Sunday, February 26, 2006

Saturday 02/25/06

Whiteford Ave. - Edgewood “Yard Sale”

The morning was cold and wet. Not the type of weather I would expect anyone to hold a yard sale on. Looking at Craigslist I found one sale in East Atlanta. I waited till mid morning to see if the rain would end but it didn’t. Not having much to do I headed south anyway. On the way there I saw a sign for this sale.
A small table and some car parts sat in the wet front yard. Most of the stuff for sale was piled onto the front porch. When I went up the steps to the porch no one was there to greet me. The entire time I was on the porch looking over the clutter no one came out of the house. They must have believed that no one their right mind would go to a yard sale on a day like this. There were not a lot of things for sale here. On the porch lay a pair of broken cow horns, a set of golf clubs in a bright blue bag, a football helmet, a large plush rabbit and a broken chair. There were some shelves with a few toys on them. A small table had an original piece of spin art upon it. Overall the sale was a sad affair that the sellers had it seems given up on.
I bought nothing.
I later drove down to East Atlanta but found that the sale advertised in Craigslist was not happening.

Sign seen on a wet morning

Bullhorns on the porch

Spin art found on Whiteford.

Friday 2/14/06

Highpoint Dr.- Morningside “Estate Sale”
I went to this sale in the late afternoon with Cindy. The sale was inside a newer two-story colonial revival home tucked inside a condo complex in Morningside. When we arrived it was obvious that a lot of the stuff had been purchased and moved out. In the hallway downstairs was a table with a pile of old Lps. Among the classical, opera, Isaac Hayes and Johnny Mathis recordings I came upon the cover a male hardcore porno videotape. From the records I headed to the living room where only a few things remained. The room was dominated by a baby grand piano, on a table was some sheet music, most was classical but there was also a collection of music from Sesame Street. On a table in the same room were two broken china plates, a brass tic-tac-toe game and a blown glass elephant head that might have been broken. The kitchen still had a fair amount of kitchenwares still in it including a selection of corkscrews and an M&M figure holding some wooden cooking tools. In the pantry I discovered a horde of foodstuffs, a coffee grinder and some cooking utensils.

Brass Tic-Tac-Toe game

Broken china for sale

A bounty of used food in the pantry.
Upstairs were four bedrooms. In one was a built-in bookcase filled with hardback books. Among them were “The Secret Life of Bill Clinton”, “The Book of the Labrador Retriever”, “When Smart People Fail”, “Black Skin, White Masks”, “If It Ain’t Broke Don’t Fix It” and ‘How to Get Well”. Other items on the shelves included a pamphlet containing the 1989 Asparagus Club membership rooster and old bound copies of Upholstering Today as well as loose copies of AV/Multi Media magazine. The walls of the same bedroom were hung with a number of framed antique botanical prints.
In another bedroom I found a disheveled pile of old tote bags when I shuffled thought them I spotted an unopened condom on the floor. It may have fallen out of one of the bags. In the same room were a box of small artificial Christmas trees and a caricature of what may have been the estate owner. A number of Dali prints were also in the room.
Another bedroom had a large abstract painting, some old telephones and a closet full of clothes that were my size but they were overpriced for their condition.
In the final bedroom was an entertainment center with a small TV and a film projector on the same shelf. On a table nearby was a large collection of table lamps. Resting on a chair were two misshapen leather hats. There was also an old broom for sale for a dollar in the room. Between two of the bedroom was a bathroom with a number of cleaning products that appeared not to have been used on a filthy sink and bathtub.
I bought a shirt and a belt. Cindy bought several highball glasses.

Entertainment center upstairs.

Image of estate owner?

Filthy Sink.

