Ringing in another year of yard sales

Posted by Jenny in Sale Tales | 4 Comments

It’s January and naturally we are starting to get the urge to hit some sales. The last time I went out was nearly 2 months ago. Unfortunately, there is not much out there this time of year. Meghan and I decided we’d hit a couple and if nothing else it would be a good excuse to hang out and get some breakfast. Our semi-regular guest star Leslie decided to come along for the ride as well.

After perusing the pitiful listings we decided to check out the Lake City Flea Market, where none of us had ever been.

Lake City fleamarket

As we walked in, Leslie pointed out that it was really more of an antique market than a flea market. I was just grateful that it wasn’t just stalls full of new tube socks and bad crafts. I circled around a few times knowing from the get-go that it would be extremely unlikely that there was anything there I would want to buy. Especially not this person’s box of Hamburger Helper.

Fleamarket table

I was pretty happy when we all decided we’d had enough and set out in search of food. We ended up finding a new cafe/bakery that hit the spot, then headed to a nearby sale that turned out not to actually exist. We were thinking we’d call it a day, then we decided to go to this one sale that had had some Craig’s List drama earlier in the week — they’d posted an ad, then someone else kept posting “rebuttals” saying “They’ve been having this sale for a month! It’s all crappy and overpriced!” Of course, these posts would get deleted, then another one would crop up, then get deleted again … Finally they posted an ad that looked similar to the real one with a disclaimer “Note: This sale started a month ago.” It was all vaguely intriguing in a wacky internet hi-jinks sort of way. When we drove up to the sale, Meghan recognized the sign from about a month ago when she’d gotten super annoyed trying to find the damn sale and ended up giving up in disgust.

The house was cute from the outside, but everything inside was quite crusty. There was an astonishing amount of stuff left considering the sale had already been going on for a while. As I looked around certain themes emerged from the piles of detritus: cats, Alaska, printmaking, and bones.

Cow skull and ratty towel

And not just regular bones! How about some bone ART.

Bone art

Oh, but that wasn’t all the bone art. I was disturbed to realize that this funky-looking crucifix was made out of vertebrae. And some gold paint.

Wet cat and vertebra crucifix

I think I was saved from getting overly creeped out by the silliness of the wet cat poster hanging right next to it. (I wonder whether that was the original owner’s placement or just a fluke of the estate sale.)

There was also a ton of really elaborate and huge carved wood antique furniture pieces. One of had a huge tall spire on top which evidently had required them to recess and re-finish a small area of the ceiling above it. I neglected to photograph that, choosing instead just to take a picture of some of the stuff on it.

Still life with ceramic poodle

In the same room as the bone art pieces (and that poodle) were these boxes of soaps. There was a sign indicating that they were ten cents each. I am going to get personal with you readers for a moment to say that if by chance you have saved anywhere near this many hotel and guest soaps, please stop now.

Boxes of soaps.

A little nervously, I made my way downstairs. There was a room that was just filled up with tons and tons of books, as well as assorted paper ephemera and all kinds of other random things.

Estate sale basement

It was at this point that we all felt a little sad, because some of it looked kind of good but it was way too crusted over and scungy to want to spent much time digging through.

Basement junk

We did leaf through a few of the piles. I picked up an odd old notebook looking thing which turned out to contain an “erotic mystery story.” I can’t tell when it was published but I would guess no later than the ’40s — probably earlier. With phrases such as “his male prerogative stood boldly upright” and “the warm dew trickling down the swollen tree-trunk” — and others a bit too dirty for me to include here — I just had to buy it. I also got a 1982 Kliban cat calendar (which sadly is not as collectible as I’d thought) and a copy of Master Detective magazine from 1984, featuring stories such as “When Hookers Fall Out, It’s Murder” and “Who’s Killing the ‘Great’ Pimps of Hamburg?”

On my way to pay, I noticed one more room I hadn’t been into. There were more bookcases here. Including this one, which Meghan pointed out was almost exclusively filled with books about the Nazis. Yet another theme emerges from this household’s stuff.

Third Reich books

I paid a whopping $2 for my purchases and got irrationally jealous at the one item bought by the person in front of me, a lovely art deco wallpaper sample. Meghan bought one old group photograph and a 1959 edition of “Ford Times.” Leslie bought a hilarious pamphlet that I hope will be the subject of a guest Book Report for us soon. It definitely wasn’t a great day for sales, but I had fun, and that’s all I was really expecting from the second Saturday of the year.

4 Responses to Ringing in another year of yard sales

  1. “Who’s Killing the ‘Great’ Pimps of Hamburg?” Geez, I Hope they caught that guy! Love the bone art too. That’s the perfect example of take a picture but don’t touch it. Good stuff.

  2. Pingback: Yard Sale Bloodbath » It’s a jolly holiday … with animal products

  3. Diana says:

    Jenny,
    Hysterical!!! I wonder how many people went to that sale just to see if some old guy would be standing out by the road with a picket sign–This Sale is Crappy, Keep Driving!
    Bone art, porn and nazis…that poor cat, I would’ve drowned myself too.
    I’m very glad that you went to that sale, otherwise I would’ve missed the funniest article I’ve read in a long time. Thanks for the laughs 🙂 I’ll come back soon.

  4. This is a great blog! As a vintage seller, I go to the estate/yard sales often and have some very similar experiences. This post here reminded me of the guy we now call “Goldfinger”. He’s this crazy old pack rat with two houses next door to each other and he’s been having this “estate” sale every week for like a year. You can barely squeeze into either of his dark, dank, crusty homes that reek of smoke and sweat. Once you do, he has every thing priced as though it was once owned by God himself. And most of it is broken, paintings are water logged, vases not chipped but with a 1/3 of the body hacked off. And the best part is…he spray paints everything gold! Someone in one of the houses whispered to us that he had gotten really angry because his T.V. wouldn’t work. The problem, the signal from the remote could not get through all of the gold paint on the T.V. Anyhoo, Goldfinger aside, I am adding your blog link to my list of good blogs to check out! Kelly of Vaudeville Vintage