I’m ambivalent about community wide sales. They do offer a lot of different sales in close proximity to one another but the quantity often over come the quality. Kirkwood is a neighborhood just across the tracks from my home that has been the site of more and more interesting sales in the past few years. I think that Kirkwood’s more recent gentrification has been the reason for this. In Lake Claire middle class established households have already divested themselves of the strange collected things of misspent youth. While in Kirkwood I still see the detritus of Goth lifestyles, Betty Page clothing, manga motifs and whatever other subcultures may have absorbed people’s lives. In a way the appearance of a community wide sale indicates a neighborhood has come full term and are now no longer an outpost of urban pioneers but now an enclave of bourgeois life. Today’s neighborhood wide event showed both the old and the new lifestyles of Kirkwood.
I’m not sure how the sale was organized but most of the signs said “charity sale” and a map of the sales indicated that it funded the charitable work of a local fraternity.
A number of the sales will remain unnamed, as they were small events with little more than children’s clothes and playthings and a few discarded household items such as oversized loungers. But I did find some treasures and delights at these sales.
This was in the fenced in backyard/court of a frame bungalow. Here the hoarders of a lot of 70’s retro stuff were divesting their collection. Here I encountered Terry Coffee, a local reseller purchasing a 1960’s style cocktail bar. Among the clutter on display here were a number of tacky framed protestant religious artworks, boxes filled with plastic toys and pez dispensers, a life-sized ceramic chicken, an old Atari game set, a butterfly chair, a pair of crutches, a box of door knobs, boxes of comic books and an old TV set. Among some books I found “Gluttony”, “My Cousin My Gastroenterologist”, “Dreams of My Russian Summers”, “The Life to Come”, “Of Love and Shadows”, “Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas”, “The Woman and the Ape”, “The Artist’s Way”, “Design of Wood Structures” and “Descent into Hell”.
Old gaming device and spiritual artwork.
This was a household in transition. They were selling their framed Disney cartoon cells, a fancy case for holding and displaying children’s teeth and stacks of past copies of the magazine “Punk World”.
This was a very small sale with just a few things in a man’s front yard. Here I found a pair of leather chaps, a pink feather boa, a bright Xmas skirt with marabou trim and several bunches of plastic grapes.
This was my favorite sale in Kirkwood. The clutter was crowded onto wraparound porch of a large two story Victorian home. There was just enough jumble and chaos to make this sale a delight. Here I found a variety of remote controlled toys, including a fearsome looking bug, fighting robots, some helicopters and other vehicles. Old electronics were bulging out of plastic bins. There were all sorts of variety of networking hardware, tangles of cables, computer components, clock radios and car stereos. In one box was an old Richard Nixon mask and disassembled computer parts. One larger toy featured was a Terminator II action toy done in the guise of rock 'em sock 'em robots with Swartzenegger going at fisticuffs with the shape shifting killer android cop. On a table was a stack of large spools of network cabling. Other stuff included several sewing machines, some old Lps, a few items of furniture, old small kitchen appliances and some books. Among the books were “Gay Travel A to Z”, “Dr. Atkins New Diet Cookbook”, “Professional Construction Management”, “Construction Productivity Improvement” and “Myst, the Official Strategy Guide”
I bought nothing in Kirkwood.
Outside of Kirkwood I came across three other sales.
Candler St. – Candler Park “Moving Sale”
This was the sale of an older long time resident of the neighborhood who was sadly moving away. She even told me she was sad about moving. Here like the sale on Howard Ave. there was a large collection of confused clutter heaped onto an old porch. This porch was smaller and the clutter was more confused. Among the finds there were bins filled with faux flowers, boxes of old candles, an oversized plastic Victorian styled dollhouse, the road case of a bass drum, some ugly lamps from the 70’s, an assortment of plastic tubes marked not for sale,a large jar of marbles, a hand decorated mirror, stacks of boxes of Xmas lights and a multitude of old plates and kitchenwares. On the sidewalk and along the side of the home was an assortment of building supplies, disassembled shelving and furniture and unidentifiable objects.
I bought nothing but I did admire the woman’s fine old style garden that consisted of countless potted plants in her front yard.
Mirror and marbles.
Oakdale Ave. – Candler Park “Fund Raiser for Grady HS Orchestra”
This event was in the front yard of an older home in Candler Park. Since it was a fundraiser the merchandise here had some from a variety of households. The goods were arrayed with considerable originality. Among the stuff there were old Lps and 78’s in the grass resting upon a rusting garden fence, old iron cookware scattered on the dirt, a Santa figure with a baby doll head attached to it’s forehead and old wooden boxes filled with hardware from old homes. In a box were the following books “Cloth of Dreams”, “Acts of Light”, “The Textile Art” and “The Book for People Who Do too Much”. Two interesting items at this sale were a pillow in the shape of a scooter that resembled a frog if you turn it upside down and a device for making square eggs.
I bought nothing.
Device for creating square eggs.
Old records artistically arrayed.
Alta Ave. – Inman Park “Yard Sale”
This sale was in the grassy area in back of a condo/apartment development. Upon approaching the sale I was startled by the brightness of the pink dresser and cabinet near the sidewalk. Stuff strewn onto tarps on the grass included boxes of dolls, children’s clothing, women’s clothing and several items of décor with crescent moon motifs. Among the reading matter there was “Smart Couples Finish Rich”, “How to Make Millions in Real Estate in 3 Years Starting with No Cash”, and “Growing Up Native American”
Amid the clutter on one of the tarps was a Hannah Montana wig in its original box. Perhaps this is an indication that young Ms. Cyrus’s star has began to wan.
I bought nothing.
Used Hannah hair in original box.