Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Two Years of Documenting Clutter

This week marks the second anniversary of this web site. At this time I do not know how many entries I have made, how many words I have written how many sales I have visited or how many photographs I have taken. Maybe I’ll make a count of these things next week. I celebrated the event by going out to some yard sales.
Callan Cir – Candler Park “Yard Sale”

On this crowded street near my home I found a yard packed with assorted clutter. As I approached the yard I was greeted by a overly groomed and overly excited tiny dog standing on a baby basinet. In the yard two women were making deals with early morning shoppers and watching over a diverse mixture of clutter in their front yard.
Among the stuff there was a plush lion rug, an assortment of large billiards’ trophies, a selection of toys, a clock with and image of Sid Vicious, a small figurine of Santa playing pool, two baby strollers and a hockey stick. On the ground and on a table was a large selection of black punk t-shirts. A selection of well-worn jeans was arrayed on a tarp along with a selection of caps.
On some plastic shelves were books. Some of the titles included juvenile works by Avi, Roald Dahl and Louis Sachar. Adult reading included “Helping Yourself with White Witchcraft”, “Prescription for Nutritional Healing”, “Teen Witch Kit”, “Stress In the Family”, “Way of the Peaceful Warrior”, “Living on the Ragged Edge”, “Georgia Motorcycle Operator Manual” and “What Happens When Women Pray”
I bought nothing.
Santa shooting pool.

Pile of pool trophies

Sid Visious clock next to bobbing head Dale Murphy.

Monochromatic array of punk wear.

Reading matter found on Callan Cir.

Faux lion rug.
Gaskill St. – Cabbagetown “Yard Sale”

I always find sales in Cabbagetown to be interesting. Perhaps it is the tiny yards in this mill village make even a meager assortment of divestments appear far grander than they are. This sale was quite meager. On the porch of an old frame bungalow across the street from a tiny Pentecostal church was selection of stuff that included a pair of spurs, four bight orange bar stools, a coffee maker a gallon jug of mosquito repellant, a print of Hopper’s Nighhawks with a neon light running through it, a metronome and an empty film reel. One of the two young women holding the sale showed me a strange tool and asked me if I knew what it was. It appeared to be a combination of a pliers and hammer.
I bought nothing.

Metronome and film reel.

Fashion accessories in Cabbagetown.

Monroe Dr. – Midtown “Yard Sale”

From Cabbagetown I drove north to Midtown where I found two women (this appears to be the theme today) sitting under a colorful yard sale sign) along the sidewalk. Next to them was a small assortment of clutter. I crossed the busy street where speeding cars ignored the “Stop for Pedestrians” sign placed in the middle of the street. On the sidewalk I found a selection of women’s clothing, a bag of odd shaped pieces of matte board, shoes, a prints of African animals, a toy Voodoo doll and a large pink roll of generic tickets.
I bought nothing
9th St. – Midtown “Yard Sale”

Upon arriving I recognized this house as the home that some friends of mine lived in when I first moved to Midtown over 30 years ago. The two-story brick structure was undergoing renovation and the yard was a mixture of rubble and clutter put out for sale. Among there stuff gathered there (watched over by a man not two women) was a selection of spices, some men’s clothing, a promotional mug for the Virginia lottery, some European travel guides, a set of red and green stemware, and a bottle of steak marinade.
I bought a pair of Doc Marten brogans for $5.

Marinade amid construction rubble.
Virginia Av. - Virginia Highlands “Yard Sale”

This sale was on the curb in front of a brick one bungalow. Leaning alongside a retaining wall was a remnant of Atlanta ten years past - a large set of Olympic rings. Next to it was a ugly brown fake fur sofa. Other stuff on the curb included a coffee maker, a DVD player, a talking battleship game and a plastic pet carrier.
I bought nothing.

Oversized reminder of past Olympic glory next to ugly sofa.

Clemont Dr. – Virginia Highlands “Yard Sale”

This was a sale near the front porch of a large home set high up above the street. At the base of the steps was a large black and white fashion print. At the top of the stairs I found two women watching over the few meager things that remained. Among them was a climbing harness, a shower cap designed for big hair, a bread machine, a bread cookbook, some small Halloween decorations, a box of Xmas lights and a book entitled “Rapid Medical Response”.
I bought nothing.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Saturday 08/12/06

Sign amid tissue box covers on E.Lake Dr.

Claire Dr. - Lake Claire “Yard Sale”

I could tell this sale was dreadful from the car window. Here was a meager collection of large plastic children’s things lining the driveway of this brick Tudor home. At the end of the driveway were an old TV and a computer monitor. Nearly everything else was kids stuff including a used potty training seat. I quickly departed buying nothing.

