Monday, February 26, 2007

Saturday - Feb. 17th, 2007

Arizona Av. Lake Claire “Moving Sale”

This was the only nearby sale on this cold Saturday morning. The sale was held in the two front rooms of a frame bungalow near the land trust property. While I have been intruding on and in a sense exploiting people’s belongings for nearly three years now I felt as though I was intruding when I entered this cluttered property in my neighborhood. Perhaps it was that they had so little room to display the excess of their children’s belonging that they were attempting to divest themselves of or perhaps it was that I could see they did not have much of a chance to clean up the rest of the house for the sale. I got the feeling that this couple with several children felt bad that their house was in such disorder and that I was now on public display. I politely explained that I wished to take photos but with a tinge of guilt kept my lens away from the unkempt areas of the home and focused only upon the assembled clutter offered for sale.
Anyway the sale overall was not that interesting. Nearly all the stuff was an assortment of plastic children’s playthings. A typical item was a hard plastic Sponge Bob that appeared to vomit Playdoh or some other material. On a shelf of books that may have been for sale I did find “Spontaneous Healing”, “The Six Pillars of Self Esteem”, “Mama Makes Up her Mind”, “Conversations with God”, “Grab a Pencil”, “Little Bits of Wisdom” and “Straight from the Fridge Dad”.
I bought nothing.
Plastic toys amid the clutter.

Sponge Bob with open orafice.

Saturday, February 24, 2007


N. Superior Ave. - Decatur "Estate Sale"

Since I had the day off I checked out this sale inside a 50’s ranch style home between Emory and the Medlock neighborhood. Following my usual pattern I headed directly to the basement ignoring the well arranged materials displayed by the professional estate sellers in the front rooms. The basement was large and almost labyrinth like but it lacked the intense disheveled clutter that I so often hope for. In the largest room on this level I found a pool table converted to a ping-pong table laden with silver plated serving dishes, a variety of other dinnerware and small ceramics. Among the ceramics I found the figure of a sly looking Mandarin near a smiling snowman. Also on the table was a miniature Statue of Liberty encased in a Lucite obelisk and a commemorative ashtray created by telephone workers to honor the Bi-centennial.

Near the pool table was a table with pieces of a model railway and a box of sheet music containing a version of the Tarantella. The music offered an explanation of how the dance relieved the pain of spider bites. On the floor nearby were some stadium cushions, a box of old easy listening Lps, some old newspapers with headlines of an Apollo moon mission and a set of wicker doll furniture. The basement was extensive but there was not a lot of interesting clutter here. In one room I discovered a collection of fuzzy golf club covers and in another a workbench holding some power tools and two small Corinthian columns. Below the workbench was a box containing some photographs of a tropical vacation and a woman in a red dress holding wads of tissue.

Work bench with tools and columns.

After perusing the basement I ascended the stairway and explored the bedrooms on the upper level. In one I found the usual pile of clothes, linens, blankets and other fabric items sprawled in a now disorderly manner across a queen size bed. In the closets hung an assortment of women’s clothing including a garish embroidered vest with bar relief elephants on the pockets. In one bedroom I found a bulletin board put up in years past by some teenager. The board still hosted a glossy photo of Farrah Fawcett amid sports and fraternity logos and the faded flower from a boutonniere. Another bedroom contained a table laden with naked Barbie size dolls and clear plastic bags containing doll clothing and accessories. In the same room I found Halloween decor in the form of a three-foot scarecrow, a box of dominoes and various other games.
Faded memories of youth and Farrah.

Pile of naked dolls.

Box of Dominoes.

The kitchen contained a bland assortment of cooking utensils plates and glassware. A few mugs proclaimed such things as “I heart Grandma” and “All I want for Christmas is a hole in one”. A large living room held more games, a small selection of books that included “Investment Policies of Life Insurance Companies”, “Management Problems in Corporate Acquisitions”, “Our Visit to Israel” and “The Ten Commandments of Letter Writing that Gets Results”. There was also a cookbook produced by telecom employees. On notable figurine found in the living room was a blown glass likeness of a stern but colorful rabbit standing on its hind legs.
I bought nothing.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

2/10/2007 Another Cold Morning

I was not expecting much this morning and did not find much. Only two men dared put their belongings on display, as temperatures did not get above 50 degrees.

Benning St. - Candler Park “Yard Sale”

I found this sale in Craigslist. I was attracted to it since the ad mentioned photo equipment. Outside an older apartment complex the seller, bedecked in a wool hat and warm coat was setting up his sale. Here I found a Kodak slide projector, a digital clock, a cheap Polaroid, several cell phones, two nice camera bags, a coffee mug from the Olympics with a Greek motif and a collection of Princess Diana commemorative stamps and a three ring binder. The seller told me he got the stamp collection from his mother. He told me he used to live in England and had a selection of banners for UK soccer clubs. On a table I found a DVD for martial arts training, nearby were books on living in Costa Rica and a guide to the costal islands of Honduras. I bought a loupe for one dollar.

A mother's collection of Lady Di philately.

