For far too long, I have been delaying the inevitable project of getting rid of some stuff. We have talked about a yard sale for a long time, but have not quite put it together.
I come from a long line of people who hung onto stuff long after it had served its useful purpose. I also married into a family with a similar bent. We now have two houses of stuff. One we live in and the other that needs to be emptied.
There are things that are beyond their yard sale days.
For example, I opened a box and found a bag phone. It was the first generation of cell phones, which required plugging into your cigarette lighter. We thought it was quite the modern invention at the time. It is now, like me, a dinosaur.
I also own an 8-track tape player that will hold five tapes and play them in order. Unless you're going to listen to Vic Damone or the first Led Zeppelin 8-track tape, which I also own, there's not much of a market for the machine.
Somewhere in that stuff are a few pieces of "exercise" equipment. Mama decided to buy one of those things that had a belt that you wrapped around your waist and it was supposed to massage the extra inches off your hips. We also bought a thing, at somebody else's yard sale, covered in wooden spindles that were supposed to rub the fat from your thighs and backside.
The only place I saw one of these actually used was in a commercial for a fitness center. The commercial featured the late Ed Thilenius, who was the sports director of Channel 5 at the time. That was more than 35 years ago.
I have some coats with lapels so wide that the wearer could become airborne with a sufficient gust of wind. Ditto for some ties that are about as wide as beach towels.
Also in the collection is a pair of red, white and blue wing-tip shoes that I purchased for the bicentennial celebration in 1976. Like many fashion items, I thought they were quite the accessory at the time. I've known only one other male who owned a pair of similar shoes. The Rev. Nelson Price, who is retired from the pastorate of Roswell Street Baptist Church in Marietta, owned a similar pair and wore them on the Fourth of July.
There are several pieces of furniture that have been antiqued. Notice that I did not call them antique pieces.
Somewhere in the '60s or '70s, somebody decided that it would be really pretty to refinish furniture with this paint-like substance topped over with an ink that would accent the wood grain. Most were a dark green or red. Like the wingtips, we thought it looked pretty good at the time.
I've been to Boston, Williamsburg, Va., and other historic cities and never did I see anything quite like the "antiqued" furniture that I have now inherited.
I also have a slightly scratched album from Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass and the soundtrack from "Gigi" featuring Maurice Chevalier.
This is going to be one great yard sale. I'll keep you posted.
Harris Blackwood is a columnist for The Times. His column runs every week in Sunday Life.