Friday, November 25, 2005

Portrait on an Artist as a Packrat - 11/17/05

Art found in the confusion.

Cornell Rd. - Emory "Estate Sale"

This estate sale opened on Thursday and I headed there after leaving work. The sale was inside a two-story mid-century traditional brick home. The home to my delight was filled with three floors and a garage of randomly disarranged clutter. Upon entering the household I headed up a narrow staircase past a framed photo of a Snark missile and several old prints of 19th century women to the second floor. In what may have been some sort of study I found a pile of old clothing and a collection of Lps strewn about the room. The recordings were mostly folk music by artist such as Richard Dyer and Josh White. There were also works by Tony Bennett and the Dave Clark 5 and album entitled Country and Western Jamboree and “Language of the Wolves”. Among the records was a cassette tape labeled “Pycnogenol Secrets”. In one of the many piles in the room I found a set of flash cards for the study of human bones. Some books kept on a narrow built-in bookshelf included “Z is for Zagreb”, “Getting Along in French”, “The Pleasure of Portrait Painting”, “Drawing with the Right Side of the Brain” and “The Scroll Saw Handbook”. Other media strewn about included a 1992 program from the Florida Gentility Society, some old anti smoking phamphlets and VHS tapes of Cops and Felix the Cat.
In the floor out the hall outside the study were a microscope, a cribbage board and a collection of canes leaning against the wall.

Flash cards of human bones.

Anti smoking leaflet.

Program from Gentility Society.

Music of Wolves.
In the master bedroom I found a modern statue of the Virgin still in its original box and an empty violin case. In one cabinet was a rock collection stored in tithing envelopes from a Methodist church. In the same cabinet marked with a sign telling shoppers that there was "more for sale"was a stack of very old deposit slips from the Moultrie Banking Company. Books were also stacked around the bedroom. Among the reading material I found “The Catholic Digest Reader” “The Cat”, “Mysterious Cat Stories”, ”Cherish the Cat” and “1000 Beautiful Things”. In the bedroom closet full of men’s clothing I found chord books for the ukulele, a handmade ceramic snowman, old copies of Animation Magazine and a 1978 program for the Phoenix Cat Society of Atlanta.
In the other bedroom were two steam irons resting in a window and a complete bound set of the famous artist course. On the floor was a slide projector and a plaque from the Medical AV Society awarded for spot prevention. Having spent a portion of my life working in AV, I knew of the importance of spot prevention but never assumed there were awards for it. The plaque appeared to have a large spot on its marble surface. On the dresser were some slides of a black cat. Near the slides was a cypress knee.

Award for spot removal.

Hand crafted snowman.

Modern Virgin.

Sign at sale.

Irons in the window.
From the second floor I noticed that that a garage structure was open so I descended and headed out to see what resided there. The garage which had been remodeled into what could have been a studio contained a portrait of a pensive looking woman and more slide trays. A small-unplugged refrigerator held boxes of 16mm film stock, which spilled out, onto the floor. Boxes of photo flood bulbs spilled into the photo supply pile. A stack of business cards for a caricature portrait business set atop the refrigerator and postcards of cats playing musical instruments rested in the windowsill.

Portrait of pensive woman.

Film cannister in the fridge.
On my way back into the main house I found a half dozen nude portraits in oil resting in a wicker chair on a screened-in back porch.

Painting found on back porch.
The first floor of the home was in no better order than the other areas. In the kitchen I found the usual assortment of glass wear and cooking utensils. On one counter was a set of Popeye glasses complete with a pitcher depicting other Popeye characters. Aside from a few cans of vegetables most of the food offered for sale consisted of a multitude of packages of Jiffy Pop. On a small table near the kitchen were several bottles of unpriced hard liquor including an opened fifth of Johnny Walker Red. Nearby was a figurine of a nun playing a cello. Books were scattered among the first floor rooms. Some titles I found included “Pythons”, “Manual for Bacterial Fungal and Parasitic Reagents”, “Guns of the World”, “She Goes to War”, ”Rational Recovery”, ”Snakes as Pets” “The Rover Boys at College” a 1989 PDR and “The Art and Science of Taking to the Woods”
Other random stuff on that floor included a pile of sheet music, a figure of a confederate soldier with a missing head, a 1927 baby book, more slide trays, a carving of three alligators and a very large terrarium.

Carved Alligators

Headless Confederate.

Sheet Music from the estate.

Upon my descent into the basement I found a sign for a caricature artist with examples of his work, piles of old tools, a copy of the Wizard of Oz game, a tin of Lincoln Logs, a pool table, a pachinko machine mounted on the wall, 8 track tapes of Bloodrock and Bread and several portraits taken off their stretchers.
I bought nothing.

Game found in basement.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

11/5/05 Salvation for feet, filthy soap and decaying recordings

As leaves continue to fall from trees and Halloween décor is taken down I found today a number of perplexing sales that asked more questions than I could ever try to answer.