A Day on the Andersonville Trail

Welcome to Andersonville!
The school system worked a weeklong holiday into the schedule this year giving me five days off during the bleakest part of the year. After enduring several days of cold, chills and rain I looked at a weather map a noticed that the rain did not extend past Georgia’s fall line. So I got in my car, headed south and spent a wondrous and somewhat depressing day in middle and South Georgia.
I first headed down I 75 to Perry, home of the Georgia National Fairgrounds. Today was the opening day for the State Junior Livestock Show. The fairgrounds are an extensive complex of buildings that one can see from I 75 while speeding past Perry. I first visited the auditorium where young agribusiness folk from around the state were parading their pigs. Parading is a loose term for actually all one can do with a pig it chase it around the floor of the auditorium. There were some impressive pigs there. In the other building were young farmers preparing their livestock for show. Other than hosing down pigs there is not a lot of grooming you can do to them. But the cattle are a different story as their owners went about washing, vacuuming, blow drying and fluffing their fur.

The running of the swine in Perry.

Young cattlefolk relax before putting thier cow on display.
From Perry I headed south down the Andersonville trail. After a hearty lunch (I opted for the fried chicken and not the pork chops after seeing so much pork running about) at Gosie’s in downtown Montezuma, I headed past bare cotton fields and blooming peach trees towards Americus. One of the splendid small towns of Sowega, downtown Americus is dominated by the massive Warwick hotel. The Warwick is a red brick Victorian structure that through some miracle escaped destruction in the 20th century. After walking the downtown streets for a while I drove over to the Habitat for humanity Discovery Center. Habitant, which is based in Americus, has recreated in the center a collection of bad slum housing from around the world. Here one can gap at the marvels one would encounter on the outskirts or Rio with out the smells, dangers and the language barrier. At the end of the bad housing display are examples of what housing Habitant are creating to replace the horrid living conditions on display. The display is a bit unsettling but at least it was not raining.
Latter I drove past some of the finer antebellum homes in Americus then headed north towards Andersonville.

Experience horrible third world living conditions in nearby southwest Georgia at the Habitant Discovery Center.
Andersonville is a NPS site at the location of the dreaded Camp Sumter. Like The Habitant Discovery Center here one does not have to travel all the way to Germany or Poland to walk about the grounds of a death camp. At the main entrance of the Site is the National POW/MIA museum where the Park service has faithfully recreated the experience of being a prisoner of war. At the beginning of the museum one enters a room with that simulates being captured by the enemy. Here rifle barrels point out or the darkness and spotlight shine in your face. As you make your way through the museum you encounter bamboo tiger cages, leg shackles and all sorts of nightmarish photos. The experience makes one wish they were back in the faux hovels of Americus.

Leaving the POW experience I drove out to the National Cemetery at Andersonville part of the Park complex. Here some of the thousands of graves of those who died in the death camp are arrayed in neat tight rows towered over by state monuments.

The site of the death camp itself is a rolling grass plain with a small creek running though it. Nothing remains of the original camp but there are some recreations of ramparts, gates and shebangs, the jerry built hovels that the unfortunate occupants of camp lived in. The small creek whose water was a major cause of death and disease has a sign over it telling visitors that it is still not fit for human consumption.

Over 100 years later water at Andersonville is still not fit to drink.
The Civil War village of Andersonville is a sad roadside attraction across the highway from the death camp. This tawdry tourist spot was a grim reminder of what happens when one attempts to profit from tragedy. The village is one short street of old buildings. When I arrived all of them were closed included the highly touted Drummer Boy museum which claims to be one of the best independent Civil War museums. At the end of the street is a monument the Henry Wirz the commandant of Camp Sumter who was found guilty of war crimes and hanged in the shadow of the US capitol building. It is said to be the only monument to a convicted war criminal on US soil. The monument has a large crack in its base.
Behind the closed storefronts is a Pioneer village. The village is a series of rustic decrepit buildings scattered about a few weedy acres. It’s bizarrely reminiscent of the Habitant slum display a few miles away in Americus.

Pioneer village structure. Was Habitant village based on this earlier attraction?

Wooden replica of railroad conductor who ordered Union prisoners off traqins arriving at Andersonville.

