Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Last Ten Days--City Hall and Estate Sales

 Photo: Old glove from  The one I bought looks much like this one.  This one is in better shape, but mine's older.  Yeah, yeah, condition is everything, I know.

Sorry I've been gone for the past ten days.  I was really ill, and my PC is under plastic upstairs due to the constant (but very necessary and very well-done) renovations the last ten days, and plus I'm a bit behind on work for the job that pays The Man.  But some things have been happening these last few weeks, so here are a few quick shots:

--I went to an estate sale today, which is a great place to pick because the company gets paid more to get rid of everything and not as much to get the most they can for everything.  The family hiring the estate sale company usually just wants the house cleared so they can sell the house, and so they usually don't care how much they get for things.  The company will say prices are final on the ads, but that's never the case.  So the long and short of it is that I got about 100 CDVs and Cabinet pictures (pics from between 1870 and 1890), eight baseball bats from the 20s - 40s, a foot-powered scooter from between 1895-1905, a baseball glove that I confidently place in the 1910s (and maybe as early as 1905)--all for a hundred bucks.  I could sell each of the 100 CDVs and Cabinet pics for $5 a piece on Ebay or Etsy (which would be underselling many of them) and thereby make my $100 investment into $500, and that's just with the pics.  The bats would go for $15 to $50 apiece, as soon as I can date them, and the scooter would go for $25 to $40 by itself as well.  And the glove would go for about $35 to $50 because it is clearly very old.  All of these things are very highly collectible.  I might even keep the scooter for myself; I rode it up and down my street earlier.

The key is to bundle and buy in bulk, and then sell them piecemeal.  Not very sexy, perhaps, but this will help keep me busy during those winter nights and days, and make decent part-time money, too.

You would think that a man who had collected bats and a glove from the 1910s and 1920s, and who had a book about collecting old, vintage baseball cards, would've had old, vintage baseball cards.  But there were none, and I asked the people running the estate sale, and they'd never seen any there.  I left them my card and begged them to call me if they found any there.  If you've got bats and a glove from the teens and twenties, and if you've got a book about collecting baseball cards from the 1910s and 1920s, then you should have baseball cards from the 1910s and 1920s.  But, no.  Hmmmm.....I suspect someone from the family, or a neighbor, or someone, walked off with those.  I would've spent a very large sum for those.  I hope they call.

--My new favorite person is Jan, from my town's City Hall.  I needed to get a copy of a deed for a property of mine, and since this house is being renovated, I couldn't find the deed here.  (Truth be told, I probably wouldn't have found it had the house not been under renovations.)  So I had to face City Hall, which can be an arduous experience, not to mention an afternoon killer.  At work, I looked up my town's City Hall website and I found a department with a name that sounded like it might be what I needed.  I sent an email to the department, in essence saying what I was looking for, and mentioning that I hoped this was the right place to ask for it, and if not, where was the right place, and what did I have to do?  Here's the email response I got (sit down while you're reading this):

Good morning Mr. Belanger,

I’ve printed a copy of your deed for you and will leave it in the main office (Recorder of Deeds) in the main town hall.  It’s ready for you, so you may pick it up this afternoon.  There is no charge, I printed it as a courtesy for you.


Archives Clerk
My response to that (after I picked myself off the floor):
That's awesome!  Thank you so much!  I really appreciate it.  

And now Jan the Archives Clerk's response to that:

Most welcome sir!

Is this woman awesome, or what?  I don't care if she's a 70-year old, wrinkled and frail-thin woman working part-time or volunteering at City Hall, I'm finding out who this woman is, and I am marrying her. 

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