Monday, September 22, 2008


After being wary of social networking sites ( mostly because they are known to be such time wasting activities)I have been expanding my presence on Facebook. Look for Yard Sale Addict in groups and please join up. You can look at my personal presence in Facebook as well by searching for Tom Zarrilli.
I'm still have no presence on MySpace since that site gives me a headache every time I look at it.

Saturday 9/13/08

My yard sale barometer is the utility poles at Clifton at McLendon around the corner from my home. On a Friday evening I forecast the next day’s activity based on the amount of signs that can be found at this intersection. On Friday evening returning home from seeing a show at Horizon theatre I saw none. This morning I left expecting an ebb tide of yard sale and found my barometer to be sadly accurate.

Highland Terrace – Virginia Highlands “Yard Sale”

I stumbled upon this sale on my way to one of two sales listed in Craigslist. The sale appeared large but it was disappointing. Here books were stacked upon a rock wall surrounding the house, a number of house wares and children’s things were in the yard and more stuff was on the porch and driveway. Among the supply of reading matter I found” Wearing Dad’s Head”, “Running with Scissors”, “Faraway Places”, “Girl with Curious Hair”, “Dogs in Hats”, “How to Be Good” and about a dozen books on childbirth and parenthood. In the driveway was a large mounted photograph of Katherine Hepburn and some large plastic playthings. Around the porch was a plastic torso and the accoutrements of a wrestling costume, a handmade vase with the quote “A woman of valor more precious than rubies” and a large landscape painting sitting on the porch swing. An open door led to a living room were some clothing was for sale. The floor of the room was littered with toys I could not tell if they were for sale or if the children had just failed to pick up after themselves.
I bought nothing.

Yard sale or just kids not putting away their toys?

Art on the porch.

Kentucky Ave. - Virginia Highlands “Yard Sale”

This sale was a major disappointment. At the site were two adjacent sales both of which deserve little commentary. I don’t know if it was the dreary because of my expectations or simply due to of the blandness of the goods offered. On one side of the street a collection of toys, dreary house wares and boxes of popular novels were lined up in front of a stonewall. Across the street more toys, mostly Princess oriented items and more dreary house wares were crammed into the driveway. The more I looked the less I saw. Examining the books I sought anything of interest. Among the titles I perused were “The Modern Man’s Guide to Life”, “Alter Your Life”, “Walk in the Woods”, “What they Don’t teach You at Harvard Business School”, “Men Are From Mars, Women are From Venus”, “The World Is Flat”, “The Celestine Prophecy” and “Clothes and the Man”. Instead of opening a thesaurus searching for synonyms for tedium and dreadful I will just say that I spent little time here and bought nothing.

View of boring sale.

N. Decatur Rd. Morningside ‘Yard Sale”

There was almost nothing at this sale in the Greek revival columned driveway of a single story home. A table with a necktie, a few plastic dinosaurs and an empty case for glasses, a rack of women’s clothes, a small bureau holding an empty water jug and two brass plates, this sale bordered non-existence. There should be some credit given for artistic minimalism plus they did have an Obama sign in the yard.
I bought nothing.

Reindeer Rd. –Merry Hills “Estate sale”

