After being out of town the last couple of weekends (and reading about the great scores and fun times Meghan had while I was away) I was happy to get back to our usual Saturday morning yard sale routine. We met up at 8:00 even though there were only a few sales starting that early. At our first stop, we were shocked to see this pair of enormous stuffed dogs in the front yard. (In case the proportions are not apparent, please note that they are resting on a full-sized futon.)
Meghan asked how in the world one ends up owning something like that, and the guy said that they had come from FAO Schwarz a long time ago. Which really doesn’t explain why they were actually purchased and brought home. He also told us their names (Penelope and something I’ve already forgotten) and said that he would split them up if necessary, but that he really felt they should probably stay together. I’m guessing that won’t be a problem (since I bet they were still there at the end of the day).
We hit a few more unremarkable sales and even made stops for cash and coffee to kill a little time before 9:00, when most of the sales were starting. We headed to one “block sale” which only had one house with stuff. False advertising, or did the neighbors just flake? Who knows.
A little past 9:00 we stopped at a sale where they were just getting stuff set up, but they said we were welcome to look around. Most of the things were still boxed up but they didn’t mind us opening them up and poking through. They kept bringing more stuff out and we each found a couple things right off the bat. Then we heard someone yelling out about who was parked in their driveway. It was us — we hadn’t expected to be there for more than a few minutes so we figured it would be okay. Meghan went to move the car and I heard the lady say “That’s not cool.” Meghan apologized and explained that she was just going to the yard sale and that she would move the car right away. The lady kept repeating, “That’s not cool” and bitching at Meghan, who kept saying “I said I was sorry and I’m moving the car now.”
Now, please note that this woman was not actually planning to pull her car out and go anywhere. I think it was more a matter of principle that her driveway should remain clear. Which is fine, but moving the car didn’t seem to pacify her. I’m really not sure what she wanted to have happen at that point. I heard the conversation get a little more heated, but what I didn’t know at the time is that the woman pulled out a camera and took Meghan’s picture! When Meghan asked why, she said something about how she could call the cops and have the car towed (which has no bearing on taking a picture at all … especially since the car was already being moved away). It was totally psychotic. Unfortunately, I was the one holding our camera so a reciprocal photo was not taken. When Meghan got back to the sale (after parking the car far, far away) she told us all of this and the people having the sale nodded sympathetically and implied that they’d had previous issues with this crazy neighbor.
Fortunately, after all that it turned out to be a good sale. Every time I thought we’d looked through everything I would turn around and there would be new boxes out on the lawn. We probably stayed there for about twenty minutes digging through their stuff and each left with a pile of items.
We headed to another street on the same street but about 5 blocks down (talking about the psycho driveway lady the whole time). The first thing I saw when we got there were boxes of records (and an assortment of oddball hats).
I started digging through the LPs and found some that looked good. I was almost afraid to ask how much they were, but the guy said fifty cents each! Stoked, I started making a pile. He had a ton of wacky thrift store records — religious nuts, failed comedy acts, wacky synthesizer/pop experiments, outdated exercise instructions — and some decent jazz and lounge stuff too. It was fun stuff, and I found at least five or six weirdo records that I either own, or owned at one point but have since let go. At first I was being pretty selective, but after a while I fell into that “throw it in the pile” zone and snagged anything that looked halfway appealing.
I had a feeling there was other good stuff there that I should be looking through, especially when a sea of pickers suddenly started swarming around out of nowhere. Even when Meghan called out, “Hey! A banana slicer!” I couldn’t tear myself away.
By this point Meghan had already staked her claim on this great marquee board with tons of letters. I can only imagine the things she will be spelling on it. (This picture shows it exactly as she found it.)
After I finally finished digging through all four boxes of records and started looking around the rest of the sale, I was impressed by all the wacky junk he had. I think it’s safe to say that he spent much of the last twenty years or so hitting the thrift stores hard.
I grabbed a stack of great books (mostly cult movie guides and that sort of thing) and started digging through the piles and bags of clothes, adding a few oddball t-shirts to my pile of stuff.
There was also a nice selection of fine art.
I was tempted by some of these, but considering that this arrangement looks alarmingly similar to what’s leaning up against one wall in my basement, I had to pass.
Finally we decided we were ready to total up. Meghan spent $50 and didn’t have quite enough money left. My purchases came to $40 and I was able to cover what she needed so we didn’t have to make another bank run. As we slogged our stuff to the car (parked well down the street, several feet away from anyone’s driveway) I noticed some freeboxes and started pawing through those. This is where I lost all restraint and started throwing anything remotely interesting into my bag, including some red Ikea starburst-y curtains, Richard Simmons Deal-A-Meal cards, and a promotional sperm (seriously) from Seed of Chucky.
As we finally drove away I ripped open one of my purchases — a $1 grab bag! Normally I am not at all interested in grab bags, but from the kind of stuff the guy had out, I figured at the very least it would be interesting. I was not wrong! Here’s a photo of everything that was hidden inside the paper sack.
Is that the best grab bag ever or what? I was tempted to go back and get more.
On the way to our next stop we happened upon an unadvertised sale. Sadly, when we walked up we were greeted by this very tidy yet completely unexciting assortment of items.
At least the prices were right. Digging through another area Meghan found six vintage ties. They were fifty cents each, but the man agreed to sell them all for a buck, especially since she didn’t need the coat hanger they were draped over. (Go figure.) I grabbed a vintage glass ashtray and a packet of old Christmas gift tags out of his free pile, which also included a paper bag with about a dozen assorted paper-wrapped straws in it and a paper bag with about a dozen assorted plastic utensils in it.
I had to knock off sort of early to head to a wedding, so we only had time for a couple more stops. We hit this huge rummage sale, which looked like just about every huge rummage sale in the history of mankind.
Meghan found a crazy plastic dog that was sort of pathetically cute. She hemmed and hawed over whether it was worth buying, until she noticed the hole in the back where you could insert a light. She tried to convince me to buy it (in the “someone should get this but I don’t think it needs to be me” school of thought … of which I am practically an evangelist). When I declined, she bought it herself.
There were a couple of other sales right near the rummage sale. Our last stop turned out to be the same sale where Meghan had purchased the poofy blue crinolines, wacky costumes, and other assorted vintage clothing items for $1 each a few weeks ago! We weren’t sure if we should bother going in again, but we figured it might be worth another look. Amazingly, they still had a ton of good clothes left that we hadn’t noticed before. Meghan amassed another pile, including a few ’60s men’s suits and a long velvety women’s coat, again for an incredible $1 apiece. I got one jacket, two singles (The Aristocats and Dolly Parton — good combo?) and a few unused vintage greeting cards — I think I paid $2 for everything.
Meghan had originally planned to continue on for a while without me since I had to leave early, but she decided she’d spent enough for one day. Here’s part of the haul (there was a bunch more in the back seat). For a short day, we did pretty good!