West Seattle: Land of pirates, cat lovers, and creepy frogs

Posted by Jenny in Junk In My Trunk, Sale Tales | 7 Comments

Last Saturday was the annual West Seattle Garage Sale Day. I was out of town for it last year, but it was pretty fun the year before that, so I was stoked. It had threatened to rain earlier in the day but it turned out to be perfect yard sale weather! We made plans to meet Karl at a bakery right in the middle of things. We do try to stay on topic and keep the food bloggage to a minimum here, but please allow us to share this one photo of the numminess with you.

YUM

Fortified with croissants and coffee, we headed off. We had a map with well over 150 sales on it, and almost didn’t know where to start. Our first stop ended up being an interesting sale where all their stuff seemed to have odd prices, like $26 or $17. They explained “It’s marketing!” Not sure how well that was working for them since I didn’t end up buying anything, but along with their price tag “commentary,” at least I was entertained.

Be Like The Grim Reaper

Next we went to a sale where the people owned an ungodly number of books about cats. You can never really tell if the people bought all this stuff themselves, or if they had a cat and so their relatives decided to get them goofy cat books for every single birthday and Christmas ever. What’s shown here is only a sampling — there were far more of these, including gems such as “How To Massage Your Cat.”

Every cat book ever published

A few stops later, we hit a sale where we all thought it was funny that they had prominently posted “No Smoking” signs around the garage.

No Smoking Yard Sale

The guy told us there was more stuff around the back, and it turned out to be really good. They had rows of tables filled with all sorts of ancient items. A lot of it would have been super great except for being overly crusty or damaged, which was a little sad. But Meghan and Karl both got some good scores here.

Backyard sale

We went to one sale where there was a tidy collection of boring household items … and a staggering quantity of dirty magazines.

Yard sale smut

Next we hit a block with about six sales on it. At one sale we were all cracking jokes about the CDs this one guy was selling. Then Meghan realized that she knew him. She also knew the sellers at the sale a couple of houses down. In fact, I think she ran into at least seven or eight people she knew over the course of the day.

It was on this same block that Meghan heard one seller say “I’m bringing out a whole bunch of chicklets!” She wondered what the deal was, then the seller dumped out a box of books … it turned out to be Chick Lit.

We’d been out for about two hours and still had only covered a small section of the map, so we headed to a new area. We got sucked into checking out the group sale being held in a parking lot, even though both Karl and Meghan said last year it wasn’t very good.

Big sale

Sure enough, it was pretty much a bust, with too many people selling crafts or new items. The one good thing was that somehow Meghan managed to find a vintage Mexican circle skirt for fifty cents!

After that, we went to a sale that had stuff all laid out neatly on shelves in the garage. It had a little too much of that “perma-sale” feeling.

Bunny purses

Up until now I hadn’t even been looking at the descriptions on the official map, but then I noticed that one sale nearby said “Our treasures be your treasures now. Arrrrr matey!” I thought they were just being wacky in their description, but when we got there we found that they weren’t screwing around.

Yarrrrrrrrrrrrrd sale

I wished that I wanted to buy something from the pirate sale, but I left empty-handed. We ventured on, eventually stopping at another sale where the people were definitely having fun with their yard sale setup.

Altar of the Good Deal

The same people also had this Groundskeeper Willie on display. I don’t know if he was for sale or just there to lay down the law!

Buy uir mince!

Throughout the day we did see all sorts of signs. They ranged from the super-professional …

Glamorous yard sale sign

Swanky sale sign

… to the super half-assed.

Yard Sell

Around 12:30 we were all hungry and seemed to be losing some steam, so we headed to Zippy’s Burgers, where I have been wanting to go ever since Meghan went there after last year’s sale day. Oh my god, it was good. And as we were chowing down, who showed up but our pal and recurring guest star Leslie, who had been making the sale rounds with another friend. We all thought it was funny that she and Meghan had eaten there after the sales last year, and now without any prior coordination they’d both ended up here again.

