Meghan was out of town last weekend and as a result, she wasn’t there for what turned out to be a very bizarre day of sales for me and Karl. Our first stop was listed as “Kind of a digger sale so not for the faint of heart…” Scary yet intriguing, right? They also mentioned “100’s of records” so naturally Karl was all over it. This sale was in a small neighborhood I never knew was there, tucked away behind near a huge park. It seemed that we were getting further and further away from civilization as we headed toward the address.
We weren’t actually sure if we were on the right road, but then we saw a tiny sign leading us to this.
Diggers were already digging, so we headed in. Oh. My. God.
Sorry that picture’s blurry, though perhaps that’s actually a good thing to ease you into how nuts this sale was? Karl started flipping through the records. I looked at a few boxes — they were reeeeeeally crusty.
I started poking around through some of the other piles, feeling thankful there was hand sanitizer waiting in the car.
Maybe there was something good somewhere, but I sure couldn’t find it. Most of the boxes I opened were filled with Playboys (even a box that had originally held Girl Scout Cookies — that just seems wrong), and the clothes spilling out didn’t look promising enough to risk sticking a hand deeper into the piles.
I found a plastic file box with an assortment of old photos, mostly from the ’80s or early ’90s — it seemed like there was potential for something amazing to be there, but after a while I just couldn’t deal. Karl bought a stack of records and we retreated back out of the woods and on to potentially better pickin’s.
While heading to our next stop we spotted an unlisted sale with this eye-catching sign display out front.
Unfortunately this was the best thing about their sale.
Next was something listed as a multi-family sale, but with lots of vintage/antiques — it seemed like they knew they had good stuff, but I didn’t get the dealer vibe. It turned out to be some “estate items” from a relative, plus some newer stuff. What was great about this sale is that it was in an enclosed garage, so they had gotten everything set up in advance and it was all laid out neatly. It was pleasant just looking around! The people were really friendly but also followed us around from room to room talking about their items, so it was hard to take pictures. I did have to take a shot of this crazy ’70s dress, which looked brighter and more sparkly in real life.
I paid fifty cents for a huge bag of old plastic swizzle sticks (mostly from defunct Seattle locations, with a smattering of Reno and Hawaii mixed in). They have now been added to my existing huge collection of vintage swizzle sticks. Let me state that there is really no reason for anyone to own this many swizzle sticks. I also bought a gold-tone necklace with chunky red, white and blue rock-like beads — very “old lady” style but for some reason I liked it, so I put it on and wore it around the sale. By the time we left I had already lost interest, but I felt like I was committed since I was wearing it. Karl bought a few things here, including some great dresses for a pal — they weren’t super cheap but the people ended up giving him a deal on all his items. As they were chatting they asked his name and he said “Karl, with a K” — the man said, “So it’s C-A-R-K?” He seemed to think that was a real knee-slapper.
That sale was definitely a little odd, but in a pleasant, non-freaky way, so we pressed ahead to the next stop. The address seemed to be almost in the middle of some railroad tracks, but it had been listed as “Huge estate sale with many rare hard-to-find treasures and beautiful antiques” — sounds normal, right? Right?
Yes, that is what we found. We were tempted to jam it in reverse and get out of there, but we figured we had to check it out. In we went …
Adding to how strange this was? NO ONE WAS THERE. We poked around and I kept thinking someone would pop out and say hi, but no. Most of the stuff was a little … distressed-looking, shall we say? But some things had their own kind of peculiar charm.
I started thinking maybe this sale wasn’t so weird … then Karl pointed out the HUGE PILE OF KNIVES.
And then? A banjo.
Are you thinking what I was thinking?
Karl still wanted to look around, but I decided to go wait in the car. After a minute or two a guy walked out from god knows where, stood in front of the car and waved at me. I waved back, then he went and talked to Karl. He ended up being super nice and charged Karl five bucks for a pretty big pile of stuff. So I guess it all worked out.
After that we drove over to another semi-estate sale — their ad said “Years of going to estate sales and garage sailing have come to this. We are letting go of some of the treasures we’ve found along the way, along with several items from grandparents’ estate.”
They had a nice spread of stuff and the prices weren’t too bad.
It seemed like they were moving out of the house — one room was empty except for these dolls.
We bought a few things, but it didn’t turn out to be any big whoop. But it was a good sale to end on — clean, bright, and no reason to fear for one’s life. And sometimes? That’s really good enough.