This is really what it's all about; to find the sale of all sales. Has it ever happened to anyone you know? Bob Deakin resides in Florida as a newspaper and freelance writer and maintains his own web site (see the "sites worth visiting" section to the right or just go here).
One of these days I'm going to find the estate sale from heaven.
I'll be driving by late on a Saturday afternoon, long after the professional “taggers” have contaminated the place after their week of planning, research and subsequent assault.
I'll park in the large, shaded driveway, not on a narrow two-lane major thoroughfare with a 55 mph speed limit, and I won't feel like I'm walking onto the set of King of the Hill if it wasn't a cartoon. I will comfortably get out of my car and no dogs will be there to harass me, nor will I experience the requisite rise in testosterone preparing to kill them.
I will leisurely stroll over to the house with a presence of pleasant human beings when a lovely female hostess arrives, leading me through the spotless, palatial estate. Thereafter I take in the sights, observe the wares – all tagged with prices – and wring my hands at the countless opportunities while the score of an Italian film from the early 1960s plays softly in the background.
Right away I find an old Hammond B-3 organ, just like the one on the pop and rock songs of the 60s, and it works. I confirm the model by easily looking on the back panel, see that all the parts are in place, and make it known to the hostess that I plan to walk out with it, and find that she wants only $50, a significant discount from the several thousand dollars I would expect to pay.
I then head back to the items on display to find a vibraphone with the electric vibrato foot pedals in place, also working, also with a price tag of $50, again a solid discount from the several thousand dollars I would expect. Once the purchase is secured, before I even make my way across the room, I stumble over a Bang & Olufsen turntable, never used and still in the box from 1982. There is no price tag on it but the hostess doesn't even know what it is and tells me I can have it for, “does five dollars sound fair?”
Indeed it does. I secure it and continue browsing.
I pass the countless antiques, Ansel Adams prints, 1920s cuckoo clocks, 1930s telephones, 1940s baseball memorabilia and neon Ballantine Ale signs from the taverns of Manhattan in the 1950s, making small talk with the hostess. I then spot a dark blue, sharkskin suit with narrow pant-legs, matching white handkerchief and cuff links, circa 1962, a la Dean Martin in the Rat Pack movies. It's a perfect match for my size, and the hostess modestly utters, “would you be interested in the cocktail mixer set, including etched-glass martini shaker, ice bucket, silver-plated snifters, bottle stopper and tan leather case from the same era?”
“Indeed I would, although I only have so much to spend, and I would like the suit, so...”
All my dreams of the 1960's are nearly complete and I take a complementary walk around the place, ponder a few more purchases, and notice that I'm a bit parched.
“Would you care for a Negroni? The hostess offers, introducing herself as Maria. “It's the original martini, the perfect blend of gin, sweet vermouth and bitters. If you don't mind vintage martini glasses from the set of Hitchcock's Dial M for Murder, I'd be happy to pour you one.”
“Well... I guess one wouldn't hurt,” I politely respond.
Maria, who is the spitting image of Sophia Loren in 1960, pours two and hands me one, then gently caresses my hair with a swath of her hand, admitting she's a bit shy for being so forward on a Saturday afternoon at an estate sale.
“My sincerest thanks to you, my dear,” I say, raising my glass toward hers. “Such a lovely day among such opulence, with such a charming hostess being so kind to a gentleman stranger. What, may I ask, have I done to deserve such splendor?”
And just then, I turn over in my bed and wake up. Damn it! Another Monday. Why can't I have these dreams on Saturday mornings.
Thanks Bob! What about your greatest "find?" Drop me a line if you have a story to tell. Size doesn't matter, and as you have read, reality is optional.
Just what the Doctor ordered...