Friday, April 25, 2008

Saving a Tree and the clutter of Decatur

The full blown yard sale season appeared to have opened up this Saturday as I noticed signs in several neighborhoods on Friday night while driving to an exhibit Cindy was having at the Atlanta Photography Center. This morning I opted for hitting the neighborhood sale in Decatur and a quick stop at a benefit sale in my own neighborhood.

Save Grandma Gordon Sale – Lake Clair

Grandma Gordon is a name given to a threatened Pecan tree on Dekalb Ave that is facing the inevitable axe of development unless a citizen’s rally stops the chopping. Located on a small lot on Dekalb Ave. The tree was once part of the Gordon Plantation. General Gordon was a not so distinguished Civil war hero and politician who later grew pecans at this site. The effort to save the tree is noble and I am always for more green space but with the housing downturn and rising food prices for the developer it might be a better investment to keep the tree. Today a local gallery owner organized a benefit to support saving the tree. The sale is held on the parking lot of a car repair shop within site of the tree. Like a lot of benefits people don’t always bring their best stuff but it was a good sale nonetheless. Among the stuff was old Peter Paul and Mary lps, a box of old medical supplies, some canisters shaped like vegetables, candles, framed dried flowers, a metal tapping art kit and three aroma clocks in their original boxes. I spotted two videotapes –“30 Days to Happiness” and “21 Days to Self Discovery”. Among the books there were “Almanac of the Environment”, “Hey Nostradamus”, “Illustrated Elements of Tai Chi”, “Closing Time” and a LSAT study guide.”
I bought nothing.

Box of unused medical supplies.

Aroma clocks help save a tree.

Decatur Great Lakes Community Sale

The Great Lakes neighborhood is the most upscale part of now fashionable Decatur. The name comes from the existence of Huron, Superior, Erie and Michigan Avenues in the area. But there are a few other lake streets there including the not so great Champlain and distant alpine Lucerne and Geneva. There is no Ontario or Salt. Perhaps these aquatic streets were developer’s dreams that never took shape. There is also no lake in the great Lakes Neighborhood. But I will not make an issue of this since my own neighborhood Lake Claire has no lake as well.

But there were yard sales in excess here today. This is a yearly event that I think I have covered here in the past. If a determined reader is interested in perusing through my archives please post a comment letting me know what year and month I covered the prior event.

Regardless I wanted to check out this sale not because of the quantity of sales (the ad said over 50) but because of what I had said about Decatur in an article in Atlanta Magazine. In the May issue you will find an article on my work along with half a dozen of my photographs. In the article I say that Decatur is a good place to find children’s stuff. So Part of my work today was to find if this was true. From what I saw today I will respond whole-heartedly – yes. Decatur yard sales have more children’s stuff than even families with multitudes of children would care to see. But there was a lot of other interesting stuff and even some interesting children’s things.
As for the kid’s stuff, there were bins and boxes of toys aplenty including on of bright plastic dinosaurs, and two boxes full of Pez Dispensers. (The sellers said collectors took quite a few in the early AM) and the expected bins of action figures. There were not as many over sized plastic play sets as one might expect, perhaps not tasteful enough for the upscale neighborhood. But one sale did have an elaborate kid’s puppet theatre. There was also the usual assortment of strollers and infant accessories found wherever there are growing children.

Assortment of Pez Dispensers.

But today Decatur showed that it is still an eclectic community. One man’s sale featured framed vintage photographs taken at a European nude beach. a frightening large sculpture of a human hand and several retro light up religious figures.
Hand sculpture at a more interesting sale.

Another home presented clutter that looked more like what one expects to find in Inman Park. Here was a large load of antique stuff that appears to have been stored in a basement for some time. Among the stuff here was a collection of old birdcages, a bucket full of carved wooden angels, old sheet music, an array of baskets hanging from a clothesline, and board games from the 70’s. There was a bag marked Mardi Gras Party, attached to it was a list indicating 6 necklaces, 16 masks, 21 crabs, 10 lg. Crayfish, 3 sm crayfish, 5 mini tabascos, 1 voodoo doll & lots and lots of pepper. All this made a definitive recipe for Fat Tuesday. There was boxes of old printed material in the street at this sale including old National Geographics, Richie Rich comics, old religious tracts, a copy of Wee Wisdom -a character building magazine and an old paperback entitled “The Web of Life”. On the curb was an assortment of wooden things that appeared to be broken, I could not tell if they were throwing them away or selling them.

Another notable sale was the guy who created outstanding signs for all his merchandise. Most of the stuff he was selling was very kitschy including a Marshmallow Peep Maker, a set of Peep party lights, a Sideshow Bob figure and a set of Seinfeld playing cards. On a tree he had hung some clothing where he offered a free Tom Jones shirt with the purchase of a bobble head.

Free shirt offer.

There was a lot of other strange stuff in the neighborhood this day including a very oversized (4 foot) beer stein, a Halloween miniature city, an old plaster skull and a very dirty old recliner that had holders for two beer cans. The seller was kind enough to pose his dog in the chair as I photographed it.

Plaster skull and tea bags.

Dog posing in recliner.

There were also a few notable works of arts found around the neighborhood including a angry looking multicolored cat, a scary blue snow queen and a bizarre big eyed painting showing a woman playing a lyre with a child on her back.
Big eyed mother and child.

Angry Queen in Blue.

The most notable strange item was a resplendent pheasant pelt. When I saw it for one dollar I had to have it. I purchased it under the guise of using it in some conceptual art project. When I got home Cindy remarked that it looked like road kill.


Monica said...

I would of loved the free Tom Jones shirt!!! HA!!!

Poodlekiss said...

What are you going to do with the road kill? I hope you don't mind I posted a photo on my blog of a dog you photographed on a porch at a yard sale.

Chris said...

Love the Monster Yardsale sign. How many monsters were they selling? And did you buy any? :)

Bob Wall said...

wow, this is some serious garage buyer lol

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