Tuesday, July 21, 2009

7/18/09 Yard Sales and Re-enactors in the 'hood.

Glendale Ave. – Candler Park “Sale of the Century”

In truth only a few of the signs for this sale noted it to be “the sale of the Century”. We are still only nine years into the century so I did not expect anything big and were not highly disappointed when I visited at this small sale set up on the sidewalk of this narrow street. When I arrived a man driving a car with Gwinnett County plates was arguing with the seller that his books should only be fifty cents and not a dollar. The reseller appeared desperate and drove off in anger when the seller did not drop his price. Overall this sale was not very notable. The seller asked me if I knew the value of his Polaroid J 33. I had no idea but told him they no longer make film and it was probably worth 10 to 20 bucks. I later looked it up on eBay and found my appraisal to be correct. Among the stuff being sold here were packages of Avery mailing labels, some AAA maps of recent vintage, containers of sewing supplies, a tripod that folded sown to fit in a backpack (I later regretted not buying this), a microwave oven, a crock pot, a drink mixer and a tray with a tole painting of flowers.
I bought nothing.

Seller posing with Polaroid.

Mortimer Ave. – Edgewood “Yard Sale”

After driving into Cabbagetown to visit a highly unmemorable yard sale I saw some signs for this sale in the yard of a small home in the Edgewood community. Here two women had covered their front yard with a wide range of clutter. While sipping wine spritzers they showed me the Hulk hand from the newer film version not the Ang Lee film, a pair of mismatch stage monitors left over from a band one of them was once in and a black velvet painting of a very unhappy looking Willie Nelson. In addition to the sad looking Willie they had another painting in the same media of a happier looking unicorn. Other stuff scattered around included a small purse that said LUST, a semi demolished ink jet printer, two Reservoir Dogs action figures (Mr. Black and Mr., Orange), some oversized play money, a set of flaming hurricane glasses from Pat O’Brian’s, a box of framed Gaham Wilson cartoons and a bag of small dowels. They asked me if I knew anything about the camera they were selling (this seems to be a theme this morning) and I examined a Minolta SLR that was in several pieces in a camera bag. I told them that it was not worth much but showed them how some of the pieces fit together.
I bought nothing.

Hulk Hands but not the inferior Ang Lee Hulk Hands,

Vidal Dr. – Decatur “Yard Sale”

In Decatur I found four sales very close to one another. This one looked promising from the large sign in the driveway but once I headed past the row of mattresses lining the driveway I was disappointed not by the quantity of goods for sale but more so by the ordinary nature of what was there. In back of the house I found a fireplace set, a large table stacked with hardbound copies of popular fiction, a set of candle holders that looked like oversize stemware, a set of golf clubs some clothing, a framed print of Auburn University and a box of plush toys. In the plush toys was plush I pod. The seller told me it you could connect it to an I pod and it functioned as a speaker pillow.
I bought nothing.

An I Pod to sleep on.

Lamont Dr. Decatur “Estate Sale” “Yard Sale”

There were two sales on this street. The first was a moving sale that featured a large selection of clutter spread across the yard and driveway of a brick home.
An inflatable Munch’s Scream figure was posed horizontally in a rosemary bush at the entrance. On the grass was a selection of garish Halloween and Xmas decor. The Halloween stuff included a witch cauldron, a sign that read “Broom Parking” and a very ugly hand painted teapot in the shape of a witch hold a cat. There were a few faux jack o lanterns and a few objects with snowmen on them. In the yard was a pile of children’s games including one entitled “Throw Me a Bone”.
I bought nothing.

Bone throwing game.

Horrible teapot.

The Second sale on this street was very small and featured a variety of sporting goods including a portable putting green. Among some stuff on a table was a setoff plastic Civil War figures. I found this ironic after seeing the re-enactors earlier.
Boxes of Civil War characters.

Clairmont Rd. – Decatur “Upscale Yard Sale”

I’m not sure what made this sale upscale but it was quite interesting. Here a huge amount of stuff lie sprawled in front of a ranch style home. The mixture of clutter here was more unique than upscale. On a setoff shelves was a huge collection of VHS tapes all labeled with very large print labels. One tape even had a large label that said “blank”. On a table was a pile of CDs that had all been placed in library style soft plastic cases. Spread out in the middle of the yard was a huge array of plush toys, mostly bears but in the middle was a large smiling plush clown. A large selection of books carried many contrasting titles included among them were “Three Magic Words, a guide to foot reflexology”, “Excuse Me Your Life is Waiting”, a book of gags for religious ventriloquists and “The All American Bean Book”. Several tarps on the grass were covered in clothing mixed in with the clothing were a few unopened packages of women’s hose still bearing the 59 cent original price tags.
I bought nothing.

Well labeled video tapes.

Gags for sacred dummy humor.

Pile of plush.

Vintage hosiery in original packaging.

Re-enactors in the ‘hood

For the second year in a row the Kirkwood community near my home has celebrated the anniversary of the Battle of Atlanta with tours, a 5K run, a party and Civil War re-enactors camped out in a local park. I am a history major and I appreciate people getting dressed up in costumes but I’ve never fully understood the full mindset of the re-enactor community. Today in a park near a large satellite dish array a few dozen of these dedicated individuals marched around, shot off a canon, made horseshoes, moseyed about and talked on cell phones while locals looked on. I hung out for a while and all those I spoke with were quite authoritative in their knowledge of the battle and the life of the troops. A few women and children were also in the mix. It’s a shame that more historical events are not reenacted everyone needs a reason to dress up in costume more often.

Women involved in re-enactments are mostly delighted their spouses have chosen this over Dragon Con.

Civil War field hospital or yard sale? You be the judge.