E.Lake Cir. – Oakhurst “Huge Sale”

The sale was not as huge as the many signs in the area indicated but the fenced in yard of this Craftsman bungalow was covered in clutter. On the porch of this home were two old ovens ranges with an acoustic guitar resting on top. Near the ovens was an accordion in its case. Also on the porch were a cordless phone, a camcorder and a large old wooden pup organ. Strewn about the yard was a box of chinaware, a collection of children’s books, some women’s clothing, some small vases, an armchair holding a two Plexiglas framed prints of stylized women, a box filled with neckties, a abstract print of a cat, a framed still from a Fellini film and among some planters and tissue box covers a hand painted sign that said “American Christians: prophets or profits?”

Selection of neckties.

Cat portrait

Guitar resting upon two ranges.

Two images of women found on an armchair.
McCoy St. – Decatur “Yard Sale”

This sale was in a portion of Decatur tucked away behind Agnes Scott College. At the entrance to the sale was a guitar case leaning against the mailbox of this small frame bungalow. On the curb was a box of VHS tape of popular films from a dozen years ago and a two tape set of CNN’s leading story’s of their first 20 years. In the yard was a bowling ball an old 16mm film projector, what appeared to be a non-working laptop, a plastic bin with caps and small American flags and a selection of books. Among the books was “The Outlaw Cook”, “The Fire in All Things”, “The Pegasus Secret”, “Secrets of the Code” and “The Art of War”. On the porch was a rack of women’s clothing and purses hanging from the ceiling.
I bought nothing.

Bowling ball and film projector.

Guitar case at entrance to sale.
Hampton Terr. – Lake Claire “Moving sale”

I was surprised to find this outside and inside the house sale at a new infill McMansion just off Dekalb Ave. Most of the stuff here appeared to be what one would expect of McMansion fodder. The outside stuff was in the driveway in front of the garage. Here I found a red pillow the said “Bad Girl”, a VHS tape on buying houses for no money down, an air compressor, an unopened bag of decaf coffee, an refill box of paraffin wax, and a large expensive looking inflatable boat. Two interesting figures in the driveway were a white plaster elephant and a multi colored ceramic figure of a headless reclining woman. In the garage were a number of autographed football helmets in Plexiglas show cases but I was not sure that these were for sale. The inside of the house was quite boring with only a selection of oversized furniture, a few kitchen items and some neon beer signs.
I bought nothing.

Bad girl pillow.

Colorful headhess female figurine amid clutter.

White elephant and air compressor.

Oakdale Ave. – Candler Park “Yard Sale”

This sale was equally unexciting plus it started to rain when I arrived. Before I departed I noticed several boxes of old business textbooks, some rat traps, women’s clothing, a set of cassettes for learning German and a stone engraved with the words “Seize the Day”
I bought nothing.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Another Hot Weekend - Saturday 8 5 06

This is my last weekend of summer vacation and the heat wave continues. I have a choice of having a leisurely day spent in some cool place or trudging through clutter filled yards in 90 plus degree heat. I choose the later.

Howard Cir. – Lake Claire “Yard Sale”

There was something very domestic about this sale; I don’t know if was the collection of Barbie items or the lawn mower and tires in the front yard. The Barbie and doll accessory collection was extensive ranging from a pink Barbie sized van to doll furniture with faux doll size food on it. Other toys included two boxes of Legos and a suitcase full of plush toys. On a table was a costume hat shaped like a wedge of cheese, four Olympus point and shoot cameras still in their original boxes, a Nikon SLR, a larger doll and a guitar shaped cake pan. Scattered about the yard was an Epiphone guitar, a microwave oven, a bread-maker, the cabinet to an antique radio and a refrigerator.
I bought nothing.
Palifox Dr. Lake Claire “Yard Sale”

This sale was in the back driveway and garage of a 1940’s bungalow. Here the clutter was watched over by two men sitting in the shade of an umbrella on the back patio. In the driveway were a dog carrier cage, golf clubs, a footbath and a tent. A few more interesting things were in the garage including a skull masked draped over an artificial pumpkin, a plastic full size skeleton hanging from the rafters, a few rock Lps from the 70’s, skiing clothing, a HP computer, a fondue set and some oversized candles. Some books in the garage included “Restoring Our Competitive Edge”, “Multinational Financial Management”, “Lies My Teacher Told Me”, “Idiot’s Guide To Skiing” and “Dead Men Do Tell Tales”. On the patio was some men’s clothing. Neatly folded was a t-shirt promoting Atlanta’s new ‘Everyday is an opening day’ campaign with the bullet hole looking logo. I bought three shirts but not that one.

Tales from the dead.