Clifton Rd. - Lake Claire “Yard Sale”

This sale around the corner from my home was a disappointing start. A trio of decaying Jack-o-lanterns watched over a selection of baby items and household clutter. Among the stuff scattered in the front yard of this craftsman bungalow were some disassembled metal shelves, a half dozen wicker baskets, a bike seat, a bread maker, a copy of “Parliament of Whores” and an old microwave oven.
I bought nothing.

Clifton Rd. - Lake Claire “Yard Sale”

Two blocks down I found a more interesting collection of stuff in the front yard of a brick home. Spread out on a blanket was a number of animal headed dolls. Most disturbing was one that I took at first to be a doll with a taxidermy squirrel head. At closer inspection it turned out to be a ceramic rabbit head. Scattered about the yard and on a few tables was a portable typewriter, a large pair of speakers, a bike seat, a box set on Anne Rice books on tape, a strange action figure called Skumm, some magnets promoting beer drinking and dozens of screw drivers.
I bought nothing.

Rabbit headed doll.

Selection of other animal headed creations.

Strange action figure.

Tuxedo Ave. - Lake Claire “Estate Sale”

I was delighted to find this inside-the-house estate sale so close to my home. Three desks lined the walkway to the front door of this Tudor home. At the door I was greeted by a partially disassembled walker, which I always believe to be a harbinger of great finds. Inside the house was barer that I had hoped. The living room was nearly empty aside from a few shelves that held figurines of angels and animal headed figures. On the floor I found an embroidered framed image of an antique washbowl. Most of the other rooms in the three-story structure were equally empty. On the floor of one bed room I found a small collection of books with religious themes including “ Who’s Who in the New Testament”, “Who’s who in the Old Testament”, “Mending your heart in a broken world”, “God’s Smuggler”, a very thin concordance and a biography of Bess Truman. Another box in the same room was filled with old family photos as well as a photo album. Atop the box was a pair of ceramic praying hands.
In another bedroom I found two hand bells, a box of old gift wrap, some candle sticks and one of those auto organizers that they have been selling at the sales on McLenden for the past two years. (See Archives Oct 04 and Oct 05)
The upper floor was equally sparse with two bare twin beds dominating the entire second floor area. On a shelf was a scrapbook entitled with stick-on letters proclaiming “Thelma Jackson this is your life”. Upon opening the book I found a 1962 press clipping on a production of Annie get Your Gun at Bass High School. Near the scrapbook was a strange toy wagon with a ducks head and some Korean script on the side, on the shelf above it was a porcelain figure of a pair of German Shepards with gloves in their mouths. On another shelf I found a box of foot warmers called “Sole Salvation”.
In the basement I found almost nothing but on my way out I did encounter yet another set of praying hands.
I bought nothing.

Duck headed wagon.

Salvation for feet.

Wash bowl captured in embroidery.

Ceramic dogs holding gloves.

Life of Thema Jackson.
Harold Ave. - Lake Claire “Garage Sale

Near the intersection of Harold and McLendon I encountered a line of dirty and dusty clutter arrange on the sidewalk and in front of a garage. A number of framed prints leaned against a wall next to a large photo of the Ryman Auditorium was a drawing of Einstein. On the other side of the photo were three rusty frying pans. Nearly everything appeared to have been shut up in a damp basement or garage for a long time. An old cardboard box was filled with partially used bottles of body lotions and oils and soaps. The packaging was covered in mold. Next to the box was a selection of toothpaste not quite as decrepit but equally unsanitary looking. Outside the garage was a motorized scooter, golf clubs, old bikes, some splintered wooden lawn chairs, an old electric stove and three hard hats.
I bought nothing.

Ryman Auditorium and Einstein.

Selection of second hand tooth paste.
Filthy box of soaps and lotions.