Andersonville tourists can pose as Capt.Wirz and his wife in the town sqaure.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Saturday 2/18/06

This morning Cindy was suffering from the same flu symptoms that had plagued me earlier in the week. Not wanting to totally abandon the sick I told her I was only going out to one or two sales. Ironically there were only one or two yard sales happening around here. So I did not have to abandon my sickly wife for long.
Howard Cir. - Lake Claire “Moving Sale”

Yesterday I ran into a woman I had met when our home was on the tour of homes a few years ago. She was passing out leaflets for her moving sale. It seems that she and her husband had finally sold their home near Dekalb Ave. and were moving to Hawaii. Seeing that this was the only sale happening in my neighborhood I headed over there after making sure Cindy’s was feeling reasonably less flu like.
When I got there at half past nine most of the goods had already been pillaged by the dreaded early birds. A meager amount of goods lay spread out in the yard but the interior f the home was nearly striped bare. In the front room of this one-story frame rambler all that remained was a TV cabinet, a TV and a few stereo components. One bedroom had a box of pillows and linens and a large wicker basket filled with books on silent films. Among the books were two biographies of Fatty Arbuckle. Another box contained large coffee table books on Hawaii and Montana.
In the other bedroom there was an array of large plates and platters displayed upon a twin bed. Also on the bed was a selection of Charlie Chaplin movies on VHS along with two Austin Power’s films. On the floor was a large box of odd Tupperware items. Next to it were several boxes containing old toys and games. In the boxes I found a boring looking commodity futures trading game, a toy General Lee car from the original Dukes of Hazard, a Montgomery Burns mask, an Abe Lincoln puppet wearing boxing gloves and a small container of imitation Lego type blocks.
In the Dining were two boxes of cassette tapes containing rock and dance music from the 80’s and 90’s. In the kitchen was a pile of mugs. One mug had the Bill of Rights on it. The seller told me the Rights used to disappear when you poured hot coffee in the container. But it no longer functioned since she had cleaned it in the dishwasher.
Out side there were some garden tools, skis and fishing gear.
I bought several from the toy box and the Bill of Rights mug even thought it was defective.
Meager selection of goods left in front yard.

Fighting Abe Lincoln
Cameron St. – Grant Park “Estate Sale”

After last weeks so-called estate sale in Decatur I was a little skeptical of any such estate sale advertised in the paper. But with a sick wife and so few sales events I headed south of I-20.
The sale was inside a craftsman bungalow with a bit of added Victorian style trim. Inside the house it was quite dim adding a veil of gloom over the gathered clutter inside. Most of the goods were being sold as antiques and there was a dreadful lack of contemporary clutter. Only three rooms of the home were open to my perusal. In the living room were a number of old lamps, a Victorian sofa, a large ceramic panther and some prints of ancient Greek battle scenes.
In the dinning room, a table was covered in barware, stemware and undistinguished commemorative plates. On the floor was a stack of undistinguished Lps from the 70’s. Platters of artist such as Gloria Gaynor and Barbra Streisand were being sold for the high price of four dollars. In another part of the room was a cabinet with some cloth dolls wrapped in plastic and a basket containing a pile of cutesy refrigerator magnets. Nearby was a large box filled with more baskets and a thigh master nearly hidden on a high shelf.
The final room contained several collectible level dolls including one of a restful looking Christopher Columbus. Also in the room were several Asian style prints and a collage that looked as thought it were made from mud, rope and foliage.
Only the front porch contained the mundane as two old and dirty lawn movers were lined up at the entrance. I bought nothing

Columbus doll.

Large ceramic jungle animal.

Artwork found in Grant Park

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Saturday 10/11/06

Holly Ln. Merry Hills - “Moving Sale”

