Editor’s note: All photos were taken by Gillian Rhodes, Daily Texan Staff.
Yo yo yo!
Welcome to The Garage Sale Review! This entry, friends, marks Gillian and I’s seventh journey into the underbelly of Austin’s odds-and-ends culture. That means we’re straight-up grown-ups in yard sale years! Maturity — so exciting! In honor of graduating to hard-core, level 99, adult garage sale blogger status, we decided to make this coming-of-age post a very special one indeed. No, we didn’t host our own garage sale (that requires some granddaddy garage sale hero experience), but we did tackle a Herculean task almost as intense. We went garage selling on Sunday.
Now, Sunday garage sales are wild, rabid beasts compared to garage sales on other days. On Saturdays, garage sales are a dime-a-dozen and it’s not too tough to wrangle up some interesting items for stories and photo-ops. Sundays, however, will eat you for breakfast if you don’t have the proper training. Garage sales on the Lord’s Day are the picked-over, chewed-up leftovers from Saturday yard sales. It’s a challenge to find the juicy stuff, so you’ve got to bring your A game. But get ready, people, because we brung it.
4703 Sagebrush Circle
The morning started off with Gillian and I hoppin’ in my car and Gillian immediately yelling at me to pull over so she could puke. She had a tough night last night at Rio Rita’s and was paying for it this morning. I hit the emergency flashers, pulled to the side of the road, let her do the thing and took pictures. When she was “done” I asked her if she wanted me to take her home and I would fly a solo Sunday mission, but, she being the garage sale champion that she is, she wiped the vomit off of her face and pointed to the rugged road ahead.
The first garage sale we checked out was being run by Danae. Danae’s garage sale was overloaded with baby stuff, which usually implies the turn, turn, turning of passing seasons and children growing up and their parents selling their old, saliva-crusted chew toys. With Danae, however, the baby toys and clothes that she was selling were just a bunch of stuff that her stepmother gave her to sell.
She also had a bunch of knickknacks for sale. There was a hookah for $20 that she doesn’t use anymore, an old bicycle horn and an Insane Clown Posse action figure. I asked if she considered herself an I.C.P fan and she looked down and admitted that she used to be when she was younger. Wow! A reformed Juggalo! You don’t run into one of those everyday. I gave Danae a chance to explain her old I.C.P tendencies and she said that she grew out of the band. “So now I’m just kind of like ‘take this stuff away.’” Danae said. “I don’t know what happened.”
7311 Scenic Oaks Circle
This was a unique garage sale in that it was being held as a benefit for the garage seller’s boyfriend, who passed away a couple of weeks ago. Tish was selling the stuff so she could give some of the proceeds to the family. She didn’t want to be photographed, but she said it’d be OK if we checked out what she had for sale.
Also, Tish was very proud of her garage sale sign placement. She said that she had made sure to put helpful signs on busy intersections that effectively directed people to her garage sale. I have to admit, Tish was right. Her signs were quite clear and helpful. It’s nice to run into a garage seller who really cares.
We found some interesting ceramics (leftovers from a neighbor’s garage sale) like that cute little squirrel and that cute little peeing dog and a nice little rock collection, but the real treasure was the box of cassette tapes in the backyard.
There were some truly golden-oldies in the box, so Gillian and I dove right in and came up with some great finds. An Air Supply’s greatest hits tape was there along with Stevie Wonder, Dolly Parton and even good ol’ Bill Cosby. Talk about some heavenly tunes! If you’re listening to our garage sale music montage, you don’t need me to tell you.
We were about to head out when we ran into Helene, a fellow garage seller and a redhead to boot! Helene approached me with no hesitation whatsoever and gave me a friendly “Oh, a fellow redhead.” Whoa! Helene definitely knew just what to say to warm my heart and make my acquaintance. We exchanged heritage stats (standard protocol when redheads meet) and I found out Helene is a Russian redhead (she said I look like I’ve got some Scandinavian ginger in me). I asked her if she’d be interested in telling me a little about her garage selling experiences and she said she would be glad to help. That’s the best part about yard sales — the friendly people who share each other’s passion for cheap crap. The common interest connection is enough to give me goose bumps.
“I love [garage selling],” Helena said. “It’s like a treasure hunt. You never know what you’ll find. Yesterday I went out and found a beautiful end table. It would go for like 90 or 100 dollars for sure and I got it for 15.”
1104 Austin Heights Blvd.
Our next garage sale stop brought us to the yard of Yohan and Elisa. This garage sale had caught our eye because it was a rare “Sunday only” model. It takes a strong-spirited garage seller to brave the treacherous waters of a Sunday-exclusive garage sale, so there was no way we could pass it up. I asked them why they chose to defy garage sale logic and Elisa said that it was simply a matter of not being able to get off of work in time to make it happen on Saturday. Risky business, I say, but Gillian and I wished them well.
The couple had some nice items for sale, including some international fare from Greece and China, a cool owl, a wine glass from a 1992 prom and a bunch of old VHS tapes. Yohan told me that a garage sale shark, which, as Yohan delicately put it, is one of “the old men who show up at like 6 a.m.,” had snatched up the only old porno tape he had, but he assured me there were still some good movies available. He was right, and for $1 each there were definitely some steals. Also, we found a garage sale kitty that, according to Elisa, had just started hanging out earlier that morning when they were setting up. There’s nothing like a photo of a cute garage sale kitty to boost blog traffic.
1716 Bissel Lane
Our final stop of the morning was Gary’s garage sale. Gary owns a floor covering business and he was selling a lot of mint-condition power tools to help him make some money to pay rent and bills. Gary said that his business had dropped off to the point that he was considering moving to a different city where the rent wasn’t so high, but in the meantime he was selling his tools at 25 percent of what he paid for them. He wasn’t very excited about having to sell his equipment, but he said that he didn’t have another choice. Chin up, Gary! The tools were in great condition, so hopefully somebody scooped them up and gave Gary some quick cash for them after we left.
Gary was also very into rockin’ music, judging by his extensive rock cassette tape collection (we grabbed The Cars, Creed and a few other can’t-miss tapes) and also his $4000 drum kit (that he was selling for $2000).
OK, you guys, we’re glad y’all could make it out this week. Tune in next time because garage selling is cool!