latin songs for gringos – Mae West, Artie Shaw, Marty Robbins and others. It’s dumb but fun. I’ve put it on many times.
Strictly Rhythm’s Latin Thang – Latin goes hip-hop a strange mix.
Clasicas de Colombia – Traditional music from Columbia. I listen to it sometimes when I fix breakfast on Sundays.

This is one of the few things I really enjoy collecting. But my collection is not a serious one.
Postcards – I bought a stack of 20 at one sale. They are now mixed in with the rest of my collection.
1966 Delta Airlines in-flight magazine – I though I might sell this on Ebay. I might get a higher price if Delta goes under.
“Avocado Bravo” – A booklet on cooking with avocados from the 1960’s. It’s filed with my other booklets.
“How to cook with Budweiser” – One of my favorite finds of the year. Now filed away in a safe place. But I do plan to use some of the recipes.
Piedmont Airlines bag – More airline memorabilia I hope to sell on Ebay. It took me four months before I remembered to get it out of my trunk.
“Moscow’s Master Plan” – Cold war propaganda. This large booklet is in a bookcase.
Canadian vacation scrapbook – I took a lot of stuff out of this and filed it in my collection. I have the plundered scrapbook in a closet.
3.5 by 2-inch picture of Cristobal in the Canal Zone – I don’t know the origin of this card, but for a quarter I could not let this Zonian item go. It’s in my files.
1968 copy of Atlanta Magazine – I bought this because it has Julian Bond in a fashion spread. I want to show it to friends but I don’t know where it is at the moment.

1 comment:

nope said...


I'm sorry for being intrusive in to your blog. But I am Melissa and I am a mother of two that is just trying to get out of an incredible financial debt. See my hubby is away in Iraq trying to protect this great country that we live in, and I am at home with our two kids telling bill collectors please be patiant. When my husband returns from war we will beable to catch up on our payments. We have already had are 2001 Ford repossessed from the bank, and are now down to a 83 buick that is rusted from front to back and the heater don't work, and tire tax is due in November.

I'm not asking for your pitty because we got our ownselfs into this mess but we would love you and thank you in our prayers if you would just keep this link on your blog for others to view.

God Bless You.

Melissa K. W.
To see my family view this page. My Family

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