Sunday, January 15, 2006

A Garage Saleing We Will Go

A Garage Saleing We Will Go

Thanks to my friend Pie and a stack of yearbooks, I meet up with another budding book seller and garage sale fanatic.

Being as Type A as am I if not more so, she’d organized and plotted out the sale locations on Mapquest. The weather was perfect so off we went.

Our first sale was a Phantom Sale, but undeterred we pressed on. Second sale consisted of several newly graduated college students selling the leftovers of their old life. Tossed in for good measure were some bits of pieces belonging to the mother of one of them. Mother appeared to be a craft aficionado and a bit of a cut glass collector. My friend, who knows about the latter, picked up some nice pieces. The sale was bookless- rather surprising considering the age of the students but I ended up with some storage baskets.

Following some signs we came upon another "college students entering into a a new phase of their lives" sale. The former phase was Hotel Restaurant Management and I spotted some likely looking tomes. I flipped them through ScoutPal and was well pleased with the results. In my eyes, the day was already a success and anything else pure gravy.

The next sale was a hop out and hop back into the car experience – thank goodness neither of us needed baby clothes. However, the Hispanic mothers were in garage sale heaven. Garage saleing is very popular with the Immigrant community- groups of women in mismatched double-knit and their small children pile into a battered van and set forth. There is usually one schoolchild along who functions as the translator. I’m not in the least interested in what they are seeking so we get along just fine.

Hunger set in after a couple of more sales so I proposed we take a break at El Rey.
El Rey is a funky little place on a bustling corner of yet another neighborhood in transition. The patrons sit on diner style stools and watch the day labors loitering on the corners while sipping lattes that cost half the price of those at Starbucks. El Rey started out a blue collar Cuban / Mexican greasy taco place but the clientele is becoming more and more upscale. Luckily, the prices have not.

Signs lead us to yet another unadvertised sale – this one in a metal warehouse surrounded by up and coming houses. The area inside the 610 Loop is undergoing a massive revival and building boom.

The goods had that flotsam and jotsam look of storage unit culls. I asked and it turned out I was correct – the man who owned the place specialize in buying the contents of foreclosed storage units. Boxes of battered Christmas decorations, piles of toys, tools, stacks of books and out of style but not old enough to be funky clothes were heaped about looking lost and forlorn. I found a few books, my friend found some collectibles and I may have a source for future book buys.

Looking at the book titles, I determined I was buying the former possessions of an African American school teacher or Elementary Education student. You can tell a great deal about a person by just scanning the books they owned – or once owned. Storage Unit sales always slightly depress me – someone once loved all those things and now they are gone from their lives, spread out on the driveway and being sold for pennies on the dollar. .

We finished up with a couple of thrift stores and called it a day.

Went home, listed the books and 3 sold by the end of the evening. 3 Wham, Bamm, Thank You Ma’am sales in one day. Wish all days were so productive!

And not only that, I’ve made a new friend. I’ve made two through helping Pie through her illness. Guess when a door closes another door, if not two really do open.

I have tomorrow off.

Life is good.


Mamacita said...

I would sooo love to go Yard Sailing with you some day. I love that, too.

(I didn't misspell it. That's what we call it here in southern Indiana.)

Melinda said...

I _love_ garage sales, and am ridiculously jealous that you live somewhere that allows you to yard-sale-hop in JANUARY! I'm wearing mittens over here! :)

alice, uptown said...

You can read the contents of a storage unit just like the contents of someone's personal library, or array of pharmaceuticals in her/his medicine cabinet. Each is far more revealing than its owner (or former owner) realizes.