We headed back to where we’d met up so we could drop Karl at his car, and saw signs for a rummage sale we’d missed earlier. How could we not check it out? Sadly, it was one of the sparsest, grimmest rummage sales ever.

Grimmest rummage sale ever

Maybe it had been good earlier — who knows? At this point it was pretty much down to junky books and fancy clothes.

Fancy stuff

In the parking lot nearby was another group sale. I was baffled by this sign posted out on the fence.

Frogsquatch

There wasn’t much there — maybe it had been cleaned out earlier, or maybe it was just never good. It’s hard to tell when you are hitting sales at almost two in the afternoon. They did have helpful signs designating various sections, like “Grandma Chic” and “Retro Groovy.” Sadly, I didn’t see anything that was either retro OR groovy. We started to head out, and then I spotted this by the cash box.

Do Not Touch the Squatcharium

The woman running the sale saw me looking at it and jumped up excitedly, wanting to show us her “Frogsquatch” t-shirt. I asked where Frogsquatch had come from, but I must have been dazed by the insanity of it all, because I honestly have no idea what she told me. In any case, I wasn’t even gonna think about touching the Squatcharium — that’s for damn sure.

We parked near Karl and sorted out the stuff in the trunk, which was filled up pretty good …

Junk In My Trunk 5/9/09

I thought I had bought a fair amount of stuff, but it turned out all I got was a handful of books, a couple of tiki mugs (which I don’t actively collect anymore, but I can’t seem to pass them up if the price is right), a ceramic plant pot, and a pair of kids’ sandals. Not the most score-riffic day! But I had a whole bunch of fun. And of course, part of the fun was seeing all the weird-ass stuff people had on offer … some of which we did indeed get pictures of. We’ll save those for Part 2 of our West Seattle recap, so do stay tuned!

7 Responses to West Seattle: Land of pirates, cat lovers, and creepy frogs

  1. Karen says:

    Those signs are so funny, and the no smoking one is so out in left field! I just want to say – I love to read your yard sale blogs. You both have such a great sense of humor, and I laugh out loud sometimes reading. I’ve commented before – I’m down in Tacoma where our yard sale season is now just getting going.

  2. Jenny says:

    Aw thanks!! We both used to thrift in Tacoma/Spanaway all the time, but I haven’t made the rounds there in years. Hope you have some good scores this year!

  3. Karen says:

    A friend and I have thrifted in Spanaway too – we used to love the one (was it Bargains Only?) in an old grocery store on Pacific Avenue near 512. Sadly they closed, but we still go to Bargain World and Good Will.

  4. Meghan says:

    It was BARGAIN WORLD. I used to love that one. Sadly, I remember being there and not having much cash and passing one of the most amazing suits (pink 50s leather skirt and coat) Ever. I still a little pissy about it.

  5. Lisa says:

    I liken hunting thru sales to the thrill a gambler gets when he picks up the cards of the felt – good or bad?? Sadly, I’d probably suck at gambling cause it’s usually nothing interesting 8 times out of 10. But those 2 times you score just about make up for the washes!

  6. Leslie says:

    That super-creepy rummage sale did yield at least five of the Lamparski’s “Whatever Became Of” books and an unknown to me, godawful book about Joan Crawford.
    Clearly you happened upon better stuff than we did. This year there seemed to be a plethora of baby supplies and much less vintage and useful housewares. Maybe next year will be better.

  7. bruiseviolet says:

    I understand the no-smoking signs. We have a garage sale every year- and with our little kids playing in the garage and a grandma who is insanely allergic to smoke with her athsma- I am appalled by the number of people who walk up to a garage sale smoking- let alone walk inside the garage while still puffing away. As a smoker myself, it offends me and is rude. I don’t walk into a strangers house and light on up or get into someones car and just light one up. So I completely see the reason for the no smoking signs- sadly we had to place them up at our sales as well.