Wednesday, June 17, 2009

6/13/09 The day after portable TVs became useless.

Euclid Ave. - Candler Park “Yard Sale”

The seller gave me a warm welcome as I was an old friend as I approached this sale on his porch. I had a vague memory that I had been here before some time back but I recalled not a man two older women selling a lot of antique like stuff on this porch. I also had a vague memory that I had seen the selection of Elvis collectibles and the collections of old glass electric insulators before. But one insulator looks like any other two me. Insulator are one collectable that I have never understood. I don’t think I’ve ever known anyone to actually collect these but there were a lot of them on this porch gleaming in the harsh morning sun. I didn’t spend much time here looking at a copy of the Da Vinci Code, a few old Pez dispensers or the unopened bottle of Woodbridge wine, which may or may not have been for sale. I told the friendly seller to have a good sale and left buying nothing.

Elvis stuff on Euclid Ave.

Euclid Ave. - Candler Park “Yard sale”

Just a few homes down was another sale. This one featured a man and two women presiding over a collection of clutter in their front yard. One of my artistic schemes for another exhibition is to create a series of portraits of sellers with their goods. So I spent most of my time here convincing the sellers to pose for me. The man posed holding a large Chinese style wall hanging that appeared to be crafted from plastic. The women posed on a very ugly sofa they referred to as big orange. “Oh we’re going to be in a coffee table book” one remarked. I took this to be a sign of fortune and made a mental note to get out at least one query letter to some publisher this week. I need to do something with the 7000 plus photos in this series.
Among some stuff found in the yard were two chairs badly in need of recaning, a red union suit, a pillow embroidered with “the best is yet to come”, a door, an old gaming console, a vacuum cleaner and women’s clothing. There was a sign that said “Popcorn 50 cents” One of the sellers remarked that their son had sold not any popcorn thus far on this hot June day.
I bought nothing.

Seller with Chinese wall art.

Village Walk – Decatur “Yard Sales”

I had taped an interview the previous day on the local AM arts station WMLB and the host had told me that he was having a sale today so I felt obliged to visit. He had remarked that he collected a lot of stuff so I wanted to see what he had accumulated. One the way towards Decatur I made some stops at two totally forgettable sales and one that I am trying to forget. The later was a so-called estate sale that consisted of two tables of old décor items in the front yard of a tiny bungalow. It wasn’t the size and misleading manner of the sale that I want to forget but the odious smell. In front of the yard was a large open dumpster fill with damp broken things reeking of mildew. The molding smell was so strong I was able to taste it in my mouth for two days.
Village Walk an infill community in Decatur had no noxious smell there were three sales happening in the small community when I arrived. My host from the radio station did have a lot of collectible items. Most notable was a large animatronic singing and talking bust of Elvis. The eerie android King rolled his eyes curled his lips and talk and sang the entire time I was there. Other stuff neatly displayed on several tables included a selection of bobbing headed characters, a plush M&M dressed as Luke Skywalker, a bread maker, an unopened copy of the urban myth game, a storage rack for baby food complete with a sample bottle of baby food marked “bad” and an end table with a base of faux books.
I bought nothing but thanked my host for telling me about the sale.
Two other homes in Village walk had smaller sales. One mostly had a lot of modern house wares and a large collection of sweaters. The other had a large cat maze. I bought a portion of the cat maze. My cats have yet to play in it.

Singing, talking, lip curling Elvis bust.

One of my purchases for the day. A cat toy my cats don't like.

Russell St. - Forrest Hills “Street Sale”

This was a relatively small street sale with about six homes hosting medium to small sales. Yesterday marked the final day of analog TV broadcasting and strangely I found three old portable and now totally useless TV here. One was the once fashionable and high end Sony Watchman. Today it is just a curiosity that just picks up static. I did get a woman at one sale to pose with an especially dreadful striped sweater for my portrait gallery. Among some other stuff I found here was a replica of a grass hut, an extremely ugly baby doll with removable hair, a table full of holiday décor selling for 25 cents an item and a large vibrating lounger with a built in cup holder with instructions not to use it as an ashtray. I bought some pieces of copper pipe that I need for a sculpture I’m creating in the fall.

Seller posing with ugly sweater.

Useless electronic device.

Ugly and scary doll.

Forrest Ave. - Forrest Hills “Yard Sale”

This was an extensive yard sale with a lot of stuff covering the front yard of a brick ranch home. Much of the stuff was baby items. In addition, they also had a used motor scooter, yet another non functional portable TV, several pairs of Crocs that appeared never to have been worn, an unopened package of toe separators, a Marilyn Monroe doll and a sweater almost as ugly as the one a the prior sale. I bought nothing but as I was leaving I encountered a large snapping turtle walking across the road towards the sales. I took this to be a good sign.

Marilyn doll overlooking baby items.

Why is the turtle crossing the road?

Delmar Ave. Ormewood Park “Multi Family Sale”
I headed from Decatur to SE Atlanta but several of the sales listed in Craigslist were not happening or were tiny events not worth documenting. The sale on Delmar was spread across the yards of two neighboring homes. Sadly most of the stuff was more baby items. I view baby items as the reverse of old home health care items. The later stuff often marks the end of a life and carries with it a certain amount of pathos. Baby items have no dramatic pathos but do mark the beginning of a new life and the dream of more clutter to come. Regardless of its promise of clutter to be I don’t find strollers, diaper bins, basinets and the like interesting to document. But there were other things going on here, such as several tables covered with older popular Cds selling for 3 for five dollars. Next to this they were selling Obama t-shirts and buttons. I do not know if they had over invested in Obamabelia or had created the stuff just for this sale. Other stuff here included a novelty rock star wig, two motorcycle helmets some women’s clothing and another now useless TV.
I bought nothing

Obama stuff on sale.

Clocks and helmets on Delmar.


musingegret said...

Hi, just found your site and was browsing past posts. Here's a site you may not have discovered that links craigslist postings of sales to metropolitan map. It helps me here in Austin. Have enjoyed your entries and like the anthropological tone. Happy "Unearthing"!

13bees said...

yeah, I don't get the appeal of insulators either. imho, collections should ideally "do" something, shouldn't they?!?

Rita said...

The turtle is crossing the street to have a closer look at something interesting on sale... :)

Great blog you have here. I look forward to your next post.

Greetings from Finland! - Rita -

Anonymous said...

I just found your blog and was wondering if we could get a name change here, I do have a suggestion (only a suggestion) "I Bought Nothing". lol But I do have a feeling your burnt out? you just don't seem to have any fun.

Anonymous said...

I still vote for the name change but I was wrong, I just went back to may of 05 and your post are the same today as they were back then down to the "I bought nothing", so I guess your not burnt out as I had previously suspected. I am truly truly Sorry.

Del said...

Wanted to say thanks for identifying those glass insulators. One of my local Goodwill stores (Jackson, TN) had mass quantities of these not so long ago and I never did figure out what they were. Until now that is.

Thanks again!

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