Last Sunday I saw an estate sale about ten blocks from my house, so I thought I would pop in and just take a look around. We hadn’t hit any sales on Saturday and I was feeling pretty good about that. But I was driving by, no line, and parking in front of the house. Why not?
The house was packed and I was a little surprised, I found some vintage patterns and ended up purchasing around 50 patterns at 50 cents each. When I was ringing up, I asked about any clothing she might have made and they said they could pull a few items out for me. I bought two dresses from the 1930s for $6. They told me to come back next week, since they would have more items. I thought maybe they were bringing stuff in from other sales, but they explained that they’d had to take a lot of the original stuff out of the house just to make room!
Friday they posted an ad with some photos. In a big jumble on a table I spied a Little Miss No Name – the 1965 doll with a tear drop and burlap dress. About ten years ago I had one, but I ended up selling it on eBay, since it really is super creepy. Anyway, I wanted to be first in line and buy her.
The plan? Meet at my house at (ouch) 7:45 AM and go get numbers. We had to wait around for a while and Karl entertained us by recounting the time that a guy who was standing a few feet ahead us threatened to punch him at a thrift store. (Karl retaliated by calling the guy a dildo.) We end up being #13, 14 and 15.
We now had about an hour to kill until the sale opened up. We stopped for cash and baked goods, then hit a couple of sales that had started already. These were unremarkable except for Karl buying an enormous pair of mounted horns that barely fit into the car. Then back to the estate sale where folks were lining up (by number) in anticipation.
The doll? She was priced at $60 and was snatched up by one of the first few ladies at the sale. Well, easy come, easy go. I figure it couldn’t hurt to just go up to her and very nicely say “hey, if you don’t end up buying the doll could you let me know, since I would love to purchase her.” Seems reasonable enough, no?
I went upstairs and it didn’t really seem like all that much was new, but I did score another large stack of patterns. Then I made the rounds downstairs, but didn’t find anything there.
As I was heading over to check on Karl and Jenny, the friend of the woman who had the doll came over to me and very quietly said in my ear: “Do you want the doll? Ten dollars.” What? Are you fucking kidding me? You want me to pay you a finder’s fee of $10, so I can pay $60 for the doll? Fuck off!
Karl didn’t seem that shocked when I told him what happened, but I have never had this happen to me. You either want the item or you don’t. In the end I did get the doll after they put her back down. Of course now that I have her, she is super creepy.
Next, we hit another estate sale. This one was a little oddball. Tons of planters upstairs, but I am not paying $20 for a small Bauer pot. There were a lot of kitschy vintage items, like some large Keane prints (which sold soon after we got there) and this inflatable Inky Dinky.
Upstairs in one of the bedrooms I ran into the same two ladies who tried to shake me down at the last sale. Great! I pulled down a framed poem about the woman and her dog from the wall, and then in the next room I found the photo of the dog.
On another wall I spotted a framed calligraphy copy of the lyrics to The Rose. You are kidding me, right?
Jenny told me to go look in the basement where she had a ton of old booze bottles. We found her Substance Abuse Professional paperwork from 1987 inside a box of them.
She had also filled up some old booze bottles with colored water.
Then I found the camping, or maybe survival supplies. Like a whole box of pre-packaged water which expired in 2004?
After that we hit what Jenny thought might be the craft sale from last year, where I purchased the Crafts for Retarded book. We thought it might be upstairs in their apartment building and felt foolish when it turned out to be outside, but around the corner.
Jenny bought a few t-shirts but sadly, not this one (way too small for any of us).
We made a couple more stops sales after this: a couple of them were drive-bys (one was a repeat from two weeks ago, one just looked bad) and one was a fundraising sale for “a friend who needed to make rent” that we later found written up in a neighborhood blog. Karl had to knock off at 11 and I sort of wanted to keep going, but Jenny was ready to bail too so we decided to call it a day.