Sunday, May 18, 2014

A Day At The Ravenswood Manor Garage Sale

So, today was the official start of the Chicago garage sale season. I decided to go hit the big Ravenswood Manor to-do. It's a fairly affluent neighborhood, full of giant bungalows and snuggled against the Chicago River. And it's easily accessible by train.

or by tiger.
I seem to have been the only one that took the train. When I arrived, there was a ridiculous procession of SUVs and mini-vans. I'll never understand why people think they need to drive such giant things everywhere, much less drive at all. Surely, not everyone out today was going to buy a whole truckload of furniture.

$3 worth of books!
But then, I bought a whole backpack's worth of books, so what do I know? After spending the first hour passing up boxes of baby clothes, baby toys and kid's VHS tapes, I finally found a few garages with actual adult things for sale. Mostly, these consisted of boxes of Whoopi Goldberg movies and 90's rock cds. I had no idea that so many people had purchased Sister Act II. The pile of 33 1/3 books (with the PKD and Adrian Tomine randomly thrown in) was a nice surprise for me, and gave me a brief false hope about the taste of middle-class America.

$1! and just like the cars that real Native Americans drive!
This lovable, clunky Buddy L car was from one of the few families that were selling anything older than the last five years. They were an older couple who had obviously just cleaned out their basement. There were some larger Tonkas and great old board games, but I wasn't up for taking anything home that wouldn't fit in my bag. 

A few other homes had vintage stuff for sale, but they were overpriced. In our internet age there should be no reason why anyone should be convinced that their damaged Archie comics would be worth a dollar each. Also, lining up in lawn chairs while chugging down beer and blasting jock rock is not going to keep patrons browsing through your collection of vintage Journey albums.

$4! ouch!
I finally ended up buying some comics from another table; at least, for having $1 boxes, these were bagged and boarded. More than I would usually spend on collage material, but I've actually been looking for a copy of that Kool-Aid Man promotional comic. It's one of many odd promos I've seen ads for in old issues, but haven't handled in person. The Transformers #1 is as close as I'll get to nostalgia, but toy tie-ins are always cool, anyway. The X-Men/Teen Titans just promises loads of Chris Claremont/Marv Wolfman soap opera dialogue.

In the end, I didn't take away a ton of loot, but I learned more than I needed to know about the listening and viewing habits of those in the higher income brackets. The people of Ravenswood Manor once spent many nights watching Titanic on VHS and listening to REM's Monster on CD. And now, so can you.

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