Tag Archives: yard sale

Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec-Monfa

She slowly backed the car into a spot, then pulled up a bit, then backed up a little as he eyed up the row of artwork lined up at a yard sale.

“Would you park already!” he yelled playfully. She giggled and started pulling forward again just to get him riled.

“Hey!” he said, pretending to shove her. She laughed harder.

“It’s fine! Go on without me!”

“You know I can’t do that. Yard sale etiquette.”

She stopped the car and turned off the engine, but by that time he was already out the door.

“Come on!” she heard him say, muffled through the closed windows. She smiled; she couldn’t help but love him. She undid her seatbelt and joined him.

They were both pulled toward the same piece of art at the same time.

“Wow,” he said, picking it up. “I love this.”

“Me too,” she agreed.

The artwork was a dark blue silhouette screen print of a man with a big had, bushy beard and old-fashioned glasses. Next to the image was the name Lautrec in fancy lettering.

“I wonder who this is! I want it.”

“It would look great on our red wall,” she said as she pulled out her phone and started typing what he could only assume was the name on Google. He waited a moment knowing what she would say.

“Henri Marie Raymond de Toulouse-Lautrec-Monfa.”

“Well that’s a mouthful. Glad the artist shortened it for this print.”

She ignored him and continued. “Post-impressionist French painter, printmaker, draftsman and illustrator, wow he sounds interesting. Says he is as well known as Cezanne and Van Gogh.”

“Hmm…then why haven’t I heard of him, but I know them?”

She ran her finger up the screen. “Um…you have. We brought one of his back from Paris.”

“No we didn’t!” He thought for a moment. “Did we?”

“Yup. Look!” She showed him the phone.

“Funny. Who knew? I like Lautrec!”

“We do, honey. We do.”

He looked at the print once more then held it up to the purveyor of the sale.

“How much?”

A Great Road Trip

They put their vacation on hold for a few minutes when they saw the flea market sign. He slammed on the brakes, throwing a cloud of dust up from the dirt road their GPS lead them to, and made a quick turn.

“Is it okay?”

“Of course it is!” she said with an excited smile. “Although we really don’t need bait or ice.”

“Very funny,” he said as he pulled into the empty lot.

They got out of the car and couldn’t help but notice the building, a run-down diner on a dirt road in the middle of nowhere.

“Maybe the sign should say “Horror Movie” or something. Feel like we might be killed?”

“It’s entirely likely,” she said with a pretend-scared face. “Come on, the yard sale must be around back.”

They ignored the rusty screen door hanging from one hinge and passed the diner made of what looked like light blue, chipping paint. The windows were too dirty to see in clearly, but the lights appeared to be on inside and someone was standing at the counter, but not moving.

“This really is like a horror movie,” he said. She nodded as they turned the corner.

Behind the diner there were several little bungalows covering shelves that held countless objects. Thousands of old items were piled everywhere, yet appeared to be organized. One shelf in the far corner of the lot was piled with old glasses, jars and vases. Each bungalow seemed to be organized in some way, although neither of them could figure out the order.

Beyond the eternal yard sale were huge ditches, run-down vehicles, piles of chopped wood accompanied by a colorful beach umbrella and old farming equipment.

“I keep waiting for a creepy, dirty man in overalls and no shirt to come out with some kind of ax he’s just slaughtered today’s special with,” he said.

“I know, right? But I have to photograph this.”

“Obviously.”

As she walked around snapping shot after shot he searched through the piles of stuff. Old wanted posters. Roller skates. Broken typewriters. Vintage statues and figures of every animal that ever existed. He found an owl and held it up for her.

“Hey, check it out! An owl!”

Her head poked out from the next bungalow over, her camera strap around her neck. “Say cheese!” she said as she held it up and snapped a shot. She looked at the screen. “Too dark. Sorry,” she said as she deleted it.

He continued to root through the randomness of the collection, sure he would find something here that he wanted. He always did. A random old toy. A cartoon character drinking glass. Postcards. Photos. Something that would inspire a story. He kept looking as she took shot after shot.

“Make sure you get one of the roller skates,” he yelled.

“Done and done!” her voice called from a hidden part of a bungalow.

He smiled. Their thought patters were always so similar.

He went to the far corner of the lot and surveyed the land around it, the broken down vehicles, the rusty old unrecognizable objects. He wanted to shoot a horror film here. Or write one, at least. Do something. His skin tingled with ideas.

She finally emerged. “Damn, already took two hundred photos. Now I’ll have to upload them tonight when we get there to make some space on this thing!”

This was going to be an inspiring trip.