When I saw the add for this sale I was hoping it was a reprise of a sale I attended in this neighborhood four years ago when I first started this site. That sale was a house packed with delightful colorful color and a mysterious five-foot tall sculpture of a strange apelike creature named Kong Loo. Over the years I have continually pondered the presence of the cryptic ceramic simian in that home. But sadly the sale was not in the same house but instead in the yard of another ranch home. Here two women presided over a good collection of assembled clutter that would be the highlight of today’s yard sale adventures. Here in the yard was a gathering of some of the most appreciated (at least by my standards) yard sale artifacts – drinking games and accessories, pornography, art and law enforcement memorabilia. Among these things were the Beer Shot game whose label said it brought out the best in you. If your best is puking and farting. Other intoxication accessories included a “What the F*uck game and coasters with definitions of various stages of drunkenness on them. Near the intoxicating game was one of those metal clipboard boxes used by police officers to store and write citations upon. There was also a framed collection of old police badges from several colleges and schools. Artwork included an original Finster and R.A. Miller, a photograph of a squirrel, a sketch of Tom Selleck (or someone like him), a framed print of Dogs playing craps and a bas-relief of Starry Night. The pornography was mostly the soft-core variety consisting of Playboys and other magazines stuffed into two boxes next to a framed print of a pig.
Some other wonderful things here included a turtle shell, a small statue of a Native American holding some sort of animal skull, vials of vampire makeup, a plastic pigs nose. (At which the seller remarked” put lipstick on it and it’s a Sarah Palin costume”, several CHS tapes of ‘Just Kidding” a practical joke program, a copy of the Desperate Housewives Game, a rack of barbells, a suitcase full of house wares and a copy of “The Bobsey Twins at Home”
I bought nothing but thanked the sellers for their splendid array of materials.

Art work found in Merry Hills.

Vampire makeup and Palin costume.

Box of adult magazines.

N. Parkwood Dr. Decatur – “Garage Sale”

This sale was in the rear garage of a new looking brick duplex. Here was an interesting balance of Star Wars collectibles, Halloween décor, Xmas items and religious books. The Halloween dominated the garage with a life-size grim figure of a skull headed ghoul standing next to a pair of large faux gravestones. The Star Wars stuff included a Chewbacca full head mask that was created out of cheap polyester fake fur next to it was a full size plastic C3PO mask. Other Star Wars memorabilia included Yoda, C3PO and Chewbacca ceramic objects of undetermined use. Among the reading matter were the following titles “The Jesus Dynasty”, “The Templars Secret Island”, “Bloodline of the Holy Grail”, “The Gospel Code”, “The Messianic Legacy”, “The Jesus Papers” and “Misquoting Jesus”
Other stuff in the basement included a pair of wicker pedestals, a shelf made from miniature surfboards and a large faux palm tree.
I bought nothing.

Possible Yoda toothbrush holder and C3PO ashtray.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Last Sales of August 8/30/08

Gaskill St – Cabbagetown “Yard Sale”

My last few forays into Cabbagetown have been very encouraging as I stumbled onto porches crammed with strange clutter and looked over by intriguing individual. Some of who offered me early morning alcohol. Today’s Cabbagetown visit was on the dry side. Here I found piles of reading with a mixture of cooking philosophy and literature. Among the volumes covering most of the small yard were “The Portable James Joyce”, “A Guide to Cat Care”, “Like Water for Chocolate”, “History of Philosophy”, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”, “Things fall Apart”, and “A Burnt out Case”
On a table in front of the house I found two boxes of hair dye, a VCR, four rolls of Tri X film, a bottle of glue, several sketch pads and a lint roller.
I bought nothing.

Unused film in Cabbagetown.

Emerson Ave – Ormewood Park “Yard Sale”

There was not much here at this sale near where I used to live in Ormewood. In front of a large two story home some clothing hung from a tree, a few other articles of clothing were stacked on a massage table and on a card table was a hand thrown vase, a set of coasters, a plastic bag of ceramic drawer pulls, a few wine glasses and a copy of “The Audacity of Hope” sitting on top of a copy of “La Cuisine De France”
I bought nothing.

Brownwood Ave. – East Atlanta “Moving Sale”

In the driveway of this bungalow I found a microwave oven, several lamps, a clock, a dog dish, some old videotapes and some men’s dress clothes that fit me. The seller said her spouse no longer worked a job that required him to dress nicely. So I bought three Brooks Brothers shits, a lightweight wool suit and an ultra-suede jacket.

