Friday, August 06, 2010

Return to The House O' Stuff

There was so much stuff in The House O' Stuff that the estate sale dealer opened the place up for another weekend sale.  The ad gleefully burbled  that they'd found 3 hidden rooms and the pictures showed another toy store's worth of toys including Legos.

I learned last week (as folks tried to buy them as I stood in line to pay for them) that Legos are well worth buying.  Once again the dealer (Heaven bless her) used a sign up sheet with strictly enforced sign up times.

Said list was slated to make its first appearance at 5pm the Friday with the sale opening at 8am on Saturday.   At 3:30 my lawn chair, my Kindle & I joined the line where a quick count showed I was number 9.  Whoo Hoo!   I'd be the first group in the door.

I showed up at 7:45 the following morning to find a line of over 100 people and quickly slipped into my spot.  At exactly 8am, not 7:50 and not 8:01 they started calling out names. Once inside I scurried up the stairs looking for Legos.  Luckily for me everyone else was looking for Star Wars and luckily for them Star Wars are not my forte. We co-existed beautifully.  I struck gold, or rather Legos in the second room and quickly assembled  a stack higher than my head.  Sets in sealed boxes, sets in open boxes, boxes of mixed sets  - it was all there.

The dealer cleverly stationed minions (easily identifiable by their red shirts) in each room.  Their job was to keep the peace and carry your purchases downstairs and put them on the sold tables. Very wise strategy since not only did it keep the buyers in house where they were guaranteed to buy still more stuff, it also kept the pilfering at a minimum.  2 minions proceeded to carry out my selections while I stood guard over the rapidly diminishing pile.

Once the Legos were safely stowed I set my sights on the games.  There were stacks everywhere and I quickly gave up trying to research them and grabbed titles that had "sell appeal".  I gathered up all Space and strategy games in sight and also found some Puzz 3D puzzles.  Every time the stack outgrew my arms a minon appeared and carried my purchases downstairs.

I took a final pass around one of the rooms and idly opened an amoire which chock full of  untouched videos and DVDs.  The advent of DVD made most of the videos worthless (lots of musicals, because the former owner was a Queen) but there were still a few cult gems hidden among the songs and dances.

By some odd coincidence I'd also worn a red shirt and that, coupled with my scanner convinced many of the buyers that I too was a minon.  As the morning wore on I started getting queries.

Buyer "Where are the Legos ?"
Me "Sorry they are already sold."
Buyer: "Did you see any manual typewriters?"
Me  : "No, but if I do I'll come find you."
Buyer: Where are the kaleidoscopes?"
Me : "In the room over there"

Buyer:  "Which room has the Stars Wars toys?"
Me: "The room around the corner."
Buyer:  Are you sure there aren't any more Legos?"
Me :"I don't think so"

Buyer:  "But the pictures showed Legos!"
Me:  "Yes, but they went first thing this morning".  
I just didn't tell them who took them "first thing this morning!".

After 3 hours my eyes and sinuses called calf rope so I went downstairs to survey my pile.  It was a very LARGE pile.  So large they'd run tape around it to keep it intact.  The dealer took a look at it, rolled her eyes and said $300.

Sold!  I paid and commenced to loading it into my car.  By this time the line extended around the block and the folks waiting looked on hungrily as I crammed boxes of games, Legos and puzzles into my Cube. Much to every one's amazement it all fit.

I then spent the rest of the week sorting, pricing and packing the  spoils.  I found out that The Dear Departed shopped garage sales and thrift stores - I recognized the red grease pencil that Family Thrift uses to price their items. Odd things came out from under the Lego boxes including  some Lincoln Logs and a framed print.  Pictures of the house had made their way onto the Internet and I discovered that some folks on my thrift list knew about the house and were most curious that I'd gotten inside.

The Dear Departed was a hoarder of stuff. Games, toys, books, records, music, cell phones, videos, you name it, he had in duplicate and triplicate and God knows how many icate.  It was actually rather sad to think of him, living alone with all his toys, shuffling his way among the paths
he'd made among the boxes.  The estate sale had so much stuff but nothing to indicate what kind of a person the former owner was - other than someone obsessed with piles of things.


Becky Lee said...

Fascinating. Truly. And I like your new-ish blog background, and didn't you have a PT Cruiser? :)

TYRaines said...

I love Legos and when I find them here in California I buy them up. What a goldmine you found! I'm trying not to be jealous... :)

Patty K. said...

So, Guusje, when they called out your name to go into the house, did they pronounce it correctly??? LOL

arkreynolds said...

Jim and I had fun reading your post and going through the pictures. We are not hoarders but could recognize many items in the pictures as things our parents once had, we have owned, still own, or have played with...what fun you must have had.

Anonymous said...

This is the type of post I love to read. I was not even jealous, but enjoying your success.