On a recent weekend, my wife and I visited an estate sale. If you’ve never been to one, an estate sale is a garage sale of dead people’s stuff.
Unlike a garage or yard sale, generally everything that isn’t nailed down and a few things that are nailed down are sold.
If I lived in a perfect world, I think I would start giving stuff away one day, and when I got down to the last thing, I would just keel over.
However, I am a person with a lot of stuff and I married into a family of stuff collectors. This is not the best combination, but I am very happy.
You can tell a lot about somebody by his or her stuff. On this weekend, the people whose stuff was being sold appeared to be Republicans. I made this determination based on the books that were being sold. There was one book by Jimmy Carter, the rest were written by or about Republicans.
They liked good music. They had a couple of albums by Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians. For those of you who don’t remember, Guy was the king of New Year’s Eve before Dick Clark claimed that title. His rendition of "Auld Lang Syne" was probably the most famous for many years.
I noticed at the most recent New Year’s celebration that they played “New York, New York.” That’s a nice song and I guess it works if you’re in New York. It doesn’t work if you’re in Topeka. I don’t know if anyone has ever written a song about Topeka.
They also had a collection of albums of Hawaiian music, as well as an album by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. The album contained the songs “Whipped Cream” and “Spanish Flea, “ which were used for years on “The Dating Game.”
They also had some Time-Life records of great songs.
Across the room was a hi-fi with an asking price of $125. For those of you too young to remember, a hi-fi was a record player that would play half-dozen records on a spindle. Based on the number of records, the hi-fi had been put to good use.
I think they like a little libation from time to time. They had a wet bar in the basement, along with a built-in icemaker. They had a lot of glasses that were of the highball variety.
Now, that is a supposition on my part. My Daddy bought my Mama a set of crystal champagne glasses, which we referred to as sherbet glasses, because my folks never drank champagne. We also had also had some tall crystal highball glasses that were never filled with anything stronger than sweet tea.
By the way, these folks had three glasses that matched Mama’s set and I bought all three.
When I walked through the bathroom, there were little bottles of shampoo for a quarter and a can of hair spray for a dollar. I didn’t need any, but I guess somebody eventually did.
There were all sorts of coffee table books about China and other world destinations. I don’t know if they visited or just bought the book. They did attend a World’s Fair, based on the souvenir cup that was for sale.
It’s a heck of a way to get rid of your stuff.
I hope when I go, there is no stuff left and nobody comments about how natural I look in a casket.
Harris Blackwood is a Gainesville resident whose columns appear on the Sunday Life page and ongainesvilletimes.com/harris.