There is a cool neighborhood near us called Olympic Manor, which is filled with incredible ’50s modern houses and, more to the point, has an annual yard sale day. Every time we’d drive by Meghan would ask me, “When’s Olympic Manor?” I couldn’t quite remember but I seemed to think it was late in the season and sure enough, we discovered that their sale day was happening on Saturday. I had been thinking about skipping sales this weekend, but how could I pass that up? In past years we have both found amazing stuff there (even though there are always a ton of boring-new-crappy-stuff sales to weed through too). Karl wanted to make another guest star appearance (he’s practically a recurring character at this point) so we invited him along for the ride.
Our first stop was to try to find a sale Meghan had been tipped off about, where a friend of a friend had been cleaning out his grandmother’s old stuff. She had the address written down, but somehow it was missing one of the numbers. We found it pretty easily though and there were some great things there. I excitedly scooped up a starburst wall candle holder for $1 and a couple of cool books, then allowed myself to splurge on 8 vintage glasses. And when I say splurge, I don’t mean because of the price (they were $1 each), but because I really don’t need more glasses. But I have definitely reformed my previous excessive glass-buying ways, and since I’ve broken a few of them lately I figured I was allowed to pick up some cool and usable replacements.
Just as I was marveling at the good finds, Meghan and Karl both pointed out some other guy who was leaving with a bunch of really good stuff. Talk about harshing my vibe! I was glad I didn’t actually see what he scored, but it was still frustrating to think about. In any case, we all walked off with enough stuff that after only one more sale, we decided to make an early drop-off to clear out the trunk for the scores to come. Note Meghan’s cool magazine rack and Karl’s extremely huge Heidelberg beer bottle. (Extra funny since he doesn’t actually drink.)
We hit a few more random sales before heading into Olympic Manor, where the action supposedly started at 10 but had obviously gotten rolling earlier. We grabbed a map, but ended up just driving around rather than taking any kind of methodical approach. The first couple of sales were pretty unremarkable. We turned a corner and Meghan said, “There’s that guy who has his sale every year and it’s always the same stuff.” I remembered this too, and even though it is always bad, I couldn’t resist going over to take a look. The acres of boxes just called to me irresistibly, even though inside was nothing I even remotely wanted.
You just know that he hauls those same boxes in and out every year — maybe a few pounds lighter, but still.
We walked away and realized that Karl was nowhere to be found. “Karl!” we yelled. “Come on!” Getting no response we tried other tactics like yelling “Hey nerdlinger, move it!” and “Wow, Sonics records!” with no effect. Finally he came out of the garage holding one crappy record that I can’t even remember.
We went to one sale had a garage practically full of Barbies and various other dolls for $2 each. None of them were old enough to be obviously worth money, but some of them were interesting. There were also some really bad clothes, including a t-shirt that said “Crazy About Dolls.” Yeah, I guess so. As we trudged up the driveway I heard Meghan say “How about if I buy these and wear them around for the rest of the day?” I turned around to see this.
We probably spent an hour in Olympic Manor, all of us finding some things, but without any truly phenomenal scores. After a while we decided to head out to a different area. There was one sale advertised as “retro clean-out” that sounded interesting. Their taste turned out to be a bit odd. I mean, this bar thing kind of gave me the creeps.
This was about the best thing left — really.
We continued hitting a variety of not-that-great sales before stumbling onto one where the woman had a ton of vintage stuff that she didn’t fit into anymore and was finally getting rid of. It was here that I saw by far the largest number of pairs of vintage black velvet pants that I’ve ever seen in one place, which Meghan now owns. I bought a really cool winter coat (that is really too big, but it’s so nice) and a pair of Giraudon shoes for fifty cents! Yes, they are beat up, but I think with a good polish they can be saved. Many of my very favorite shoes are Giraudons (my sister has a shoe store and hooks me up) so I was pretty happy to get another pair on the dirt-cheap.
“Okay – one more sale,” we said. Unfortunately, the sale we found had completely ridiculous prices. Crappy CDs: $5 each, or 5 for $20! Japanese stuffed toys: $12 each! Other boring crap I can’t remember: at least 5 or 6 times the amount you’d expect it to be! I really had to restrain myself from telling them rudely, “Have fun packing all your stuff back up, because nobody is going to buy it.” I just walked away and said we needed to hit another sale so we could end on a happier note. We found one at a house where I’d been to a sale years ago and bought tons of great fabric. There was fabric again (it looks like they were chronic quilters/crafters), but I didn’t buy anything. Karl noticed some plums (from a tree in their yard) on the table, and the sellers invited us to take some. We each ate one right then and there. They were great! And a fine way to end the day.
Yep — another Saturday, another full trunk (and then some). I do have a bit of remorse over a couple of my more random purchases, but I also got some things I’m pretty dang happy about. And of course, I had a fabulous time!