Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The last sales of 2009? 12/5/09

The end of the year is often a somber time in the realm of yard sales. The weather turns cold and dreary, the days grow short and the approaching holidays distract sellers from their goals of ridding their homes of clutter.
Today I found a bit more in than I expected. But the end does appear in sight.

Cambridge Ave. Oakhurst “Yard Sales”

It was in the low 40’s maybe even colder in the shade when I came upon this sale in the southern Decatur Oakhurst community. The seller clad in a hooded jacket knew he was pushing the limits as he shivered on his porch while awaiting buyers for the gathered belongings in his driveway. He admitted that he should have done the sale earlier in the season but decided to go ahead with it anyway. But he told me the he had experienced a fair amount of business before he was ready to open.
Among the stuff for sale was a collection of penguin items that appeared well suited for the cold climate. There was a box full of plush penguins, a penguin game, some sort of child’s penguin costume (even thought it appeared no children lived in this home) a game called the Penguin Shuffle that billed itself as the ”motorized waddle walkin’ slippery slide game“ a party penguins punch bowl set and some smaller ceramic novelty flightless birds.
Other stuff put out in the driveway included a large painting of a red pepper, old computer accessories, lamps, an unopened box set of “Queer as Folk”, a Kate Bush DVD, an electric pumpkin carving tool, some baskets and a plush spider monkey.
I bought nothing.

Box of plush penguins.

Across the street on the porch of a brick bungalow was another sale. This one featuring the belongings of someone what at one time had a store or antique flea market booth. Everything here was quaint and antique like and nothing appeared to have been used by the actual owners of the house. While I am not attracted to such sales unless they feature really bizarre stuff such as large taxidermy sharks and artificial limbs this sale at least had pleasant well thought out arrangements. Most of the fodder here was the usual old toys, dolls, prints and décor items. But a large lamp made from a large Kahlua bottle did attract my attention. Liquor bottle lamps are a subject that requires more study on my part as I have often wondered what thinking goes into determining if an empty booze bottle is lamp worthy.

Big Kahlua lamp

Howard St. - Kirkwood “Yard Sale”

This large sale in front of a large two manor house is more or less a perennial sale. My justification for calling it that is that the sign is reused about every six months and a lot of the same goods are put out in the yard. I considered just driving past but I noticed a sled under the sign. Since there were warnings of possible snow flurries (just flurries not accumulation) I had to give the seller credit for using the sled to attract business. This time the seller appeared to have a lot more camo clothing than in past sales. Repeated items included two stoves placed in the middle of the lawn. I took a photo then thanked the seller for his nice display and bought nothing.

Knox St. Grant Park “Moving Sale”

This sale was sensibly inside a small house located on a dead end street. The real estate sign in the yard said ”I am larger than I look” I was not sure if this referred to the selling agent or the home. But it may have been the later since the home did appear larger once I ventured past the miniscule living room. At the time I arrived the estate was nearly depleted and a few Latino families were walking off with what little remained of the home’s furnishing. I did find a framed drawing a disturbed young girl in a back room. Other than this there was not much left to buy and I bought nothing.

Art found in nearly empty house.

Hobart Dr. Grant Park “Moving Sale”

My final stop of the day was inside a tiny house on the south end of Grant Park. The sale was instigated by the economy as the seller was being forced to move, as her landlord was moving back into this property due to the downturn in the real estate market. The host of the sale was an artist who creates robot like sculptures from found objects. She desperately needed to weed her collection of old hardware and mechanical devices to move into a smaller space. She had already cleared a considerable amount of her assemblage ingredients by the time I arrived. But the small living room still contained a large collection of old audio-visual devices including dated slide and film projectors, old speakers and various mechanical items rescued from scrap heaps. One stand out† item in the home was a life-sized model of a human spine. More run of the mill items needed to be gotten rid of included books, Cds and some outdated computer hardware.
I bought nothing but sympathized with the spatial issues of creating art from discarded materials.

A yard sale with backbone.


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