Skeleton found in garage.

Fairview Dr. - Druid Hills “Mega Yard Sale”

The location and advertising on every utility pole in Candler Park drew me to this event. I was disappointed when I found it to be a rerun of a sale held earlier in the summer. But there were a few new things in the yard of this large traditional brick manor house. The best find was a Pregnancy Belly Cast Kit. The box proclaimed it was an “enjoyable third trimester activity for the entire family”. The kit was unopened and one of the sellers did appear to be with child. Perhaps she had some other family activities planned for the third trimester. Other stuff scattered about included some handkerchiefs with names embroidered on them (Josephine, Cathy, Mabel), a small bodied travel guitar, a laptop computer that the seller said “needed work”, a large pair of Advent speakers, a ceramic Buddha, a pile of tote bags and an unassembled ceiling fan. A few books here included “Reading Lolita in Tehran”, “River of No Return”, “Historic Hotels of America”, “How to Make the Most of Every Media Appearance” and “The Pocket Book of Ogden Nash”
I bought nothing.
Druid Cir. – Inman Park “Moving Sale”

This sale was in the driveway of a large two-story home built of masonry blocks with an upper floor of Tudor accents. There was an extensive collection of clutter in the home’s driveway. Like many Inman park sales this one had stuff that appeared to have been sitting around for some time. Laid out on a tarp resting on a large pillow was a mounted buck head; near it were an antique yoke, two ceramic owls and some wicker baskets. On another tarp was a large collection of plush toys, on another tarp further down the driveway was a candle in the shape of three angels and a miniature knight in armor. Near the entrance to the driveway was some sort of fabric thing with a dog head, I was not sure if it was a costume or an unstuffed dog bed. There were many boxes of books scatter about the area. Some titles included ”Beyond Baghdad”, “Surely you’re Joking Mr. Feynman”, “The Long Short War” and travel guides to New Orleans, The Baltics and New Zealand.
I bought nothing.

Deer head at rest.

Soft dog object and box of travel guides.

Euclid Ave. - Inman Park “Yard Sale”

This sale was on the porch of a two-story duplex not far from Little Five Points. Crowded onto the porch were boxes of Lps from the 60’s through the 80’s, some women’s clothing, a disassembled ceiling fan resting in a chair, a plush toy Daffy Duck, a pillow with images of chicken on it, a box of tangled cables and a shelf of books. Among the books were “Long day’s Journey into Night” “Enamels, Enameling, Enamellists”, “Bastard Out of Carolina”, “Dictionary of Republicanisms”, “How The Dead Live” and Life Isn’t All Ha Ha Hee Hee”.
I bought nothing.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Saturday 7/29/06

A heat wave has enveloped the United States and this city is not exempt. Yes it is too hot to spend the day in yards filled with clutter so I make a quick survey of what’s nearby before the hellish heat of midday comes.

Iverson Ave. Candler Park “Moving Sale”

This is a rehash of the sale at this duplex last week. Things are moved about and I notice that the sellers now has a pair of fairy wings for sale. The box of books on working with Christian youth does not have any takers.
I spend little time here and once again buy nothing.

Leonardo St. – Lake Claire “Yard Sale”

There is not a lot in the yard of this small brick home near my home. Among the stuff gathered outside are a broken stand for a globe, a globe with out a stand, a bicycle, a pair of gigantic speakers, four bar stools, two heavy winter overcoats, a wet vac, an oversized coffee table, a metal animal trap and a key holder in the shape of a yellow hand.
I bought nothing.
Hampton Terrace – Lake Claire “Yard Sale’

This sale was not happening and if it was going to happen there was not much to happen. When I arrived a woman was hauling out a room divider made of wood and rope out the front door of her duplex. She said all she had was a few pieces of furniture.
I did not stick around to see the furniture.

Hemlock St. – Ormewood Park “Moving Sale”

Craigslist mentioned a large sale in Ormewood Park so I headed south on Moreland. At Hemlock was a moderate assortment of clutter in the driveway and front porch of a large bungalow. The stuff was watched over by two couples sitting in the shade of the porch. Among the stuff there was women’s clothing, some small rugs, some assorted cooking utensils and a few CDs. In a stack of books were “Sling and the Stone”, “Undaunted Courage”, “Dummies Guide to Puppies” and “The Book of the Film and The Story of My Life”. A few VHS tapes included copies of “Spinal Tap”, “Vision Quest” and “When a Man Loves a Woman”.
I also saw a large rag doll, a pair of rollerblades, some Indian batiks and a small cute figurine of a girl in a graduation gown.
I bought nothing.

