There’s something very Norman Rockwellian about yard sales. I’ve always enjoyed going to them and browsing through the accumulated flotsam and jetsam of a strangers life. Of course, I always feel a little guilty where there’s absolutely nothing the person has that I actually want. It’s like I feel I’ve wasted their time and hopes looking over everything and judged them wanting in some regard. “Nope, sorry, there’s nothing here I want. Why don’t you have nicer things? What? Oh, you got nicer things, and that’s why you’re getting rid of all this lot. Well, call me the next time you have a yard sale, then.”
But I digress…
I had gotten a tip through a local mailing list about a big neighborhood yard sale that was going to be held at a church in Atlanta on Saturday. The person in question who was alerting everyone had spent some time as a book reviewer, and also had entertained the idea of one day starting up a used bookstore. Between these two ambitions, he had accumulated quite a number of books, and with an upcoming move looming, had decided to divest himself of the ones he didn’t want to keep.
Both kitanzi and I are both rabid bibliophiles, and we’ve both recently had to give up the large bulk of our libraries when we split up with our most recent exes (both of us had a limited amount of space available to use when we moved, and neither of were too inclined to argue over possessions which were eventually replaceable). We’ve been replacing books whenever we’ve had a little spare cash and a chance to ransack a secondhand bookstore, and this seemed like a good opportunity, so we went to bed early on Friday night, so that we could get up extra early and be at the yard sale first and get the best shot at the selection.
According the e-mail, the yard sale was to start at 8:30am, so we got up at 6 so we could get showered and out the door by 7:00. Since it was in a part of town I don’t know that well, we wanted to have some extra time for getting lost and found again. It turns out that for once, mapquest gave a fairly reasonable set of directions, and we found the church by 7:30, but of course no one was actually there. Content that we knew where the church was, we backtracked to a nearby Waffle House for breakfast.
On the way to the Waffle House, we passed the most interesting thing: a large parking lot full of ice cream trucks. I’d never thought about where ice cream trucks were parked when they weren’t on duty. In fact, I never really realized they parked at all. I somehow imagined them forever circling the world on a lonely and endless voyage, accompanied only by frozen butterfat and calliope music.
The Waffle House was crowded, and for a while we wondered if we were invisible before 8am and just never noticed. They finally came and took our order, and the food followed shortly afterwards.
We got back to the church at 8:15am, and so far only one person had shown up, apparently to set out tables and such for the eventual sellers. They told us things weren’t supposed to actually start happening until 10. Surprised, we went back to the car to read a bit and listen to Weekend Edition on NPR.
About nine, the guy with the books showed up and started setting up his table, so we got out of the car and went over to introduce ourselves and begin perusing his stock. He had a lot of nice stuff, and our pile of “thing we wanted” started to grow rapidly, eventually spawning a second stack when the first started threatening to tip over. Highlights of the plunder included:
o two Ted Sturgeon paperbacks
o a dozen Doc Savage novels
o a quartet of A.E. van Vogt novels
o three of Tom Deitz’s Davy Sullivan books
o some hardcover Orson Scott Cards
o several short story collections
o two Lovecrafts and a Derleth collection of Cthulhu stories
o two Connie Willis short story collections
o four “Art of Star Wars” books
o two novels by filkers: one by Julia Ecklar, and another by Juanita Coulson
and a bunch more.
In addition, for no extra cost, he threw in a cardboard box which contained about three years worth of Locus, Aboriginal SF, Science Fiction Age, and assorted Omni magazines.
Having secured the main bounty we had come for, we perused the rest of the tables, picking up a few treasures as we went, including a couple of clothing items, a gift to take to the kids next weekend in Tennessee, and a copy of the Beyond Balderdash board game still in the shrinkwrap.
The crowning find of the morning, though, was a real steal. I saw a couple of guitar cases over in one area, and went to check them out. One of them held a Yamaha SJ-180 acoustic six-string. I took it out to examine it. The strings were dead and out of tune, but it was otherwise in pretty nice condition. “How much?” I asked, curiously. “$29” Sold before he could change his mind!
Once I got it home, I tuned it up and found it had a very nice sound to it, and is going to make me a perfectly serviceable instrument once I’ve gotten it to a luthier for a proper setup and a fresh set of strings.
We came home and unpacked our loot, then did the grocery shopping. We had offered to babysit for eloren so she and her hubby could slip out for a movie this weekend, but she called to tell me they’d decided not to go out this weekend and asked if our offer would still be good another time, which of course it is. So we read a bit, I catalogued books and eventually we watched the britcoms on GPTV.
Sunday we went out to do some shopping. While we were out, I got a call from telynor that her router had died and could we possibly come over so I could take a look at it in exchange for dinner. I told her I had a spare router that only needed a new power supply, so as long as her power supply was not the problem, she could have that one. We went over and I set about putting mine in the place of the dead one, only to discover that the power supply cords were different. Huh?
Oh well, it’s only 5pm on a Sunday, let’s make a mad dash for Radio Shack. Harper and I got to Radio shack at 5:30, to discover THIS location closed at 5. Bah. We ran by CompUSA and MicroCenter, the latter of which was also closed at 5, and the former of which suggested we go to Radio Shack. We picked up some groceries from Kroger and went back home for dinner.
After dinner, telynor and duality finally got to sit down and see Wag the Dog, which is a wonderful movie, if somewhat eerie with current events what they are today. I had brought the DVD over for her to watch a couple of weeks ago, and she hadn’t gotten a chance to see it yet. I enjoyed watching her react to the movie, so I’m actually glad she hadn’t seen it yet. After the movie, we came home and fell immediately into bed, chasing after sleep and the dreams they bring.
And that, my friends, is what they call a weekend these days.