Not for the faint of heart

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

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.

Down the rabbit hole

We weren’t actually sure if we were on the right road, but then we saw a tiny sign leading us to this.

Scary digger sale

Diggers were already digging, so we headed in. Oh. My. God.

"Kind of a digger sale"

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.

Record pile

I started poking around through some of the other piles, feeling thankful there was hand sanitizer waiting in the car.

Mounds of crap

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.

Piles and 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.

Sale sign on hoop

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.

Disco dress

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?

Scary railyard sale

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 …

The stuff inside

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.

Beer Angel

I started thinking maybe this sale wasn’t so weird … then Karl pointed out the HUGE PILE OF KNIVES.

Knives - Ask

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.”

Estate sale sign on car

They had a nice spread of stuff and the prices weren’t too bad.

Estate sale tables

It seemed like they were moving out of the house — one room was empty except for these dolls.

Dolls in a window

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.

Junk In My Trunk 10-22-11

7 Responses to Not for the faint of heart

  1. karl says:

    jenny, you forgot to mention i purchased a knife and stabbed you in the back with it – KIDDING! just a little Bloodbath Halloween humor! WE SURVIVED!

  2. Meghan says:

    Wow… It looks like I need to leave town more often!!!

  3. Melissa says:

    “clean, bright, and no reason to fear for one’s life”

    That cracked me up.

  4. Tawdry Swank says:

    Hey, I have that Anthony Braxton record. Karl has good taste in music.

  5. John says:

    Love your insights into yard sales! You folks are hysterical. I had a yard sale nightmare flashback last weekend at our sale at my in-laws house. 20 years ago when I was moving to Ga. to be with my son after my divorce, I had a yard sale to get rid of everything I wasn’t bringing south from NY…which was most everything after my divorce. I had a load of old comics and this one guy kept dropping by every hour or so to see if I’d sell him the whole box of comics for $10. I told him the comics were $.50 a piece and I had over 100 in the box. I almost beat the guy to a pulp when he knocked on my door later that night around 8pm asking about the comics.

    20 years later in Georgia…SAME deal. This weirdcomic book dude keeps asking me about a box of comics I’m selling. They’re really not great books but I was having flashbacks. Not good. I sat my big dog next to the box and gave him a bone to chew on and weird guy kept milling about but was afraid to approach the comic box. The guy ended up buying some luche libre mags from me and I gave the comics to kids I volunteer with on weekends.

  6. Colin says:

    Oh wow I was at that scary digger sale! When I saw people taking pictures it was kind of weird but now it makes sense 🙂

    Apparently this guy was cleaning up his father’s property while he was in the hospital. This garage sale was just a way to get the public to help him clean the garage! lol! There were some decent records in the pile, though most were on the brink of mildew.

    I’m loving this blog. Keep up the good work!

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