4th St. - Midtown “Moving Sale”
This sale was out of the cold and inside an apartment in one of Midtowns traditional quad apartment buildings. Just inside the door were a tire and four chrome wheels stacked neatly next to a peacock feather hanging on the wall. The apartment was crammed full of stuff and it was difficult to tell if the owner had been living this was for some time. On an occasional table was a pleasant arrangement of a keyboard, multi outlets and electrical timers. Near this display was a triple beam scale. The seller told me it belonged to his landlord but that he had found it on the street. He also told me the wheels and tires belonged to his landlord. I don’t know if part of the rental agreement was that the leaseholder keeps tires in his apartment. In what should have been a dining room I found a pile of Jaeggermister ID holders. The seller told me he was giving these out to everyone who bought something. In the same room was a rack of men’s clothes and a few dozen neckties. A case for CDs held copies of “Mariah Carey’s Greatest Hits”, Usher’s “Confessions”, “Songs from the Road to Enlightenment”, “Strauss Favorites” and “Kenny G Live”. Also in the apartment were a pair of roller blades and a massaging chair.
I bought nothing.

Free neckwear for buyers.

Auto accessories in a midtown residence.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Contrasting Estates In Avondale Estates 2/3/2007

Avondale Estates is a perplexing community. The aging Tudor community was once touted during the peak urban decline as the safest city in the Atlanta Metropolitan area. Today I had chance to visit the estate sales of two older denizens of this enviable close-in bedroom community. One home contained the detritus of a solid citizen who ventured from business acumen to the ramparts of Republican Christian alarmism. The other a possible Republican well who just faded away.

Dartmouth Ave. – Avondale Estates “Estate Sale”

This sale was in a compact Tudor home, typical of the community. Inside the home I found the professional resellers with their check out desk set up in the living room. As is my fashion I headed first to the basement hoping to find things less disturbed by the pillagers who had come on Friday. The basement was small area outfitted into a office space with shelves, a portioned bathroom and a work area. The shelves were lined with old Amway products, on top of a cluttered desk was a reel to reel tape deck, old Silvertone brand tapes with hand written labels, a camping lantern, old files, notebooks from Clemson containing engineering drawings, and a book entitled “Gullible’s Travels”. The Amway products included aging containers of Magic Foam, Anti-Soil, Neutral Odor and countless others. On a chest style freezer I found a box of slides depicting the same products, and a selection of old office supplies. Behind a stationary bike I found containers of plant food and a VHS tape entitled “Empty Tomb and Full Life”. On the walls was a no smoking sign, a novelty wanted poster and a green board showing a refund schedule. In the alcove bathroom I found a copy of the book “Praying with Confidence” next to the toilet.

Wanted poster on basement wall.

From the basement I headed up two flights of stairs to the second floor. There was not much left on this level. In one nearly empty bedroom I found a large painting of a pastoral scene on the floor next to a large piece of driftwood and a child’s rocking chair. In a closet I found some women’s clothes. On the wall was a framed copy of the first page of an illuminated Latin Bible. In another nearly empty room I found an old wooden ironing board with a pile of bedcovers atop it. A third room contained only an old encyclopedia.

Downstairs had been well picked through. In the kitchen were some old cooking implements, in a breakfast nook a collection of nondescript glassware glowed in the morning sunlight cascading through a window. In the dining room were some old children’s books, including a bizarre version of sleeping beauty that featured a meddlesome giant stinging insect. Nearby was also a box containing old sheet music.

The living room contained some furniture and a few décor items but it was the den that held the true secrets of this estate. Here I found a vast collection of books that depicted a decline from savvy business person to paranoid Christian. Among the books I found were “How I Raised Myself from Failure to Success in Selling”, “Cliches of Politics”, ”The God of Stones and Spiders”, ”A Time to Love a Time to Die” “My War”, “Global Peace”, “The Mark of the Beast”, “How Democracy Will Elect the Anti-Christ”, “When Y2K Dies”, “What ever Became of Sin?”, “Terror Over America”, “Prophecy at Ground Zero”, “Old Age is Not for Sissies”, “How the Clinton Clergy Corrupted a President”, “The Beginning of the End”, “Guide to Survival”, “How to Survive and Prosper”, “Last Days in America”, “How to Be Rich”, “The Home Invaders” and “Future Youth, How to Reverse the Aging Process”. In addition to the books the room held a collection of commemorative plates with images of songbirds and events in the life of Abraham Lincoln. A box in this room contained a few dozen gosple, patriotic and inspirational Lps. One notable recording was “What Price Freedom” by The Re-generation.
I bought nothing.
Music for regeneration.

Reading matter for the last days in Avondale Estates.
Darthmouth Ave.- “Estate Sale”

This event just across the street was in a more traditional home and was of a much smaller sale. Only three rooms of the house were open and there was much newer and much less stuff on display. There was little clutter to speak of in the two front rooms, just some tradition but newer furniture and china. In the back den, which was a large room I found the bulk of the clutter. A lot of it was a variety of Xmas and Thanksgiving décor. One of the standout items here was a wreath that said “Yorkie Greetings”, it carried the image of a dog and was covered in faux fall foliage. On a table was a selection of house wares, clutter and décor items. Among the stuff was a plush multicolored GOP elephant, a plate with the image of a man surrounded by waiters in a restaurant, some cookware, a few Barbie Dolls, a pillow with the stitched facsimile of a Yorkie, some old 45s and a dish towel saluting the coming of the Millennium. Off the back room was bedroom with a bed, a TV and several large items of home health equipment and a wheel chair.
I bought the Millennium dishtowel.

Wreath with canine theme.

Pillow found among the clutter.

Chair covered in fall decor.

I also stopped by a so-called estate sale at a small business site in Scottdale. This was not an estate sale but simply a deceptive scheme to sell old furnishings under the guise of an estate sale. The sellers seemed suspicious of me and for good reason.