I’m not a big fan of garage sales, but…

Kathryn Spira is shown with some of her garage sale finds. (Photo courtesy of Kathryn Spira)

So it’s hard to believe September is already here. As usual, the summer has flown by. I can’t look back on this summer without mentioning something all our little communities around here participate in and that’s yard and garage sales.

I’ve always maintained I thought garage sale shopping was kind of like pawing through other people’s cast-offs. I had a boyfriend that used to say, “One man’s garbage is another man’s gold.” I guess that has some truth to it. Also, it’s a great chance to socialize with friends and neighbors around our area.

See, there was this sheet set last year and this pitcher that went with my dish set this year…. It’s always something that catches my eye just when I think I can pass everything by.

I can’t speak on this subject without thinking of my mother (who to this day I still can’t believe is deceased) who used to refer to this as garbage picking! 

This year I started out by going to my next-door neighbor’s, who set up quite the extensive display. I bought two shirts. They are basically late fall and winter shirts and I really like the material. I forgot that I bought these shirts until about 10 seconds ago. I had my aide who was with me that day (Alee #1) hang them up in my closet and I think I will have Aly #2 who is with me today take me back to my closet and to the shirts. (Since both my aide’s names sound the same, I’ve assigned them numbers according to who came on the job first!)

I rolled up and down the street perusing the sales and at the end of my road I found a beautiful cream and pink pitcher that matches my “laura Ashley” pink and cream dishware. I bought this dishware around 30 years ago at a going out of business sale in New York City at the department store called Gimbels (once the largest department store chain in the US that you may remember from the 1947 film Miracle on 34th Street). 

I bought a 12 piece set thinking that one day I might entertain like my mom used to do when I was a kid growing up at 2330 Traymore Road in University Hieghts, Ohio, about an hour northeast of Cleveland. She used to have big shindigs for thanksgiving each year and I actually started having my family over from out of town when I lived in Greenwich Village of New York City about 35 years ago. Man, I’m dating myself!

I enclose a picture of me with the new vase. You can see how well it matches my Laura Ashley pattern that is on the salt and pepper shakers and sugar bowl pictured with it. I think I’ve used this pink set of dishware daily since I bought the vase. I will also include here a picture of the shirts I bought. I think my total expense for everything was $7. 

I can’t end this writing to you guys without mentioning the fact that for the first time ever last year I actually participated in the selling of stuff at garage sales. See my next-door neighbor here in Caroga Lake offered Herman and I a table in their yard. I got rid of literally dozens of sweat shirts and Herman got rid of some of his old cassette tapes, (remember those?) but that’s the only garage sale I’ve ever sold stuff at. I don’t think I would do it again because I regret selling those sweat shirts, but live and learn!


Kathryn Spira, a native of Cleveland who pursued an acting career in New York City and Los Angeles, now pursues freelance writing from Caroga Lake, in Fulton County. Previous columns and contact information may be accessed at her website www.kathrynskorner.com. You can also follow her on Facebook under Kathryn Phillips-Spira, where her columns will also be posted.

By Patricia Older

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