Sunday, February 24, 2013


Note: Very long post ahead

One simple pleasure that I've always loved was going to yard sales (garage sales). 

They're always so interesting, you know? People selling off whatever they don't need, and you can get something relatively cheap that would otherwise cost very much new. I don't mind having used things, as long as they look nice and run great.

As of late, I've been hanging out a lot with my couple friends, Michael and Cynthia. We get along great, and on Friday, I asked whether or not they would like to go to yard sales. Cynthia lit up, and they agreed. Her mother was to join us, so four of us would be on a shopping spree.

Fast-forward to noon, Saturday.

I didn't sleep at all, and after maybe a one-hour nap, it was go time!  We headed out to a yard sale nearby and were looking around. I saw a small saucepan, maybe a quart or so, that I liked. It was old, but it did the job right. I called the woman over and she said, $2.50. I haggled, "You won't go down to a dollar?" She replied, "No, sorry. $2.50" I said to Michael, who was standing next to me, "Fuck that shit."

All four of us perused, but didn't find anything worthwhile.

We drove to the northern part of town and found two ladies holding a very small sale. We got out, and I found a pot holder (which is great because I keep burning myself), a glass from the ATF, socks, and a pizza pan. Three bucks.

Michael and Cynthia bought a blown-glass vase, and I'm not sure if their mother bought anything. 

Back in the car, I told Mike and Cynthia about an estate sale I had seen the day before, so we headed to it.

We parked a few houses down and saw that a sign of the door that said, "Welcome! Come on inside and browze [sic]!" Mike walked in first and were greeted by a lady wearing a black sports jacket. She told us to look around and that the back rooms were open, too. 

Everyone was going in a counter-clockwise motion, so we walked down a hall to the kitchen. The lady who greeted us motioned us to look around. I said to her, "I'm really sorry for your loss." 

She replied, "Oh, thank you. I appreciate it." She went on tell me that her grandfather had just died, and that her dog had died a few days prior. "It's only February, and it sounds like a really bad year so far." We both laughed at it, and I told her that things never stay the same, that they always get better. She agreed, and walked back towards the living room. 

In the kitchen, I found a package of tin pie plates. Mike suggested that we visit the back rooms, and so I followed him. The room was filled with knick-knacks and office supplies. I went for the office supplies, and tested out a hole punch. It was dull.

Mike saw a kerosene lamp and honed in. 

As we left the room, we were impressed by the light switch. It had a nice faceplate, complete with a humidity indicator.

In the next room, there were more knick-knacks, along with some linens and hats.

We finally headed towards the living room. I walked towards a table layered in book. A woman next to me quipped, "They're all Christian books." She began to state authors, including a few books by Billy Graham. I grabbed two books, one entitled A Man Named Peter and another by F. W. Dixon, which I think is a Hardy Boys Mystery

There were two other tables filled with knick-knacks, but something in the corner grabbed my eye. It was a record player, complete with speakers. I asked one of the granddaughters there if I could use it. She agreed, and I went towards it. I grabbed a record, and set it on the spindle. 

I asked how I turned it on, and she said to turn the knob. I turned it, but nothing happened. She then asked, "Is it plugged in?" "Oh, it isn't!" Embarrassingly, I went and plugged it in. I turned the knob again, and the platter began to spin. "But how do you get the record to go down?" The lady who had greeted us came over and began to mess with it. She didn't know how to get it down, and ended up pressing the record down until it fell on the platter.

But for some reason, the playing arm wasn't finding the record. So again we messed with it, but the player was in a lost loop, never finding the record. In the end, an older woman, which I'm guessing was the mother of the younger women, asked if I wanted it for free. I agreed, and I thanked them because I had always wanted to own a record player. 

I went through the records of the man, and found that most were religious in nature. There were a few though, that I loved, including one that was titled Snoopy v.s. the Red Baron, Let Us Entertain You, which was pressed by Magnavox, and a single record that had this song on it. 

I was lit up like a fucking Christmas tree.

On an ottoman next to the player was this brown book. The book was falling apart, so I opened carefully and inside, there were these shellac records. Unlike vinyl, which is soft and flexible, these were hard. They were old, pre-1940s by the looks of them. Some of them were even in their original paper envelopes. I was so shocked by it that I didn't even want them because what if I broke them? 

The older woman who had helped us told us that each book was $10. 

I knew I was over budget, but what the hell. 

I left there with a record player, a book full of old records, and some other things. Twelve-eighty-five.

I told Mike about another estate sale in the southern part of the city, so away we went.

We were greeted by a blonde-haired woman who told us everything was half-priced and that everything was negotiable, except for those things labelled with an "F".

I found a nice umbrella that replaced a golf one that had been broken by my brother's friend a year ago. I also found a canvas Texas flag (I've always wanted one, y'know), and a frame that could fit a certificate.

Mike and I walked into the garage, and found it full of some phones, an answering machine or two, and random parts scattered about a work-bench. There was a man working something towards the back of the garage, who didn't seem to notice Mike and I in the room. Cynthia and her mom followed us, but we didn't find much of interest in there. As we walked out, they stopped into a laundry room and looked at the Tupperware containers on the shelf. Across the shelf, hats, one of which had stitched "KOREAN WAR VETERAN" on it.

The man had been a Korean War vet.

Mike and I headed for the back rooms, and again looked through books. I pulled one book entitled, The Things to Know About Kidney Disease, and quietly set back down. "Maybe that is what killed the owner." I told myself.

Cynthia and her mom had joined us, and her mom looked through the belts they had. I pulled one off, but it didn't fit. I handed it to Cynthia, who promptly put it on Mike. Cynthia took it off and said, "I bet no woman has ever done that." I stopped Mike before he unbuckled it and took it off myself. I said, "I bet no man has ever done that to you" and walked away. Ha!

In the next room, there were a few travel bags lying on the floor. One was a Hugo Boss bag. I promptly grabbed it. There was a hat on the dresser, which I put on. It was too small, but looked nice anyway. Cynthia had her phone out and took a photo of me with the hat on. Before she put it away, I sat on Mike's lap, and stuck my tongue out. He did the same and she took our photo.

That's me.
In the corner of the room, there were a few coats. Didn't fit. But damn, they looked nice.

I walked out with a frame, back scratch-er, an umbrella, a canvas Texas flag, and the Hugo Boss bag. Three dollars.

We were driving back towards home when we saw a sign for another sale. It turned out to be in a church. 

In a back room, there was so much stuff. I headed for some bake ware and an oven plate. Also, I a thermometer, because I was in need of one. I found a cooling rack (those cost like $8) and a box full of candles. 

Towards the left end of the room, some audio cables and a Dell mouse. 

As we checked out, I got into a little argument over the box of candles. Cynthia told me what it was exactly I wanted with a box of candles, and I reason, "When the electricity goes out, we can turn them on." This idea seemed to be out of her reach, but I kept at it. The lady said, "O.K, the box, four dollars." 

Haggling, I said, "How about two dollars?" She got this Oh-hell-no-two-dollars look. We began to go back-and-forth until finally, I just let it go. She gave me a free candle, and I walked away with a cooling rack, computer peripherals, a mouse, an oven dish, and a thermometer. Six dollars.

The night ended with us going back to Cynthia and Mike's house, where we ate some pasta and chicharrones And I fixed set up their computer, too

Total items: 15
Cost: $25