Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Saturday 10/16/09

Cindy told me this morning that I was spending far too much time looking at the same sales and the same stuff in our neighborhood. Looking back I found Cindy to be correct in recent months neighbors on nearby streets have almost come to expect me showing up with camera in hand. At one sale the seller remarked the “ I thought I guy that photographed yard sales was just a local legend” when I arrived with camera in hand to documented her clutter. Regardless I have taken a certain pride in saying that I seldom venture more than three miles from my home. So this morning I tried to avoid spending all my time really close to home and venture to the edge of the three-mile limit.

Page Ave.- Candler Park “Yard Sale”
(3 blocks from home)
This was not a great sale and it did convince me to get outside the immediate neighborhood. Much of the contents here were clay works created by one of the sellers. There were also some household items and kitchenwares. One of the few remarkable items were several pairs of striped prison pants used as props in “Media goes to Jail” This is the second week in a row I have encountered used movie props for sale. While its good to see more film work in this city perhaps the industry is down on its luck if the props are put on sale shortly after the films release.
I considered the pants for a Halloween costumes but decided against it since there were no matching prison shirts and it has been getting cold lately. The seller also had some ancient Egyptian clothing but this was even scantier and we already have pharaoh-wear.
I bought nothing.

Medea or at least someone in a movie with Medea wore these.

Wavery Way – Inman Park “Yard Sale”
(1.5 miles from home)

This was the site of several sales I have been to in the past three years and some of the same stuff I had encountered in the past showed up again. The sale was being held for some charity I’ve forgotten the name of. It consisted of a driveway lined with tables of old clutter along with goods scattered on the pavement.
Feeling a sense of déjà vu (again) about this stuff I did not send a lot of time her but did come across a copy of Helen Gurley Brown’s LP “Lessons in Love”. The recording is a document of a forgotten era of sexuality with cuts entitled “How to behave at home when you’re misbehaving away from home” and “Getting the most from your secretary”
I’m not sure if the Cosmo editor sings or if it is a spoken word album.

Boulevard – Old 4th Ward “Yard Sales”
(3.5. mile from home)
In the parking lot of a small resale shop near Atlanta Medical Center several tables were set up in the form of a small flea market. I normally avoid these types of sales but decided to drop in anyway. One seller gave me a cup of hot cocoa so I felt obliged to stay awhile and peruse the merchandise. At one table a woman had a large sign for an elementary school. She told me it was a prop for a movie. More props I thought this is getting to be a regular thing. I also enjoyed the trailer full of jumbled goods stacked in the parking lot in the shadow of downtown sky scrapers.
I bought nothing.

Another movie prop.

Argonne Ave. Midtown “Epic Yard Sale”
(4 mile from home)

The hyperbola of this sale put me in a good frame of mind. I was several neighborhoods removed from Lake Claire and four miles made things seem different. The sale was not that big just a moderate amount of stuff meticulously arranged in a small front yard. Among an array of neatly lined up kitchenwares I encountered a box of very dangerous looking martial arts weapons. The seller said that people kept giving him these things. I had the seller pose with some sharp objects.
Also at the sale was a small vibrating brown paper bag entitled “Thing in a Bag” they gave me a demonstration of it’s movement across a table while I visited.
I bought nothing.

The seller said people kept giving him books like this.

The vibrating thing in a bag.

Greenwood Ave. – Searsview “Loft Sale”
(3.5 miles from home)
This was a sale in the parking lot of a converted commercial building now being sold as upscale lofts. When I began taking pictures of the accumulated clutter (most of which was new stuff) one shopper started posing with her dog trying to get her pet to lick her face in the photo. Other sellers had dogs as well but they were not posing. Among the clutter golf clubs, tote bags, carpets throw pillows and candles.
I bought nothing.

More dogs at loft sale.

It's about me. Item lying on the pavement on Greenwood Ave.

Greenwood Ave. – Virginia Highlands “Yard Sale” (3 miles from home)
This as a lot of older and dirtier stuff that appeared to be pulled out of a damp basement. While I appreciated the jumble of clutter here I’ve seen too much dampness in the last few weeks.
I bought nothing.

St. Charles – Virginia Highlands “Moving Sale”
(3 miles from home)
This home may be the last unrestored home in the neighborhood. The seller was very nice but was pressuring me a bit too much to by the rolls of photo backdrop paper he had for sale. All the stuff in his yard was old - old furniture, an old bicycle, old books, old Tupperware, old TV. While I liked the sale as a bit of a throwback to old Virginia Highlands I also found it a bit depressing. Worth nothing was the sign on the back of the old pickup truck for the sale was converted from a sign for a tap dance studio. Sadly there were no tap shoes to be found here.
I bought nothing.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A few small sales and one man’s domain…. 10/3/09

There was not a lot going on this morning and for reason I cannot recall at this time I was not in any way organized to encounter whatever treasures and surprises might await me. My first stop was several small totally unmemorable sales on Elmira St. Where I encountered boxing gloves, old VHS tapes (aren’t they all old at this time) a child’s rendering of Electricity on canvas, some old televisions and a sump pump. Considering that only two weeks ago the city was flooding I consider the sump pump the most notable find of the batch. Considering this its remarkable I recall anything.