On a cold Saturday morning this appeared to be the only game in town or at least the parts of town I care to travel to. Noting that this was on a Saturday I knew this would not be in one of the homes of the many observant and clutter collecting Jews who live in this Xmas themed subdivision. The sale was inside a brick ranch and occupied two rooms of the home. Entering through the carport I passed three boxes marked free. The living room of the home was devoid of furnishing except for tables holding a large array of clutter. More stuff spilled across the floor and under the tables, loose or in cardboard boxes. On the tables were old cameras including a long snouted Polaroid Big Shot, boxes of staples, several old lamps, three old portable tape recorders, two Rubik’s Magic Puzzles, an Avon bottle in the shape of a truck, some 1980 UGA commemorative Coke bottles, an old Dr. Pepper bottle with a salt shaker top, about a half dozen ashtrays and some mugs from McDonald’s with Batman characters on them. One table had a collection of old empty wine bottle and some old medicine containers. One of which was a remedy for removing warts. At one end of the tables were several dolls still in their original packaging. Among them was a Jello Fun Barbie that came with a pack of Jello and a B shaped Jello mold. On the floor was a box of old Playboy magazines, a pile of empty picture frames, a framed embroidered scene of a pioneer homestead, a copy of Playboy Centerfolds on VHS, a box of audio cassettes, two boxes of Cupid string lights, some Xmas décor including a large animatronic girl holding a candle.
Among some books scattered on the floor were “This is a Dream”, Bob Hope’s ”Don’t Shoot It’s only Me” and “To live Again”.
In a glass case were some items the sellers must have deemed to have more value. There I found a trio of old plastic trolls, some old large wooden spools and a load of BBs.
In the back room was a large selection of women’s clothing hung of a film production lighting grid stand and a spread of women’s shoes on the floor. Also in the room were two large dolls and a child’s player piano. In a box of piano rolls for the instrument were “Frosty the Snowman”, “In the Good Old Summertime” and “Old Piano Roll Blues”I bought the Jello Barbie, a large doll and the embroidered home scene. I also picked up one of the free boxes on my way out.

Pair of oversized dolls

Gelatin fun plaything.

Free if you want it

Friday 2/10/06

New St. Decatur - “Estate Sale” (so called)

At times people play loose and fast with the jargon of yard sales. An estate sale as I have said before is the full sale of someone’s full estate. It should be the final divestment of what a man or woman has accumulated in their lifetime. Yet there are those who ignore the fundamentals of the nomenclature and declare so many other events as such for the express purpose of bringing in a crowd to buy their clutter. Such was the case this Friday at this sale in Decatur. The address was a tip off as New St. is a short passage lined with small businesses and restaurants. This sale not surprisingly was not in the decrepit manor of a deceased octogenarian but in the back warehouse of some small office building. When I entered it was obvious that the collected goods were not even from one single estate. It was simply a bunch of assorted junk that one might find in a sub par thrift store. I at first intended to simply turn and leave but since this is the off-season I decided to look around. This sale not only resembled a bad thrift store but an overpriced one as well. There was a vast assortment of junk but little of it was very interesting. Among the boring merchandise I found were shelves filled with mismatched track lights, garden implements, wicker furniture and several old sleeping bags. Of the few items that did catch my eyes were two large fish traps and an anchor. In the front office room were a number of framed prints and painting one pictured an Asian woman. In the same room I found an oversized cordless phone as well as some lamps and carpets. If anything this sale was notable for its lameness. Some disorder did perk my interest such as a sofa piled over with towels and blankets and two large overturned domed shaped dog houses did offer some welcome contrast to the otherwise bleak scene.
I bought nothing.

Questionable Advertising.

Assorted track lighting

Disorder among dry goods one of the few redeaming values of this so called estate sale.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Saturday 2/5/06 Another Cold Weekend

The cold weather continues and only a few bold individual choose to divest their homes of unwanted clutter this weekend. Behind the walls of so many houses in this city are sales waiting to happen. I hope next week is better than this one.

Connecticut Ave. – Lake Claire “Yard Sale”

I found this sale in Craigslist but there was also a small sign on McLenden Ave. welcoming shoppers. When I arrived there it appeared the sale was only on the freezing semicircular screened in front parch of this Victorian bungalow. On the porch was a good collection of oddities, clutter and junk the owners had accumulated over the years. Among the stuff piled on there was a bicycle, a wreath made out of wine corks, four shelf brackets in the shape of Greek gods, three tachometers, two old cell phones and a kit for making paving stones with poetry on them. In a box I found an unopened package that contained a costume for dressing up a wine bottle. While I stood in the cold shifting thought the clutter one of the sellers told me that there was more inside and to come in from the cold.