Fairview Ave. - Druid Hills “Yard Sale

This large sale extended from the front yard down the driveway and into the backyard of a handsome Tudor mansion. I had a difficult time trying to figure out how most of this stuff had gotten to this elegant home site. A wide variety of stuff was piled onto tables lining the driveway. On them I found two framed collections of nautical knots neatly tied and labeled, a brass pineapple, a print of a Henri Rousseau jungle scene, a Cher doll with a special featured that allowed one to lengthen or shorten her hair, a Sonny doll with no such feature, a skull mask, a large framed print of two children wearing cowboy hats and kissing and a pair of painted ostrich eggs. On the ground I found a large ceramic statue of a boy with puppies at his feet, an outboard motor, two electric trolling motors, a manikin arm, a canoe, a child’s scooter, boxes of ball jars, bags of Mardi Gras beads, a duck made of straw and several gasoline cans. In front of the garage were over a dozen old hard liquor boxes filled with old Lps and 78s. There seemed to be no order to the way the collection was packed. A few die-hard vinyl fans were shuffling thought the cardboard boxes. Most contained highly forgettable albums. Among some the titles there was “Shell’s Wonderful World of Music” “The Musical Sea of Tranquility” Korla Pandit’s “Tropical Magic” Jimmy Swaggart’s “This is just what Heaven means to me”, and “The Warm Sounds of Country Music”. The 78’s were in dreadful shape. Some of the 78 Albums were water damaged making the cover art barely discernable. One appeared to be a Bozo recording and another about a Talking Train.
In the front yard I found a gigantic stein, a box of fireworks, a commemorative mug for Queen Elizabeth’s silver jubilee, the front bumper of a pick up truck and several books on origami. While departing I noticed posted on the fence was a sign that advertised a perfect Bidjam carpet, lying on the curb next to it was a discarded ceiling fan and several old vacuum cleaners for anyone that wanted them.
I bought nothing.

Lp found in George Dickel box.

Box of fireworks.

Manikin arm.

Tropical Magic.

Decayed 78 Album cover.
Edgewood Ave. – Inman Park “Yard Sale”
Two women watched over a picked thought pile of clutter outside the entrance of this three-story 1920 era apartment building. One of the women responding to a remark about some Lps she was selling was saying “ I really like the Allman Brothers but I don’t have way to listen to them”. Stuff on sale there included s a number of picture frames, a large framed poster of Ani Difranco, a plush monkey, a BBQ grill, a door mat with images of flamingoes on it and a large mounted poster of Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly.
I bought nothing.

Austin Ave. Inman Park “Moving Sale”
This sale was on the front porch and in a few rooms of a fully restored Queen Anne Victorian. Most of the few things they were selling were gone by the time arrived but I did get a chance to wander around the house. Some books and games were being sold on the porch as well as a framed completed jigsaw puzzle and a painting of a teddy bear. Inside some glassware, a phone machine and some other household stuff was for sale. I went up stairs to what had been a child’s bedroom. There a gigantic loft bed had been built into the room. Next to it was a hand made toy chest in the shape of some animal.
I bought nothing.

Framed jigsaw puzzle.

Teddy bear painting.

Monday, November 07, 2005

Saturday Oct. 30, 2005

With Cindy recovering from oral surgery I decide to restrain myself from my weekly Saturday yard sale habit. Through a thick blanket of pain medication she still manages to insist that I get rid of my old desktop PC that has been gathering dust on the floor of our guest bedroom. Not wanting to argue with a recovering and highly sedated patient I haul the machine and its components down the street to my friend Terry’s long-standing professional yard sale. Terry who has been mentioned several times in this site has been hosting a sale across the street from the Flying Biscuit on a regular basis since last spring. A local milliner Terry is also a professional reseller who gleams goods from yard sales, curbsides, thrift stores or wherever she can find something that someone else will buy. Her ongoing sale set up in the yard of my friend David’s home uses the superb retail location that is at an important neighborhood crossroads and also across the street from where idle brunch seekers are waiting for tables.
The PC, the very computer that I used documenting and posting my yard sale activities did not move. Terry told me I should have come last week when several people inquired about computers. Having witnessed so much unsold technology over the past years I should not have expected it to sell. But I did hang out at the sale a while.
Terry who plans to move back to Indiana in the weeks ahead told me this was her last sale of the season. So I thought that even thought this is a professional sale and not just the usual pile of some strangers clutter that I would report on it anyway, especially since my care giving was keeping me from examining what was at the real yard sales wherever they might be.
Since this was set to be the final sale of the season David and Terry had arranged for Hub Cap City to perform at their sale. Regardless of the professionalism I am eager to laud any sale that has either live music or serves drinks. Unfortunately they were only doing the former. The ambient noise ensemble of Hubcap City provided the perfect sound track for clutter seekers perusing the gathered resale items. Terry provides something for all taste with several racks of clothing (complete with a dressing room set up on the porch), a selection strange home décor and, two tables of books and assorted media, a number of “it could be an antique?” type things and lots of odds and ends. Today David who crafts colorful, hand painted bas-relief animals out of scrap wood had his work presented for sale as well. The sale continued on through Sunday. At the end of the second day I find my computer has not sold but I give Terry a hand in packing up her unsold goods. I then determine an important equation for yard sales: the ratio of folding tables to stuff for sale multiplied by the number of disassembled ceiling fans is an indicator of professionalism. Terry has no less than seven folding tables and no ceiling fans.

Computer without a buyer

Angels and voodoo dolls.

Woopee cushion and epoxy.

Hub Cap City seranades yard sale customers.

The following week while driving home from Scottdale I find the epitome of the non-professional sale. As shown in the photo of this sad looking event. An impromptu table is made from plywood and five-gallon paint buckets. The only evidence of something for sale is a lone lamp.