Gresham Ave. – East Atlanta “Yard Sale”
In the yard of a small bungalow I found several tables of clutter a things in boxes on the grass. On the table was a pair of flamenco dancer dolls, a tub of sun block, and a pair of bookends with a miniature mace, a Clayton County police insignia, a pink plastic pig and a small Cooko Clock.
On the grass were women’s shoes, a box of old audio cables and an old gallon bottle with a cloth snake protruding from the top. In a box of books I found “Hermit Crab Care”, “The Carnival Midway Beckons Us”, “Perfume- The Art and Science of Scent”, “The Artist’s Way” and “Do It Yourself Shiatsu”
I bought nothing.

Box of stuff in East Atlanta

Bottle with snake.

Kirkwood “Yard Sale”
This was one of those sales where you could not quite understand if it was a yard sale or just a yard full of junk that evolved into a sale. I had a feeling I had seen some of this stuff before a nearby location at some other time.
Here a large collection of clutter was gathered or living in the driveway, courtyard or gravel parking lot between a home a metal building. In a more orderly display I found a 48 star US flag, a Bud Man figure, a quartet of small ceramic ducks, a half empty bottle of fancy vinegar, a George Foreman grill, a bottle of Scotch that had been turned into a cigarette dispenser,some old unopened 8 oz cans of PBR, a coffee maker and countless other artifacts. Propped up on a fence was a large Firestone Tire sign, a painting of an elk, a shadow box exhibiting six types of nautical knots, a sketch of a duck and a pamphlet about an armless musician.
In less order were some oversized plastic toy cars, a rack of clothing, garden tools, Xmas décor and an old bicycle.
The most outstanding item here (and the item the seller was most proud of) was a baby cradle created out of an old whiskey barrel. I could not find the good housekeeping seal of approval on the cradle.

Story of armless musician.

Miniature cans of beer.

Cradle fashioned from whiskey barrel.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Sunday 8/24/08

DeKalb Ave. - Candler Park "Yard Sale"

I visited this sale somewhat late on Sunday morning. It was put together be a photographer I know and another artist whose yard sale in Midtown I visited and documented a few years ago. The sale was next to the seller’s house in the parking lot of a new mega loft/condo development. Several tables covered in clutter stretched across a few parking spaces of the lot. Larger items were placed on the asphalt. Among the larger items were a vacuum cleaner, an ornate mirror with a gold frame, one of those oddly shaped pieces of exercise gear that assists one with sit ups, a metal bed frame and a number of framed artworks. Perhaps the largest single item was a chair made into a sculpture commemorating drive in movie theatres. The seat of the chair was a miniature tableau of a drive-in with tiny cars. The presence of the cars made the chair useless as an actual piece of furniture since sitting on them would damage the piece and be highly uncomfortable.
At one end of the sale a large set of burglar was being used as a clothing rack for some articles of apparel that the seller had used in photo shoots. Among the stuff hanging on the wrought iron were several wigs, a large feather boa, a plaid shirt, some diaphanous accessories, a pair of angel wings, a pair of devil wings, a leather coat and a baseball cap. On a table next to the clothing were a pair of stiletto-heeled boots, some vintage Coca Cola bottles, a lantern and a glass brick. On the asphalt I found a box filled with decks of role playing cards such as Magic, Net runner and Echelons of Fire. Two boxes of books indicated a mixture of taste. In them I found works by Zig Ziglar, L. Frank Baum and Laura Schlesinger. Some titles included “The Faces of Injustice”, “All Men are Jerks”, “The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands”, “Gender Issues in Art Education” and “Basic Home Repair”. In another box I found a property investment course that appeared never to have been opened.
Other stuff scattered about included a 35mm SLR, a darkroom safelight, an empty commemorative liquor bottle with a likeness of Humphrey Bogart on it, a box of empty Japanese or Korean soft drink bottles, a large clock with a nativity scene on it, an unexploded roman candle, a cordless phone and a small plastic snowman.
I bought nothing.

Uncomfortable chair saluting drive-in movie theaters.

