Saturday, June 27, 2009

garage sale

The garage looks remarkably sparse (if well arranged) here, but I promise you, each side was in fact full of well-chosen, well-arranged, tasteful stuff - all at bargain prices, all ready to go.   Only it stayed.   We had put up notices.   We were there bright and early, at 8.   But no one else was.   One person turned up after about twenty minutes, rummaged around, and bought a rather beaten up wrench for $1.   Then another long pause.   Then three Hispanic women negotiated, hard, for two rather elderly and faded tee-shirts (50c), and a bath mat (an exorbitant $2, I think).  And so on.   It was a very dispiriting process, and if we hadn't sold a t.v. and its stand, we wouldn't have covered the cost of the labels that I'd bought and on which I'd written prices.   Happily, some friends turned up - thanks, Connie, Jeff, Greg, Marita, Edward! - or we would have been very lonely.   

So what does one make of this?   We are, after all, used to yard sales in Eldorado, where it's hard to find parking within comfortable walking distance at opening time.  But we came to see that there were other yards sales within a block or two - and then that these were multiplied again and again in street after street, neighborhood after neighborhood.   LA is yard sale central.   And there are properties to let, also block after block - people are moving out, not moving in, and judging by most of our (sparse, very sparse) clientele, those who remain are looking only for the very cheapest bargains on essentials, not what - for the most part - were the relative luxuries and trinkets  that we had on display.   It was very sobering.  

Anyone want any very cheap things?   At this rate, we'll be moving them across country and they'll turn up again at Highland Park's annual mass yard sale in September...


  1. I'll take one of those glorious (English?) teapots. And I love those institutional (library?) chairs. . . . though I'm sure I couldn't smuggle the latter past my partner. Good luck with the move, Kate. As one who recently passed through that vale of suffering, I salute you!

  2. Ah, the post yard sale blues. I know them well. The last one I did was at my mom's place. My first, also at my folks place some thirty years earlier. At that one, I was trying to unload my old high school woodwind. I got two queries. One visitor asked what the instrument was and when I answered, she said, "What's a noboe?" My next door neighbor of the time end up buying it for $10 to make it into a lamp. Doubtless the only light ever to shine through that poor victim of my ownership.

    A friend here has a rule for dealing with the no-partum blues. What ever doesn't sell gets kicked to the curb.

    Except books--those must get moved and then put on sale in front of Murray this fall!

    Looking forward to having you both back in town.

  3. All sympathy gratefully received! And Meredith, the white teapot is yours...(we dropped the lid on the blue one)... And we did, indeed, take all the very cheap and/or vile stuff to the curbside, and it went *very* fast ... apart from two shelves, two pillows, and a 1993 Moviegoers Guide...