This morning I visited sales with a reporter and a photographer from the Atlanta Constitution. The reporter was doing a story for the business section on yard sales and was employing my expertise for the story.
McLendon Ave. - Candler Park “Moving sale”
In the front yard of an older bungalow a bohemian young couple were selling off their belongings to move to Guatemala to make music and art. They did not have an excessive amount of clutter to divest. When I arrived they had just sold a round dinning room table and their other belongings were quickly being picked up by early morning shoppers. In the yard I found a collection of hand woven shopping bags, an unruly pile of clothing, an alien puppet, a collage depicting a chicken, some glassware, shoes, a box of bread crumbs, some spices, a St. Jude candle and several plastic snakes. On the porch among some kitchen items was a half full bottle of Everclear grain alcohol. They said someone had left it at their house after a party. Among the books I found “For Your Own Good”, the Lonely Planet guide to South America, an Italian English dictionary, “Culture and Development”, “Critical Thinking” and “The Book of Answers”. The photographer took several pictures of the buyer of the alien puppet.
I bought nothing.
Snakes being sold by couple moving to Guatemala.
E. Clifton Rd. – Druid Hills “Estate Sale”
I was happy to be able to take my guest to this event so they could encounter the full wonders of a lifetime of accumulation inside a home. When I led them down the steps to a basement brimming with clutter I remarked, “It’s like an archeological dig here” they seemed to like that. The basement was full with a horde of collected cameras and related photographic paraphernalia, old magazines, piles of gift wrap, ancient college text books, personal memorabilia as well as the usual hardware and accessories that fill basements after so many years. The camera room was quite impressive. A seemingly endless array of point and shoot camera from nearly every decade of the last century. There were boxes of flashbulbs and endless accessories. Filters and lens caps were piled like poker chips on a card table. Slide projectors, slides, negatives, straps, flash attachments, an occasional manual, cables and empty cases all contributed to the photographic confusion. The owner of all this wandered the basement as well proud of the gathered treasures he was divesting himself of. Other things on this level included an old Royal typewriter, a spittoon and stacks of old Lps. In this mix were occasional personal photographs, cleaning supplies, postcards and old appliances. Some of the appliances had placards on them noting the date they were purchased.
Upstairs there was less confusion, a sofa covered with small framed art prints, a table filled with green stemware, 45 albums from Ethel Merman and Paul Weston and a pile of matted artwork next to a pile of empty frames. In a bedroom a bed was covered in clothing, towels and bedclothes. A bathroom appeared as if still fully in use with a full cabinet of the things one normally keeps in a bathroom.
My guest were pleased and amazed with what they encountered, the reporter bought an old Lp. I bought nothing.
A writer's necessities of days gone by - a manual Royal and a spittoon.
Music for dreaming found in Druid Hills.
Bed laden with clutter.
Rogeretta Dr.- Toco Hills “Yard Sale”
I led my guest to this dead end street to find a ranch style home surrounded by whimsical metal yard sculptures and a carport filled with assorted clutter. By the looks of the stuff gathered there the sellers appeared to have been in some sort of retail business but it was difficult to tell what it really was. When the seller saw the press photographer with his heavy-duty camera and massive lense he at first tried to stop all picture taking. But I changed his attitude by showering ample praise on his taste in yard art, especially the large pink panther constructed out of a propane gas tank. The photographer from the AJC calmed him further by saying they were he to take pictures of me taking pictures of his stuff. The seller then proceeded to show me the items he was most proud of. One of which was a stroller for a dog. He also tried to get me to take a look and the cases of books he had piled in the side yard. He had once been a bookseller and was now trying to get rid of the tomes at ten bucks a box. I asked him if any of the book buyers with the ISBN scanners had come by. He said they attempted to open the boxes to scan the contents for valuable editions but he chased them off. In all the seller and his wife were far more interesting than most of the stuff they were selling. Except for the large skeleton figure wearing a tuxedo hanging from the carport. This item also attracted the attention of the AJC cameraman and I had to pose in front of it for dozens of pictures. In addition to all this there was old backpacks, dolls, model airplanes, old Lps, a good deal of ceramic figurines, a large plush M&M, some large plastic toys, metallic pinecones and a very ugly metal owl.
I bought nothing.
Propane tank panther guarding Toco Hills home.
Rolling dog stroller, this device could also be used for unruly children.
Wineleas Rd.- Druid Heights “Yard Sale”
This sale was pretty minimalist compared to the last two events. Behind a small simple bungalow was this massive garage large enough to hide two city buses. Inside the garage were a two tables sparsely covered with stuff for sale. On the floor of the garage were brand new boxes containing sinks, appliances, as well as kitchen and bath hard ware. There was also a hot tub but I was not sure if this was for sale. Among the smaller stuff was a tire, a pair of crutches, two old Mousekerteers 45’s, a mirror, two uninteresting lamps, and a disposable unused Xmas tablecloth.
This sale was only interesting for its marked contrast to the prior sales.
I bought nothing.
Kitchen sink found in massive garage.
McLendon Dr. – Rehobeth “Multifamily Sale”
This was a bit small for a multifamily event. Here two women watched over a small amount of stuff gathered under a festival tent. Among the stuff there was a pair of cat eye sunglasses, a unopened box of fake eyelashes, a mug with a cow’s face on it, a open bottle of Patchouli bath gel, a butterfly chair, a wig, some clothing and a pile of CD’s without cases. I bought ten somewhat scratched 80’s Cd’s (Joy Division, Bauhaus etc...) for 25 cents each. The reporter bought a leather purse.
Most of the Cds played when I got home.
Used bottle of bath gel and cow faced mug.
Burgundy Dr. – Rehobeth “Yard Sale”
The final sale we stopped at was a good example of a sale with mostly kids stuff but something the reporter needed to see. In the carport of a small home was a disorderly pile of children’s stuff that had been rooted thorough by buyers for several hours. A pile of dolls, a more disorderly pile of children’s clothing and a scattering of tiny shoes. In the final shot the photographer took of me I was splayed on the driveway with my camera aimed at the shoes. That picture is shown here. And yes I bought nothing.