Monday, May 18, 2015

Up in smoke

As we all know, no matter how fast you are, there just isn’t enough time on Saturday mornings to get to every sale that sounds promising. Ella usually finalizes her yard sale list on Friday nights, making educated guesses as to which sales will be best, and giving precedence to what I call institutional sales (i.e., schools, churches, clubs, etc.).

On Saturday morning, with her sale list in hand, we started our journey at a square dance club sale, and it was like a reunion of pickers when we got there, with representatives from a local auction house, which we attend now and then, already making a pile of “good stuff,” including firefighting collectibles, which came back to haunt me later in the day.

Seeing that all hope was lost at that sale, we hightailed it to the next sale on our list, finding assorted items, including a large vintage accordion style wooden sewing box for our antique booth. The rest of the morning was a disappointing blur of high-priced estate sales; sales with quantity but very little quality; and ghost sales (i.e., advertised, but non-existent).

Around lunch time, we picked up a list from the antique mall showing what the contestants on the Endless Yard Sale possibly will be looking for when the show films in June at the mall. The color literally drained out of my face when I read firefighting collectibles. 

My goal is to get the contestants to stop at our booth, whether they buy anything or not. The firefighting collectibles that I missed because we were late to the Saturday morning party might have guaranteed us some TV time. Still, all was not lost, because we planned to go to the auction that evening, and, if the price was right, we could still acquire the items and any other collectibles on our list.

At the auction, I got a chance to look over the firefighting collectibles, which consisted mainly of different figurines. I was relieved somewhat, but the relief was short-lived when I saw the two vintage firefighting helmets, possibly from the 1950s and 1960s. When they finally came up for auction, bidding narrowed between me and another buyer, and when the other buyer upped my bid from $92 to $100 each, Ella told me to stop. 

I’d priced the helmets online before the bidding started, and such helmets usually sold for between $60 and $120. Both Ella and I knew that the meat on the bone, so to speak, was getting thinner and thinner, and I could see that the other buyer, a gentleman with a determined look in his eyes, wasn’t going to back down. So, I stopped, and watched that potential opportunity go up in smoke.

Obviously, I wasn’t in the best of moods the rest of the auction, or on the way home. On Sunday, I decided to do regular stuff, and after packing my meager sales, Ella and I worked outside; she painted, I pressure-washed. We even managed to watch a little TV, and fixed dinner, rather than eating out. I then washed the vehicles. It felt normal.

Today, though, it’s back to work.

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