Metropolitan Ave. –East Atlanta “Moving Sale”

This was a smaller sale on the curb in front of a Victorian bungalow. Hear a woman watched her twin toddlers and an assortment of household clutter. When I arrived she was striking a bargain with a man wishing to purchase a large television. On the curb was a disassembled ceiling fan, a power saw, a kerosene lantern and a car top cargo carrier. A box of books included “Georgia Entertains”, “Babyhood”, “Four Blondes”, “Book of the Courtesans”, “Girls with Be Girls” and “Heart of a Father”. There were also two bags of freshly picked figs on the curb.
I bought nothing.
Gilbert St. – Ormewood Park “Yard Sale”

This was a multiparty sale in the front yard of a home built out of a passenger rail car. Here four women a one man looked over their separate piles of goods they wish to divest themselves of. When I arrived a boom box was playing a Diamond Lil’s “Silver Grill Blues”. Here a found women’s clothes, a purse shaped like a bustier, a game entitled Dirty Minds, two commemorative bottles of soft drinks with what appeared to be a dominatrix on them, several button that said ‘Femme Mafia” and a wooden snake. There was a large assortment of books in each pile. Among them were many feminist titles as well as “Amusing Ourselves to Death”, ‘The Tao of Pooh”, “Sister Carrie”, “The Selected Poems of T.S. Elliot” and “The Portable Nietzsche”. On one pile I selected three books to purchase ‘ The Rape of Nanking”, “A History of the Breast” and “It’s the end of the world as we know it” a study of apocalyptic beliefs.

Bustier shaped purse and Femme Mafia buttons.

Soft drink with erotic image.

A game found on Gilbert St.

Friday 7/28/06

Lamont Dr. – Decatur “Estate Sale”

In attempting to make my life more productive, I have told me self to never wait in line at a sale. On this Friday morning I productively exercised at the YMCA for a good part of the morning then headed towards Decatur to visit this sale then run some errands. When I arrived the sale in this plain looking one story brick home had been going on for an hour and there was still a line of nearly 20 people waiting to get in. The last time I waited in line was also at a sale in Decatur that I emerged from great displeasure. So I told myself I would allow myself no more than 10 minutes of waiting.
After twenty minutes I found my self inside a crowded space filled with buyers. My stay here was reminisant of my visit to the Alhambra in Granada a few years ago. There were so many people on every side of me that it way difficult to fully realize where I was and what was happening there. There seemed to be only five rooms in this tiny crowded house. The entry living room was filled with tables displaying clutter including jewelry, bric a brac and serving pieces. Beyond that was a kitchen, a study filled with clutter and two bedrooms. Between these rooms was a bathroom with an assortment of old wicker furnishings placed in the tub.
I focused my attention on the den where a desk held a large pile of newspapers and ephemera. As a dilettante collector of American ephemera I immersed my self in the pamphlets of motels and tourist attractions from the Middle Atlantic States in the mid 20th century. After spending some time there I wandered through the rest of the home inspecting the remnants of the life of its former occupant. Aside from a kitchen crowded with cookware and appliances there was not a lot outside theses room that gave an indication of what sort of life had gone on here. The bedrooms were devoid of clothes and one lacked a bed. But on the dresser of one was an unopened package of My Nik is Sealed, an ointment for ending bleeding. In one a small hallway leading to the bedroom was a table laden with Xmas d├ęcor. On the table was a disagreeable looking Santa holding a Coke bottle. On a book case in the hallway I found a jumbled mass of books that included “The Best Cat Ever”, “Happiness”, “The Age of Reptiles”, “The Four Seasons Cranberry Book”, “The Dynasty of Abu” and “I Cured My Arthritis You Can Too”.

Table with angry Coke swilling Santa.

Unopened package of bleeding aid.
One of the bedrooms did not have a bed, perhaps its was sold already. On a dresser
next to where it may have been was a large pile of decorative dish towels. Among them was one saluting the Yankee Whaling business. Another more home made towel featured an embroidered chicken and a chick.

Dry your dishes with images of men stripping blubber off a dead whale.

More wholesome animal scene found on another dish towel.
The other bedroom did have a bed on it was a lifelike ceramic cat, a mink hat and a Popin Fresh doll stuffed into a plastic bag. I kept going back to the den drawn by the pile of ephemera. Other stuff that I observed in the den included a large ceramic Indian, some pipes and a strange looking figuring of a smiling horse.

Doughboy wraped in plastic.

Life like cat posed on bed.
After spending too much time in the overcrowded home, I took my stack of papers and booklets and asked what they wanted for it. The seller directed me to another seller who told me they would have to price every item individually. At that I laid the documents down and bid farewell to the estate buying nothing.

A venture I did not take home.

More of the ephemera I left behind.