High heeled prop from a photo shoot.

Empty Asian drink bottles.

Safelight and three other items an artist no longer needed.

Monday, September 01, 2008

saturday 8/23/08

McLendon Ave. – Lake Claire “Yard Sale”

I decided this morning to be especially lazy and visit only sales that were a visible from my home or from another yard sale. Well that was not really my intention when I awoke but the first sale could be seen from my front porch. In turn the second sale could be seen from the first sale.
This sale was in front of a quad apartment building at the end of my street. Gathered on the steep grassy entrance to the building was a rack of clothing, a sofa, skiing gear and more clothing piled in boxes on the ground. On a table were a TIVO, some kitchen-wares, a small inkjet printer and a bottle of skin cream. Below the table was a box of VHS tapes of popular movies, a box of small picture frames and a box of purses. In a box of books I spotted “Fast Food Nation”, Honeymoon with my Brother”, “Etiquette Guide to Japan”, “The Second Half of Life” and “My So Called Normal Life”. There really was not much here that was outstanding other than a bright red fuzzy lampshade and a small sculpture of two shirtless lovers in a reclining embrace.
I bought nothing.

Shirtless embrace.

Clifton Ave. - Candler Park “Moving Sale”
I could see the edge of this sale from a vantage point at the prior sale just a block away. This was a small sale of stuff inside and outside a small bungalow behind the Flying Biscuit. Walking past the crowd of Biscuit patrons waiting to be called inside so they could order their platters of organic eggs I made my way to this sale. Outside were a few small pieces of furniture and a vase in the shape of a Puffin. Leaning against the home were several framed pastoral art prints of country life and a large print of an F-16 flying low and in formation. Other stuff outside included a shelf of popular novels, three small plush bears, a copy of “Chocolate for a Woman’s Soul”, some small kitchen appliances and some large candles. There were even less inside just a few pieces of living room furniture and a few more kitchen things.
I bought nothing.

F-16 and rural scenes.

Four Years on....

I never intended to do this site for this long. But whenever the end of August rolls around I always feel that my Saturday (and occasional Sunday) mornings for the past years were not wasted. A few weeks ago anticipating another anniversary for Yard Sale Addict I took an inventory of my past work. Looking back I have documented over 722 yard and estate sales. I have published online over 1828 photographs. The work has resulted in four exhibitions at galleries in Georgia and Tennessee. I have received a multitude of good reviews and write-ups in the press both locally and nationally. My yard sale installation at the Atlanta Contemporary Arts Center was included as one of the top ten visual arts events of 2006. In all I’m find myself a bit surprised by it all. But two dreams have been deferred- where is my book deal and where is my NPR feature?
Getting a book published is one of those -100 things you should do before you die things. I’m not dying but the guy who wrote the 100 Things to Do Before you Die book did recently pass away. Sadly he did not do all the things in the book before he left this world. I have been told what I need to do to get published and I just haven’t done those things so, maybe the fifth year of YSA will see that dream come to a reality. As for the NPR thing, well when I started I thought that this site just sounded like something All Things Considered or Morning Edition would cover. I was called by one of NPR’s programmers last year but I never did make it on the air. So this year I’m waiting for another call.
In other dreams I would like to have a show at the Whitney, be represented by the Saatchi Gallery and receive a McArthur Fellowship.
I would also like to increase my fiscal reward for these years of work? So please click on the ads on the sidebar as often as possible.
I am very pleased to see what I am doing has paved the way for others. Most notably Yard Sale Bloodbath out of Seattle. Megan and Jenny’s site is fun and well conceived. I still don’t know what they do with all that stuff in their trunk. But I would most of all like to thank all those who read this site (please leave more comments) and especially all those who put their belongings out in their yards early on weekend mornings and tolerate my invasive perusal of their clutter and the clicking of my camera’s shutter.

If I can't get a show at the Whitney the Art Institute of Chicago will be fine.