Junk in my Trunk

After a hard week of writing down at Tybee I decided I needed a junking treat. So Friday morning, I saddled up and rode over to an estate sale run by my favorite dealer. The sale was in Buckhead, which usually means primo stuff. Not this time! I should have been tipped off by the fact that Vicki, the dealer, was standing in the front yard of the house when I pulled up. Why? Because the house in question had been shut up for five years, after the late owner’s wife passed away. And during that time, the rains came. Followed by the twins; mold and mildew. EEEEWWW. A huge dumpster in the backyard had already been filled up, and the rest of it should have followed. Vicki admitted that she would have been standing out in the street, if it were possible. I did, however manage to scrape together a cardboard box full of stuff priced at the grand total of ten bucks. For my money I got some nice old ’20s-40s sheet music, a small white matte pony-shaped pottery vase, a big seashell and three silverplate dog show coasters. All of this is destined for my booth at Seaside Sisters. On Saturday morning, the one day when I had only two hours to junk because I had a date to babysit Molly, there were sales galore. I was headed out to some sales in Midtown when I happened across the Lake Claire neighborhood sale. Now, in Atlanta, I have pre-determined ideas about what kinds of loot certain territories will yield. Buckhead? Pricey (and over-priced) designer goods and primo estate sale stuff. Morningside? Yuppies selling their old Pottery Barn stuff, plus the occasional good granny estate sale–at which there will inevitably be a 1920s Grand Rapids mahogany dining room suite, a moth-eaten mink collar, a walker and a potty chair. Decatur? Mid-century ranch homes with endless basements featuring rumpus rooms with moldy sleeper sofas and elaborate built-in bars with kitschy cocktail accessories and 40-year-old unopened souvenir rum bottles. Candler Park? Once in a while you’ll hit a good estate sale, but these days, I expect to find badly-framed posters, old bongs and the inevitable Whole Earth Catalogue. So I had no expectations for the Lake Claire sale, which is sorta part of Candler Park. I was cruising down the street when I passed a sale featuring racks of children’s clothing and toys. But out of the corner of my eye I spotted what looked like a piece of wicker. My husband thinks I have a built-in wicker warning system. I slowed and then backed up. I sauntered over to the wicker, which turned out to be an adorable rocking chair, which was heaped with over-priced used children’s clothes–like a $10 Baby Gap dress. I asked the price. The woman running the sale wrinkled her nose in disgust and explained that it was her husband’s grandmother’s chair “and it’s been painted like, a hundred times.” So? “Would you pay, like, five dollars?” Would I???? Sensing she had a sucker on the hook, she demanded a whole dollar for the accompanying wicker stool. Sold! The rocker is destined for Molly’s room, the stool will head down to Tybee.

Five dollar rocker, $1 stool, $12 baby shoes didn’t even break a $20 bill

With little time left, I discovered that Druid Hills was having their neighborhood yard sale. Talk about frustration. In the past two years, I’ve scored big in Druid Hills, which, for those of you outside Atlanta, is the neighborhood around Emory University, where DRIVING MISS DAISY was filmed. Huge old homes, big money, even more monied yuppies than Morningside. The sales were scarce, because lots of people had decided that more threatening rains would mean more flooding. But I did find a sale at a huge home where the owner was closing out her children’s clothing and accessories business at the Merchandise Mart. With the clock ticking, I scored three never-used pairs of baby shoes for Molly. Total price–$12. This morning, Katie wanted to get in on the fun. We hit several sales, picking up nothing except for a couple of DVDs for our movie library at the beach. And then we went back to Candler Park, hoping for another good score. And I hit. Check out the vintage dime store shopping baskets and the rack they were displayed in. I remember these baskets from Kresge’s and Woolworth’s when I was growing up. They’ll be headed for sale down to Seaside Sisters.

Collapsible canvas dime store shopping baskets–these could be yours!

And Katie and I will have to get busy making a chair cushion for the wicker rocker that will match the pink and black decor in Molly’s room.

4 thoughts on “Junk in my Trunk”

  1. LOVE those baskets. I hit a great estate sale this morning complete with cute boys to carry the stuff to my car. Gotta love service.

  2. You assessed the neighborhoods very accurately! There's always an exception to the rule but you hit the nail on the head!

  3. Hello,

    It's been a while since I visited your site.

    Thanks for the post. It's funny how we make up what we might find in certain neighborhood…

    My experience is that most of the time our assumptions are right on, but every once in a while, there's a treasure in an unexpected neighborhood…

    In our last Sonoma Estate Sale we found a Slot Machine in the same garage as a 1967 Morgan…

    Good Shopping Luck To You,


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