State law requires that one antique looking sepia image must be included with photographs of any Civil War re-enactment.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Perennial sales and unwanted Tiki items 7/11/09

As I approach the half-decade mark of this odyssey of clutter one of the things I have found in my limited realm of in-town Atlanta is that some sales occur on a repeating basis every year. These sales appear and blossom much like the azaleas in the yards of so many southern homes. Like those flowers sometimes there are good years and sometimes there are drab years. In my neighborhood I have visited several sales in the same yards of some home four years in a row. One not so interesting sale I visited for four years. In that time they have attempted to sell a used breast pump without success. One the fourth and most recent sale the pump was not in sight. Either they had sold it or given up on trying to sell this somewhat highly personal device. Most of these perennial sales seem to evolve, some things reappear some thing remain retreating back to basements and garages to hibernate for another attempt the following year.
This morning I visited two homes that I have visited multiple times in the past.

Elmira Ave.- Candler Park “Yard Sale”
The painted plywood sign nailed to an oak tree on the curb was my signal that this was a return visit for me. I told the seller upon arrival that I have photographed the large yellow smiley face sign at least twice in the past. She told me a man who had done some work on her house had made it and she kept using whenever she felt like having a yard sale. In years past the contents of her yard featured a selections of house wares and older home furnishings. This time around the yard was dominated by a selection of new age media. A card table held a number of bumper stickers (Led by spirits, Follow your bliss) pins and cards.
On another table was a large selection of mostly new age and spiritual books. Among them I found “Create Your Own Goddess”, “The Earth Path”, “The Seven Spiritual Laws of Yoga”, “Smile for no Good Reason” and “Reality Adjustment”. On another table were a CD player and a large assortment of recordings that matched the spiritual essence of the books. The discs were sorted out in boxes with labels such as “guided meditations”, “chanting”, “Native American,” “music for meditation and healing” and “dance music”.
I bought nothing but talked for sometime to the seller about the publishing industry.
Selection of new age bumper sticks.

Elmira St. - Candler Park Yard Sale

At the end of the same street was another sale hosted by a friend from my days in Ormewood Park. On top of his van parked in the street was a large sign directing customers to also visit the sale down the street. It was evident by the age spread of the toys that he had not had a sale in some time. Among the toys was A Real Meal Oven, Junior Monopoly, bins filled with small plastic cars and airplanes and a large box of PlayDoh. Hanging on a pole in the large was a child’s costume of one of the characters from Monsters Inc made with blue fake fur. It looked too hot to wear. Adult stuff in his yard included a bowl of golf balls, some candles shaped like stars, some silver serving dishes, two trench coast, four boogie boards and a collection of glass insulators.
I bought nothing.

Hot costume. Note: It could also be worn as a Where the Wild Things Are costume.

Bin of plastic toys.

Mansfield Ave. – Candler Park “Yard Sale”

This was the other perennial sale of the day. The women hosting the sale remembered me when I arrived. She recalled two years ago when I was documenting her sale she viewed pictures of her sale on a laptop at this website while I was there. Each year here something stays the same and something changes. The seller is an artist. Last year she had the remains of a series of paintings large and small she had created of dogs. There were a few elements of this series remaining on this visit. But presently she is creating exotic headgear using bandanas, feathers and jewelry to liven up people’s heads.
This sale always has a lot of leftover art and craft supplies. Today I found clothespins, stencils, and old copies of Tole World, yarn, glue and lots of scrap pieces of fabric. Other stuff found here was a selection of women’s clothing, an old painting which I’m trying to decide is a self portrait, a copy of Lou Reed’s Transformer ( a personal favorite of mine) an empty Turfurky box, a copy of “The Customer is Always Wrong” and a Pippi Longstocking looking wigs that was brunette instead of red. She posed with it and said it was for the Asian Pippi Longstocking.
I bought nothing but hope return again next year.

The seller's current project - Head decor.

Seller with Pippiesque wig.

Brownwood Ave. – East Atlanta “Yard Sale”

This was a small sale without a lot of stuff worth remembering. A pair of tables was arrayed in a yard where the owners had failed at growing grass. Here I found a harlequin doll, a large plush Kermit, some small picture frames, a pedicure tool a book on cuddly cats. There was also a large old box spring leaning against a tree.
I bought nothing.

Emerson Ave. - Ormewood Park “Yard Sale”

Performer extordinaire Chico Nunez told me I needed to visit this sale the previous evening. I had started on Friday but when I arrived there was still a lot left. In the driveway in back of a small house a large collection of Tiki decor and other barware was piled up outside the garage. The seller told me he was changing his bar motif from a Tiki theme which he felt had peaked ten years ago to a more suave and sophisticated sixties look. In his redecorating efforts both large and small things were being divested. Among the stuff gathered in the driveway was a set of faux bamboo living room furniture, a massive two foot long varnished blowfish, a dozen paint by number paintings, a chocolate fountain ( not really a Tiki or retro item at all) one of those old vibrating belt exercise machines, numerous Tiki headed drinking vessels, several large Tiki heads, a salon floor model hair dryer and two pink artificial Xmas trees. Various other things that the owner was probably just tired of looking at included a large fax machine, a pair of platform boots, a pair of slippers shaped like women’s feet with painted toenails and a large collection of old light up magnifying make-up mirrors.
I bought nothing but the seller did take me inside to show off his new 60’s bar room d├ęcor.

Collection of old make-up mirrors.

One of the many paint by numbers works on display.

Platforms and old fax machine together at last.

Other footwear for sale.

Nelms Ave. Lake Claire “YaRd SaLe”

This sale was not very noteworthy but I wanted to mention it just for the sake of their poster and yes everything they had was cheap.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

On Vacation

I've been on vacation the last few weeks. YSA will return next week with new reports and images from the yards of clutter.