In Decatur on Melrose Pl. there was a far more interesting sale where a man was selling off a number of movie props including faux whiskey bottles and some old ugly luggage from the film “We Are Marshall”. I don’t know who would want to own old ugly 70’s style baggage from a film depicting the plane crash of a sports team, perhaps fans of aircraft disasters? He also had signs and stickers from some other film that would allow anyone to turn your car into a Washington DC cab. On a table was a collection of miniature furniture. To the best of my knowledge it was not used in a remake of The Incredible Shrinking Man.
I bought some miniature floor coverings for some unknown reason and another buyer gave me some card stock she had purchased. I will use it for making new library cards.

After driving around through light rain and failing to find several advertised sales I came across a self-claimed estate sale in Morningside. The sale was a dreadful collection of stuff not even worth photographing in the garage of a new infill house. But I did notice that their sale sign had been retrofitted from an old John McCain campaign sign.

Vedado Way – Midtown “Collectors Estate Sale”
When I approached this house I anticipated that it would be one of those homes filled with antiques run by an antique gallery owner wanabee. Inside it appeared to be what I had suspected but something seemed to be off. The walls covered in far too many painting and the shelves and mantels bedecked in a countless assortment of objects d’art seem to be part of a home that was lived in. After perusing the home I spoke to an older, near toothless gentleman seated on the front porch. He told me that this was indeed a house that had been lived in and that the massive collection inside was that of a Dr. Smith (no relation to the Dr. Smith of Lost in Space fame) a bon vivant who loved buying things. Upon a second tour of the domicile I noticed that the late physician had a special knack for picking of images of men in all forms. While not lewd (but some perhaps slightly suggestive) it was a collection to behold and I was sorry I did not come buy two days earlier when the sale began. For on that day said Dr. Smith’s acquaintance remarked the place had three-times as much stuff as was displayed today. While the male images stood out there was considerable more stuff in this home old medical magazines, bags of silverware, yellowed appliances with large NO signs taped to them, a selection of old military uniforms and many leather bound books.
On a fine antique piano was a portrait of the estate owner. I told the gentleman on the porch I had initially mistaken it for a photograph of Tennessee Williams.
I bought nothing.

Inside the home of Dr. Smith.

Appliances not for sale.

Figurines found in estate.

Old medical ephemera.

Collected uniforms of nearly all branches of the armed services.

The late Dr. Smith, not Tennessee Williams upon the piano.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Community sales gone mild 9/29/07

For some reason whenever there are community wide yard sale event I feel compelled to go and spend several hours perusing an endless collection of small meager sales. I don’t know why this is. I should know better. There is seldom anything notable. My defense of these events is that they are not just a conglomeration of small tedious yard sales but a true community event that brings neighbors together. Community event yes but yard sale affection ado and musician James Kelly put it this way when he commented in Facebook “..."...these big organized neighborhood yard sales are set up by yuppies trying to get rid of their useless unwanted wedding gifts, and TONS of baby stuff. A waste of time...".
Today my own neighborhood of Lake Claire claimed to have 75 sales (I did not bother to count them) and neighboring Druid Hills also had a similar event as well.

This was the first highly organized event of this kind for Lake Claire. I like my neighborhood; it’s a locale of aging bohemians mixed with upscale younger families. We have the lots of green space ranging from Frazier Forest, several city parks and the Community Land Trust. There is a sound to my neighborhood, from front porch I can hear aging hippie bands playing Doobie Brothers tune, the staccato endless rhythm of drum circles, the lonesome cries of train whistles and the call of “table for party of six” outside the Flying Biscuit. It’s a pleasant place to live. This weekend I wish the 75 yard sales were as pleasant as the sounds of my neighborhood.
I think I started off the wrong way. Atlanta had just gotten over days of torrential flooding rains and the Air was densely humid and warm. Warmer and more humid than I was prepared for when I left the house thinking I could cover the event on bicycle. After one block of ho hum sales I was drenched in sweat and spending more time getting on and off the bike to make it worthwhile. In the first five sales that I visited on bike I did not see one memorable thing worth photographing. Not wanting this to be more painful then it needed to be I retreated to the comfort of my Camry and cruised to the sales with the air conditioning blasting. The more I toured the area the more James Kelly’s words range true. Except that the toys far outnumbered the wedding presents. Most sales were so meager they dropped from my memory shortly after I left the premises. But while the goods were nondescript the multitudes of lemonade stands were notable. One on my street was made to resemble a tree others were simpler. But all had child-crafted charm and did offer cooling refreshment on this humid morning or boring sales.
Some photos depicting what I encountered.

Is the ladder part of the water slide?

This is from a little know Christian sect that has a nativity sans Holy Family.

Lincoln and handgun together again!

Lemonade stand with canine host.

Wetsuit and Impala for sale.

Yuppie humor?

Druid hills was not much better. I’ve documented this annual event several times in the past five years but this year after the countless sales in Lake Claire my energy was drained. This was made worse since the first two sales I attempted were at the top of steep driveways that were nearly a quarter mile long. In addition by the time I reached most of the Druid Hills sales all the interesting stuff had been taken away. But I was happy to see the house with the two furbies once again and the seller remembered me from past visits. She said she’s considering selling the ugly talking toys on eBay.

Children's costumes in the Druid Hill

They're ugly, they talk and you can't sell them - Furbies.