One of my favorite sources of inventory is Estate Sales. Remember how your mother always told you it was rude to snoop in other folks closets and cupboards? Well, at an estate sale you're encouraged to disobey your mother!
Today's sale was one for the record books. The sign up sheet went up the day before & I stood in line for hour in hopes of getting in on the first wave. It paid off - I got in on the first pass at 8am. I called uncle at 11 when my eyes couldn't take it any longer. By then the line was up to person 180 and the folks still standing in line were facing an average wait of 2 hours.
The home was a large, run down mansion in a very expensive part of town. It was chock a block full of stuff. The former owner was a hoarder, but not just any old hoarder, he was a hoarder with money. Lots and lots and lots of money but unfortunately he was not the most discriminating of buyers - at least when it came to books. He bought many, many, many books but the bulk of them came from Half Price Books. Still I managed to unearth a treasure or two among the flotsam and the jettison.
His real passion was Hispanic Art, toys , toy cars, models, cameras, vinyl records & clocks. Every room was packed to the rafters with toys, models both assembled and unassembled and every available surface was covered with clocks and cute pop culture kitsch. Those areas aren't my forte so I pretty much left it to the myriad of toy collectors and resellers. I did manage to score 2 big Harry Potter Lego sets.
He loved Star Wars, The Wizard of Oz, Harry Potter and the Lord of the Rings and had just about every tie in ever made. Nobody could figure out where he he slept or ate or "lived". There was not one easy chair, bed, reading lamp or kitchen table in the place. Even the bathrooms were so full of stuff that they couldn't be used for their original purpose. Maybe he didn't live in the house - perhaps he just used it to store the stuff!
Normally at an Estate Sale it's pretty easy to get a picture of "the dear departed" based on what they leave behind. That wasn't the case at this one. I knew he was a "he" and I'm pretty he was gay and suspect he was in his 60s. It was actually a very sad sale - all those piles and stacks of "things" lovingly collected over a lifetime were left behind to be pawed over by strangers.