Archive for March 2019

Estate Sale

March 20, 2019

The first I noticed there was something unusual going on at Bob and Jeanine’s house was when I saw a small crowd of middle-aged people standing in their driveway first thing Saturday morning. I should have guessed: An estate sale.

Not a garage sale, mind you, where people try to unload the crap they don’t want anymore. But an estate sale, where everything in the household is up for sale, including a lot of valuable possessions.

Bob and Jeanine were already an old couple when I moved into the neighborhood nine years ago. Now, Bob is dead and Jeanine is in an assisted living residence. They were both native San Diegans. Jeanine went to Hoover High School and Bob attended San Diego High. Their high school yearbooks were among the things for sale.

I bought Bob’s 1960 yearbook that was filled with signatures of favorite teachers and best wishes written in neat cursive and signed by students. The school was racially mixed even back then, with many black faces shown in the clubs and sports teams. You saw black and white photos of the members of the school’s Hilltop Choir, donning concert robes. The Thespian club dramatically posed. The girls in the Pom Pom Corps and Homecoming Queen Alice Cruz. They had a Russian Club, despite the Cold War.

Bob owned five bags of golf clubs. At the end of the sale none had been sold. He had a bunch of Minolta film cameras. Jeanine had a small collection of sacred art, some of which she bought on visits to Europe. I bought a small crucifix and a stylish bronze Last Supper print that I added to my own collection.

The biggest thing I bought was a mission-style loveseat that was only $38 by the last day of the sale. Nicholas and I carried it across the street and put it in our living room. A couple of estate sale veterans looked at it and said I should check for an emblem on the bottom to see if it was a Stickley. If so, it would be worth a couple thousand bucks, they said.

I did check, and there was a tag calling it a Gustav (Stickley’s first name) and saying it was delivered by Jerome’s, a local furniture store known for bargains, not arts and craft collectibles. OK… so it’s a Stickley knock-off, but still a nice bit of furnishing.

The loveseat has moved to my house.

I guess the best thing I saw was a picture of the lives led by two neighbors I would chat with on the curb outside but never really knew that well. I hope it’s OK, Bob, that I got your old high school yearbook, and I ended up with that loveseat.

 

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