Going to an estate-sale is more than just looking for antiques and other items to buy. To me, it marks the end of the owner’s active life.
It’s leaving behind those cherished things that have served the owner’s life style. In most cases, it’s always a regretful decision.
Just look around; look at your own house and look at the things in it that you cherish; consider that some day you must part from them.
Of course, the organizations who perform the services of placing a home and everything in it for sale, don’t have this deep sense of emotion about the things for sale, including possibly the house. To them, it’s just another client.
Personally, for me, being a superstitious cuss, walking into a home during the process of an estate sale, I have these ghostly feelings about buying any of the items. My primary interest is in the nature of the home, who built it, the architecture, when it was built, and its character. It’s a living thing. A house, to me is like a ship, it protects and wraps around its owner. It’s an obsession of mine to know everything about the owner of the house, when did he take ownership of the house, what did the owner do for a living, what was his profession, and how many children. Of course, the conductor of the sales would have no interest in these matters and I painfully learned that.
Walking into a house one day, during an estate sale, I made a dreadful mistake. The owner of the organization performing the sale was sitting at the front entrance. He was sitting at a makeshift desk working a cash register. Asking him some questions about the house interested me. I was nearly commanded to leave the premises.
Naturally, in analyzing the situation, he was there for the purpose of sales, not for the purpose of knowing something about the history of the home.
Mixed into the estate-sale are the employees of the organization performing the sale. There is fellowship among these employees; some are there primarily for the fellowship. In most cases, the pay scale is far below the established minimum wage.
When the sale is completed, the employees return to their normal activities, and wait to be called for yet another sale. After being total strangers to each other, they become a social group. They meet for lunch, have parties, learn the art and the value of antiques, and other activities in between sales solely for the purpose of socializing.
Everyone, even if they have no interest in antiques or flea markets, ought to visit an estate-sale.
Bond lives in Richmond Hill.