Somewhere in the back of every over-packed closet is some long forgotten memory. A business card left in an overcoat pocket, a ticket stub, some object that did not quite make it to being tossed out in the trash, in an estate sale these items may resurface. Then have light cast upon them and be archived on the internet for all eternity.
Leonardo St. - Lake Claire "Estate Sale"
This sale was inside a smallish cottage in my neighborhood. Once many homes like this lined Leonardo St. Now they are being demolished to make way for more massive structures , oversized residences designed with mongrel mix of turn of the century styles. On the way in I met by a friend who told me this sale was worthless and that there was no reason to spend time with the assortment of bad junk. I responded that bad junk is often exactly what I seek. With this in mind I entered the home.
Inside I went directly up a narrow flight of stairs to the top floor. Here I found a converted attic turned into one room and several large closets. It was here I uncovered the wonders of the closets of Leonardo. In my first closet exploration I found a cache of old bills, bank statements, recipes, holiday cards, newspaper clippings and other faded papers. In one box I discovered a telegram from 1949 from the national paper company asking the receiver to please get in touch with them. A torn and yellowed Dear Abby column carried the headline “Thou shalt be a fine neighbor if ye followeth these 10 rules”. What appeared to be a scrap of paper with a recipe contained directions for making some home brew concoction. The recipe read as follows
8 pounds grapes
8 pounds sugar
1 boiling water
Desolve(sic) cup warm water
Cut up two Irish potatoes put in grapes
Set 28 days then mash juice out.
Put juice back in wait 3 weeks.
(this site assumes no liability for damages or legal actions resulting from the making or consumption of the product featured in this recipe).
In another box I found a paint-by-numbers canvas depicting a brightly colored parrot. Near it were several promotional photographs for a company that installed patio rooms.
In the rear of another closet I found more paint by numbers painting, these ones neatly framed. Some old clothing hung in the closet. At the very end of the rack was a Phantom of the Opera costume and mask.
Costume in a closet.
In a third closet (the attic build-out appeared to be mostly to create more closet space) I found mildew encrusted men’s shoes, a hard hat, a jumble of old but high-end photo gear, some neckties, a framed copy of the Declaration of Independence and an album of professional photographs of Atlanta shopping centers and office building of the early 1970’s.
In the single upstairs bedroom I found an old high school letter jacket with a large B on the front, some gift wrap, boxes of non descript xmas décor, more photo gear, an old copy of The Game of the States in it’s original box, and some books. Among the books were “Iron Shoes”, “God’s Gold Mine”, “Basket of Silver”, “The Rational Manager”, “Feed His Sheep”, “The Pack of Lies”, “Stories to Grow By”, ‘The Case of the Careless Cupid”, “The Natural Way to Draw”, “You Can Fix It”, “Byrd’s Great Adventure”, and “5000 on the Hoof”. Some small paperback cookbooks found nearby included “The Cool Cookbook” and “The Troy Bilt Owner’s Recipe Collection”.
Downstairs I found fewer things of interest. Seeing that the occupant at one time sold enclosed patio additions, I examined the patio room. Here I found nothing that looked like the glossy promotion photo that depicted a happy family enjoying the additional space in their home. Here I found a large roll of carpet with some bar bell weights atop it, a plate with a drawing of a sports car sticking out it’s tongue, a desk with a sign on it that read “I’m ugly but I work”, an unopened bottle of cheap Riesling, several power tools, a telephone and a filter for a fish pond.
Plate found in patio room.
The living and dining rooms were painstakingly ordinary. There was not much in the former since the sellers had set up their checkout area there. The dining room was filed with glassware, china and serving dishes, golf clubs and a family photo. In the kitchen I found old kitchenware and a bottle of Merlot. In a bedroom on the lower level I located, a framed family tree, some sheet, more paint-by-number works as well as some bowling trophies and old copies of Southern Living stashed behind an overstuffed chair.
I bought the album of old Atlanta buildings with the plan of having the photos placed on the Atlanta Time Machine website.
Trophies behind a chair.