Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Xmas and Happy Holidays

To all those who visit this site and to everyone who has supported my work here over the years may you have a relaxing and clutter-free holiday. I wish everyone the greetings of the season and look forward to bringing to the world more documentation of the driveways of divestment in the coming new year.
Finally I ask all of you reading this to please click on some on the ads above so I can make some cash for my efforts.

Ten ways of looking at Santa

“Your mother would really like this Christmas Crap”
Overheard comment; spoken by a father to his toddler son at a yard sale.

Since I’ve been doing this site for over three years I now take the liberty of presenting retrospective work at year’s end. As now I offer ten somewhat disturbing views of Santa as seen from past posts.

(My apologies to Wallace Stevens and his far better poetic ways of looking at of blackbirds.)

Among twenty spring yard sales,
The only non selling –thing was the eye of the Santa.

He was of four sidse, like a box In which one could place useless things of the holidays.

The Santa shoots pool in the autumn winds. It was a small part of the assembled clutter.

I do not know which to prefer, the dimness of a basement or the beauty of bad craft, The disfigured Santa leering or just after.

O thin men of Virginia Highlands, Why do you attempt to sell triangular Santas? Do you not see how the Father Christmas cannot have three sides?

I know noble holiday accents and lucid, inescapable decor; But I know, too that the Santa does not carry a gun or kill bulls in a ring.

When the flat Santa was found in the attic, he marked a nautical edge, one of many circles.

At the sight of emaciated Santas bound with masking tape, offered in sacrifice in a bright light, even the bawds of euphony would cry out sharply.

The morning is moving to afternoon. The Santa must be left unsold.

It was seen in an ad in Craiglist that morning. It was on the porch. And it was going to rain. The pointy headed Santa sat on a card table.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

One sale on a warm day in December -12/8/07

Woodward Ave. - Grant park "Yard Sale"

I had almost given up on sales for the rest of the year as there were nearly no sellers posting ads for nearby sales in Craigslist this weekend. Getting in my car I drove past bare utility poles lacking any signs indicating yard sales to this one sale in the northern end of Grant Park. Here in the small front yard and porch of an old frame bungalow I found my sale for the day. There was not a lot here. Some books were spread out on the dead leaves of the slopping front yard, a table had been set up on the curb and a few things had been arranged near the front porch. The table on the curb held a colorful but somewhat sad looking collection of Xmas decor. Among the books laid out on the ground were “More growing Up Catholic”, “Sex Preferences”, “The Anglophile”, “The Queen”, “Introductory Psychology through Science Fiction”, “Motherhood, the Second Oldest Professions” and “Same Sex Unions”. On a table near the porch were some old VHS tapes. The films there included Mandingo, Code of Silence, Dumb and Dumber, Dying Young and Steel Dawn. Up the steps and around the porch I found a number of old looking household items such as a single mason jar, empty eyeglass cases, some small candles, an old enamel covered coffee pot, an old roll of shelf paper and a pair of swim fins. A few boxes on the ground held a pair white plush bears, a jigsaw puzzle and an assortment of small Tupperware containers. Nearby in a plastic milk crate was a fully disassembled ceiling fan. I told the seller that ceiling fans were the objects I most commonly see that never sell. He told me that he knew that as he piled some other clutter over the fan.
I had to leave the sale prematurely when Cindy phoned to tell me that someone had seen my lost cat Tony. I bought nothing, then searched for Tony. I did not find the missing feline.

Books arrayed among the dead leaves of late Autumn.

More Xmas items at a cheap price.

Swim fins for sale in the off season.

Box filled with containers.

A quick visit to a basement before the Geography Bee 12/1/07

McLendon Ave. - Lake Claire "Estate Sale"

I was on my way to the county Geography Bee to coach my team of third graders when I came upon this sale. The only areas of the house open to buyer were the basement and the garage. Going through the back door I headed down the narrow staircase to the small basement of this frame bungalow. It appeared that they had just put some sign and price sticker on things here and had arranged nearly nothing. Old cans of paint set on shelves next to packages of insecticide and opened containers of cleaning products. Mixed in were assorted Xmas decorations, coils of wire, assorted bits of hardware in jars and boxes, and some coffee mugs. Larger Items found in the dim space included a wheel chair, a rocking chair with a seat in need of repair and a humidifier with a large pot of artificially flowers on top of it. On the floor were some old issues of Hemming’s Motor News and some plastic plaques depicting a variety of animals.
The showpiece of the old garage was a massive ‘62 Pontiac with its round taillights protruding out of the small wooden structure. A sign indicated the vehicle had already been sold. In the portion of the garage not occupied by the Pontiac was more unsorted clutter like I found in the basement. On two card tables set a selection of half empty containers of cleaning products offered for sale to anyone passing by. The old man who watched over the event asked me if I had known the owners. I wanted to tell him I felt like I did.
I bought a half dozen coffee mugs for 25 cents each.
I then headed on to the Geography Bee where my team overwhelmed their opponents and won first place.

Images of wildlife in the basement.

Flowers among the clutter in a dim space.

A Grand vehicle in a small space.