Yard Sales For Dummies


When early Spring rain

thaws the barren earth

peeping crocuses appear,

a signal that town-wide yard sales

will pop up overnight just like

cadmium orange chanterelles.


A tantalizing treasure hunt begins:

no need to scuba for gold doubloons

buried in the bowels of Spanish galleons.

Call a friend to navigate,

move out smartly at 0900,

make a mad dash to every sale in town.


An eye for collectibles required,

most anything old will do: handcrafted

items valued for their patina and charm,

fine dovetailed craft of the cabinetmaker.


Aficionados search for records and books,

a 78 Bix Beiderbecke or a first edition

of Finnegan's Wake, a major coup.

Wedgewood, Lalique, French Limoge.

Pocket watches, vintage cameras,

stereoscopic images and daguerrotypes,

a magical mirror of Victorian days.


A squeezebox, harmonica and

banjo for the musically inclined.

A Gene Autrey cap gun or

Red Ryder rubber-band rifle,

memories of childhood play.

Downtrodden accoutrements

for a fashionable depression-era kitchen.


But keep in mind collecting memorabilia

is habit-forming. If you get hooked

you may have to stand and admit:

"I am a yard sale addict,"

the first step on the road to recovery.

Right after one more lovely yard sale.


Milton P. Ehrlich