Saturday, June 30, 2007

Garage Sales

Gadabout woke up this morning to find that the neighborhood was hosting a garage sale. The house next to mine is vacant awaiting renters, so at first glance I thought new neighbors were moving in. Not the case, the vacant driveway was being used as a staging area. Since Gadabout is not an active garage sale person, I took the opportunity to see what stuff people get rid of, profiles of buyers and what sells. It was all very enlightening. It was like an expedition.

Now, I should mention that I was a little late to the party since I made a Starbucks run first off and read the paper before making my rounds and asking questions. It was during my initial rounds that I was informed most of the action was over by 9 o’clock, so the vast majority of good selling items were already sold. Darn it!
Even though I was a bit late, I still was able to make keen observations. I noticed that people expose themselves at these sales. Lifetimes of memories are carelessly stacked along a driveway for all to see. What was personal and protected yesterday, is now discarded today. Soulless and now nearly homeless relics of a distant past rest in silent disgrace. Books once bought and read, discarded pictures that no longer decorate walls, cameras that once recorded family histories, televisions replaced by newer flat screen models, VCRs and VCR players, clothes, and snow skis can all be found at a garage sale. Sadness and loneliness.

What do people do with all the "gems" they pick up at these sales? Are they resold on ebay? Is there a trading marketplace that I am unaware of? Do buyers actually keep some items and use them in their homes? A surfboard sold for $75, and I thought that high. The televisions weren’t moving at all—not even for $10! I was informed that some clothes moved, and I personally saw some paperback books being bought for a nickel. The mystery remains.

Gadabout wasn’t just a few hours late to the garage sale, he was 40 years late. This is a slice of Americana that drifted by unnoticed to an uninterested eye for many years. Unrecognized in a similar fashion as when after 20 years of listening to a song on the radio, a sudden epiphany of the lyrics occurs and awareness is attained. Gadabout attained awareness this morning on another unique aspect of the American landscape. I am keeping my eyes wide open these days; capturing, seizing and understanding the fabric that binds us as a nation. I do this unselfishly for all of you.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Gadabout Jack said...

Yep, agreed. Giving to charity works too.

jimmy ray said...

I try to give to charity, becuase selling it takes to much energy and I can use the tax write off...

Also some of things I have seen at garage sales makes me wonder
"What where they thinking"....