Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Mega Yard Sale Madness!

The second weekend in August, much like city wide trash pickup, is something I see as a holiday. It's the weekend of the US 12 yard sales that stretch from Detroit to Chicago. Just my luck, US 12 is the main drag here in Coldwater, and about 3 blocks from my house. Every year I get up early-ish on Friday, and make it about 20 miles East by time things start winding down at 5. Saturday, I head West and make it about 30 miles. West isn't usually as good, and this year was no exception. Sunday I rest. This year was hands down my most fruitful year...and I'll show you why.

I found this neon green shelf at the VERY FIRST sale I hit at the Masonic Temple in Downtown Coldwater. It's the most expensive purchase of the entire weekend. It was 8 bucks, and a great start to the festivities.

I found this as I was getting ready to head home on day one. I was skipping a lot of stuff at this point, because money was getting low, and you usually don't need to stop the car to tell if a sale is gonna be shit. Then I spotted this sitting WAY back from the road leaning against a barn. Thanks 20-20 vision! I jumped outta the van practically before I had it stopped. I was expecting it to be pricey, because it was in an area with a lot of antique stores. Nope. one dollar...and the thing is HUGE. It needs a little work, but I think I can make it look real nice with little effort. On the back it says 1963, and I forget the manufacturer name...and it's down at the bakery, and I'm not walking down there right now, as it's like 5 am, and I need to go to bed...but I bet the same company made these, from my Christmas post.

I got this pair of Keane-ish sad eye paint by numbers for a buck at a sale of mostly antique farm stuff, being picked over by a couple wagon loads of Amish. Melanie hates paint by number paintings, but I think with these I'm starting to change her opinion. Hopefully soon she'll realize that the giant paint by numbers last supper at the antique store is a necessary purchase after all.

Either my dad or my grandma had these hanging on the wall when I was really little...I don't remember which. Our last name being Lyon, there was always lion stuff everywhere when I was little. Anyway, the pair from my childhood were all gold, but otherwise the same. I had totally forgotten about them, having not seen 'em since I was probably 5 or 6, but when I was in Cleveland at Flower Child, I saw a pair in the basement and memories came flooding back. Unfortunately, they were beyond my budget...but luckily, I found these two at a garage sale for a buck each.

These were my last purchase on Friday. They were 50 cents. They're Japanese, and neat, and that's about all I have to say about them.

Gotta love Platter Paks. One of the few things I collect that are neat looking AND useful. This one, however, is in REALLY dismal shape, so I probably won't use it to store anything. I didn't have this pattern yet, so despite being held together with scotch tape, I still had to drop $5 on it. I had to talk the lady selling it way down. She wanted me to buy the records she had in it too, all for $30. I don't need anymore Herb Alpert or Firestone Presents Christmas records, thank you very much.

My local Salvation Army was having a sidewalk sale, and they had a bunch of records on display in this. When I bought it($1.75), The ladies that work there said they couldn't believe it sat in there for so long without me buying it(since I scour for records there several times a week). I asked if they had records in it while it sat in the store. Nope, they used it to display shoes. The ladies at the Salvation Army are not very bright.

I don't know why this picture is sideways...It doesn't appear on my camera or my computer that way. I bought these speakers for a buck out of the back of a rusty trailer full of random junk. I think they look kinda cool, and I thought it was worth a buck to clean them up and see if they work.

I found these Martin Denny records at 2 different sales about 5 minutes apart. Every now and then, I go through an Exotica/lounge kick, so I need plenty of Martin Denny and Esquivel records and Shag books on hand at all times. Besides, it's hard to beat Martin Denny's album covers!

Speaking of Martin Denny, this is one of my favorite album covers of all time...Gee, I wonder why! I didn't get this at the garage sales...but you know, it'll probably be a REALLY long time before I talk about Martin Denny and his record covers on here again.

I got this REALLY clean Kyu Sakamoto record off the same guy I got the Martin Denny "Exotica" record from. He was a really cool guy that picked this up when he was living in Japan in the early 60's. I talked to him and his wife for a really long time. I didn't know what this was when I bought it, as there is nothing but Japanese writing on it, front and back...but I LOVE the cover, and the vinyl is clear red, so I was sold! I think I'm gonna put his cover of "Good Timing" on my Christmas mix this year.

This was my find of the year. Hands down. The guy selling it was a total asshole too, so it made the score even sweeter. He had a filthy barn full of shit, nothing priced. I heard him gouging the shit out of everyone trying to by stuff. I went through box after box of mouse eaten, dirty, moldy, stuck together, often sleeveless records. Out of ALL of them(probably 1500 or so), I pulled three worth buying. This, a Kraftwerk record(TOTALLY out of place amongst the mostly awful 50's/60's goodwill records), and ANOTHER Martin Denny record with an attractive woman on the cover(when a formula works...). I asked how much he wanted for records and he grabbed them out of my hands, and started looking them over. "What the hell is THIS?!" he asked about the Kraftwerk record. I started to explain Kraftwerk, and he just started talking over me/making fun of me. $5 bucks a record. "Well, you can put these two back then". I already have the Kraftwerk record, and I can't foresee ever dropping $5 on a rough Martin Denny record from a dirty barn. After I paid he said "WAIT! IS THAT BUDDY HOLLY?!" Yup...first pressing, really clean too. He wanted it back, and I found a few semi-polite ways to tell him to get fucked, and he made fun of me some more, but without much sting, because I had won the battle.

I got a lot of other neat stuff too...some novelty pins that I seem to have misplaced, and will have to wait until another post. A Ton of art supplies, a few more records...Jimi Hendrix, ect...some Wacky Packages cards. I can't wait until next year!


  1. OH my LORD! I wish I lived near that interstate sale!! Mega mega score on the Buddy Holly Album! Good job taking it away from that douche too. If I ever get married, I want a Buddy Holly medley as my first dance! I also want my 60's jukebox to be my DJ but I digress...oh where was I....Oh yeah, Damn dood, you gotta lotta loot! I love the gravel art fire bird thingy. Totally Rad. I love all of it, good job!

  2. So jealous.

    do you ever sell any of the stuff you find? Cause you know, it's nearly impossible to find this stuff in the Bay Area. That big wall thing you found... easy some jerk would try to sell that at the flea market for $100.

    I love living in the city, but I do think I'd be happy collecting shit in the middle of nowhere.

  3. Yeah, I do sell stuff from time to time, but it's pretty rare, as I generally just buy what I like, and not what I think I can make a profit on. I would like to run a small vintage store/record store one day though.

    Collecting in Michigan is GREAT because in the 50's and 60's, eveything was great and people had lots of cash to buy cool new stuff, but now everyone is moving away and selling all their neat stuff real cheap.

  4. Congrats on all of your scores! We actually have a pair of the peacock gravel art paintings. Paid more than a dollar for them, though! You lucked out!!!
    You can sort of see them here:

    Also have the lions in gold:

    There's a big yard sale like that that's starts out in Alabama or Tennessee and goes through several states. Keep meaning to check it out, but always forget about it until after it happens! DOH! Wonder if it's the same one?