Monday, June 09, 2008

The First Estate Sale of Summer

Ponce de eon Manor - Druid Hills "Estate Sale"
This week marked the start of my two-month summer vacation. I now begin sleeping late, attempting some long range art projects, relaxing, hanging out at the pool, reading more and a wide choice of other leisurely activities. One way I mark the start of this vacation time is to go to an estate sale during what are normally hours. Examining the newspaper I found a nonagenarian (the champagne of sales) estate sale located less than two miles from my home. Knowing that the first day of such sales often begin with long lines at opening time I decided to wait till over an hour after the sale opened to visit. But When I arrived at the brick ranch with Greek revival aspirations, I found a line of over 20 shoppers queued up at the entrance. But not being one to waste time in lines my first impression was to go back home and come back in the PM. But since I had not been to an inside the home estate event in some time and that I had nothing better to do (or at least I rationalized this at the time) I joined the line and began my wait. Dreadfully the wait took far longer that I assumed. I stood there for nearly an hour as the line slowing inched towards the entrance. Boredom was broken only when some early shopper exited carrying with them some booty acquired from waiting in line an even longer time. A man ahead of me in line said that he heard one guy arrived with his family at 6 AM to wait for admission four hours later. Those around me, most of whom were professional resellers complained about some estate sale they had visited the day before that had a sad selection of overpriced stuff. The line inched slowing forward. At one point I volunteered to help an older man load some antique bedroom furniture into an overload pickup truck. When I returned to the line the professionals were making remarks about his bad packing methods. Later a friend who made it in shortly after I arrived exited with a few Lps and some books. I asked if the wait was worth it, and he responded that there is a lot of stuff. When I finally made my way inside I did find a lot of stuff but also a lot of people. For attempting photographic documentation this was a major problem to me. Shooting pictures here reminded me of my visit to the Alhambra on a very crowded day. The Alhambra is massive but nearly all my photos showed mostly the backs of crowds of people looking at the Iberian landmark. Inside the home attempting to avoid the crowds I headed directly to the basement as son as I entered. In the cellar were at least four rooms filled with clutter and shoppers. But there was still more moving space and better visual aspects than the overcrowded floor above.

In the dim light I found shelves of hardback books with far more titles than I had time to peruse. Among the works I rapidly examined I found “The Drugstore Liberal”, “The Naked I”, “What’s Good for GM”, “The Liberated Man”, “and Welcome to Our Conglomerate…. You’re Fired”, “Compound Interest Tables”, “How to Attain and Practice the Ideal Sex Life” “The Art of Plain Talk”, ‘Street Walker” “All About Girls” and “How to Hypnotize”. This, like many basements I have examined contained the hopes and dreams of a man looking for a place of refuge. Pushed into a corner was an antique barber chair with red vinyl upholstery and some old broken beer signs. I imagined the man of the house had wanted at one point to be able to sit in the cool of the cellar quaffing a brew while resting in the barber chair reading “How to Hypnotize”.
Another part of the lower level was arranged as a bedroom with the accompanying furniture. On display there were some bedclothes, hats old photographs and toys. Other parts of the basement served the more traditional function of workshop and storage. A small workbench in a room the size of a closet had the usual accoutrements of nonagenarian craft, including the prized oilcan. I have often considered that all home repairs prior to 1970 simply required the use of an oilcan. Other stuff downstairs included a table heaped with holiday décor, old hat boxes from Davidson’s department store and file cabinets filled with data from long deceased business clients of the homeowner.
Climbing back up the narrow staircase past a wonderful naïve painting of a forest scene I attempted to examine the mob covered clutter of the main floor. But even in late morning it was still difficult.

Among the highlights of what I was able to glance at were two strange small piñatas resembling emaciated rabbits, seven large wall clocks that occupied nearly a third of the space in the dining room, a crowded and disorderly kitchen with drawers filled with tangled culinary tools and cabinets packed with nameless kitchenwares.

In a bathroom I would a lot of used personal care items on displays. Among them was a box set of soaps in an elaborate gift box. In the closet of the bath I found more used personal care items including two old bottles of rubbing alcohol, a partially used bottle of mouthwash and an open and very old container of dental floss.

I left with a copy of the Hypnotism book, an old railroad brochure and a 1960’s map of California 1. I also left disturbed that I had waited so long to have to deal with so many people.


Thrifty said...

I am eagerly awaiting the results of your foray into the delicate and ancient art of hypnotism.

Read fast, okay, please?

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