Greeks and tachs

Clothes for a well dressed bottle

Wreath of corks
One room in the front of the house was full of a variety of old clutter for sale. There were a number of boxes containing books both old and new. Among the titles were “Reality TV Handbook”, “Idiots Guide to Fortune Telling” and “How to Build a Hodgepodge lodge”. Another box contained a selection of VHS tapes among them were “Lawrence of Arabia”, “Lost Highway” and “12 Angry Men”. Leaning against a wall were two artworks. One was a print of a man smoking a cigar standing under a large hot dog. The other was a large color photo of a man’s bare chest. Other items scattered about on tables and on the floor were the Atlanta in a Box game, a bright red lipped shaped telephone, a large block shaped candle, a pile of cloth tote bags, some men’s clothing, a small plastic Santa that dropped red and green pellets from his backside, some swizzle sticks with tiny Teddy bears, a pile of matchbooks promoting a die cast metal business and two cardboard boxes filled with hand painted Mexican ceramic tiles.
I bought the Idiots guide to Fortune Telling, The reality TV guidebook and the defecating Santa.

Lips shaped phone

Defecating Santa

Bare Chested photo
Elkmont Dr. Virginia Highlands “Moving Sale”

This sale was in the two front rooms of a traditional brick bungalow. When I entered the house I noticed at once that the bulk of the stuff here was toys that the children of the house had out grown. Normally I shun child oriented sales but having to acquire some juvenile items for my show I decided to spend some time here and perhaps take something home.
The were a few non-kid things such as a Kawai spinet piano and a bag of unshelled mixed nuts. A bookshelf held a mixture of child and adult reading. Among the titles were “Marketing Your Work”, “Autobiography of Malcolm X” , Dr. Spock’s child rearing guide and several Lemony Snicket titles. A few other grown up things were on a shelf in the living room. There I found a Café Du Monde mug, three hard hats and a wicker tray shaped like the state of Texas.
Among the children’s toys of interest were a Queasy Bake Oven, two Coinstruction sets that allow youngsters to make things with hard currency and a large box full of cardboard bricks.
I bought the Oven and the Coinstruction set.

Uneaten nuts found among unwanted toys.

Let your children be creative with their money.

Friday 2/3/06

Diamond Head Cir. – Oak Grove “Estate Sale”

This sale was advertised in the AJC as the estate and accumulation of an Octogenarian. That age descriptor captures for the addict of yard sales so many fine images, dusty basements filled with old tools and ball jars, unusual ephemera form past experiences, drawers filled with redundant kitchen utensils, home health care items propped up against walls. So following dreams of rooting through such clutter I headed over to this tropically named street after work on Friday.
To say the least I was disappointed. Small brick ranch homes can contain hidden treasures but this one did not. In the garage a number of tables were set up and some totally forgettable clutter was being sold by the boxload. Selling selected odd objects grouped into boxes is rare in this city and here the arrangement made it stranger. In one box was a large plastic comb, about a dozen old airmail envelopes that had become glued shut due to poor storage and a device labeled a taco fryer. In another box was a faux leather cosmetic case, an Xmas mug, two glasses and some small jars and another mug that said Dad and featured a handle in the shape of a pipe. Other boxes contained nothing but empty jars. While another box contained only a tangle of red white and blue bunting. Also in the garage was a large appliance labeled a Turbo Cooking Plus.
A few rooms inside the home were open for my perusal. In the living room I found several wooden mallets, poker chips, a selection of silver serving dishes, some post cards from the Atlanta Olympics and some old BBQ utensils.
In the den I found a 8mm movie camera and two old Kodak cameras, a Large Hammond organ and an array of neatly folded of fabric pieces.
The basement was open but further disappointed awaited since there was little left on the lower level aside from some coat hangers, old Xmas decorations and some piles of odd lumber pieces. Among the Xmas stuff was a broom crafted to resemble a snowman and a plush pig in a holiday outfit.
I bought two boxes from the garage to use in my upcoming show. But I left feeling perplexed questioning why Octogenarians always have cases of empty jars in their homes.

80 years on earth and a lot of empty jars to show for it.

Xmas broom.

Taco fryer with large comb.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

1/29/06 Kirkwood is Better...

The weather is still cold and the yard sale season is not yet in place. Today I went to two sales in Virginia Highland and two in Kirkwood. Confusion reigns in Kirkwood it is a far better place for sales. Perhaps this season it may be the best neighborhood for yard sales in my vicinity.

Northview Ave.- Virginia Highlands “Moving Sale”

This sale had started on Friday but when I entered this well appointed home I doubted there was very much of interest that I had missed by coming a day late. The brick craftsman bungalow was too clean and too well kept to have held anything remarkable. Most of the remaining sparse antique items of furniture inside were already marked sold. On a stairway that lead upstairs was a large vase full of fresh cut flowers that indicated to buyers they were not allowed access to the second floor. In one bedroom was a pair of unremarkable antique twin beds, in another a large equally unremarkable four-poster bed. There were way too many well-printed NFS sign strewn about the house. In the kitchen I did find some bottles of wine that had already been sold. Why a buyer was not able to cart off the wine after the purchase is unknown.
In the rear sunroom were some bookshelves containing some such works as “Dare to be Remarkable”, “The Testosterone Advantage Plan” and “Trials of Dr. Spock”.
There is also a ceramic life size hedgehog on one of the shelves.
I spent little time there and bought nothing.

Briarcliff Rd. – Va. Highlands “Estate Sale”

This sale had also started on Friday but this large Tudor home still contained a fair amount of clutter. But this sale was schizophrenic in some ways. In the rear salon were shelves lined with expensive and well made contemporary pottery. But in the kitchen they were selling canned food products. I first explored the basement hoping to find some sense of disorder there. The basement access was outside through a small door under the house. Inside I found a box shaped Santa head, a snowman plate, tennis rackets, an artificial Christmas tree packed into a large plastic bag, an old Georgia license plate, several vaporizers, a scary looking thigh exercise device, a item called a spirit vessel and a can containing an indoor marbles playing surface and some marbles.

Boxy headed santa

Device for your thighs
But upstairs in the kitchen I saw a set of butter knives in the shape of various foods. The kitchen contained an assortment of very clean and new looking cooking utensils. The food for sale included two cans of Pam, some cooking oils, cans of tomatoes and some cake decorating supplies.
In the large rear room that housed the pottery collection were a number of house ware items as well as CDs, videos and LPs. The box of LPs yielded copies of Broadway shows such as Hair, Godspell and Annie from the 70’s, a few classical recordings as well as a disc entitled “24 Great Heartbreakers and Tearjerkers”. A box of cookbooks appeared to emphasis healthy eating. Some of the titles included “300 Calorie Dish Meals”, “Thin for life” and old issues of Cooking Lite magazine. A small selection of VHS movies included “Alien”, “My Left Foot” and “The Money Pit”. Some CDs on sale were “Braves Ultimate Rally” and “Classics for Dreaming”.

Knives in the shape of food

Music for crying and heartache
Upstairs were several rooms. A bedroom with little in it was sealed off from buyers with yellow caution tape. A home office contained some sanitary looking office supplies and more books. On the shelves I found “ How to Write and sell Children’s Books”, “Practical English”, a Cote d’Azur guidebook, “Healthy Restaurant Eating”, “Chic Simple Work Clothes”, “Memories of God” and “52 Best Obituaries from the NY Times”. Another second-floor bedroom contained several items of exercise gear and a scale. The bathroom on that level had a wide array of clutter for sale including some barely used cosmetics and personal care items ranging from Imodium to tooth brushes. More stuff was displayed on the back of the toilet. Also on the sink was a handheld diet calculator labeled “Diet Coach”.

Used personal care items on display

Deflated exercise gear.
In the two front rooms downstairs in the front of the home were tables featuring what the sellers deemed to be more valuable stuff. One of the sellers was going on with a buyer about the value of certain leatherwork that was on sale. Printed pages from ebay were placed nearby to testify to the stuffs worth. One table was covered with a collection of old eyeglass frames another had some quirky looking Xmas décor. One of the holiday items was a plush triangular Santa head. On the sofa was a Panamanian Mola and a large white envelope filled with papers. On the envelope was written “Clinton impeachment materials”
I bought nothing.

Eyegalsses for everyone.

Package of impeachment memories

Pointy headed Santa
On the way back to my car I noticed the next-door neighbor was selling a few items in his driveway. They included a sofa, a table and a primitive painting of mermaids.

Mermaids for sale in driveway.