Tag Archives: garage sale

Tales from an Auction–Everyone Knows a Hillside Johnny!




When I was a child my father would bring me to many a rural auction where we would sit for hours on hard wooden benches in some old barn while he bought a lot furniture he didn’t need. During that period of time I learned a lot and took that knowledge with me every single time I ventured into a thrift shop or an estate sale. I might not be a mathematician, but I can tell you when things were made and how much they’re worth pretty quickly.


My home is filled with Lanark County finds from estate sales and acutions. Most of my clothing is vintage, and yes, to put it bluntly, comes from dead people. Sometimes I argued with the customer once in awhile when I volunteered for the Oakland Children’s Hospital Thrift Shops in California,

“Where do you think all this stuff in thrift stores comes from?”

In California the auction is a lost commodity, and every Friday estate sales leap out at you from Craigslist by the hundreds. Every single Friday was once dedicated to seeking the cheap, the unknown, and meeting really interesting people. One of these sales found me sitting on a curb with two twins in their 70’s discussing sales and life for a few hours until the sale opened up.

I told them of a strange estate sale I attended last year where handcuffs were hanging from the ceiling and hundreds of naked pictures were glued to the wall of the garage. One has to wonder what the surviving family thought when entering Grandpa’s home and seeing he enjoyed more than reruns of“The Waltons.”


All Photos by Linda Seccaspina

The elderly twins had lived in the hills for almost 40 years and told me of a strange neighbour they felt was out of the Twilight Zone that had been named Hillside Johnny. John was a recluse and seemed to talk to just a chosen few, and they weren’t one of the few. The more they spoke about him and his house that was not “a home of culture” as they said, the more curious I became.

It didn’t take long before Hillside Johnny walked up and down the street sporting a “shirt”, soiled pants, well worn work gloves and highwater pinkish underwear that seemed to explode above his pants. Every 15 minutes his hat seemed to change like magic, and the holes in his socks got bigger.


The long-haired man spoke here and there to some, and I found out that his brother lived with him, but they had not spoken in 5 years. He no longer used his kitchen after they converted it into an extra bedroom and cooked on a hot plate in a very over-crowded garage. This in a home in a highly sought neighbourhood in the Berkeley Hills with a view that costs millions  of dollars.

I watched as he seemed to take us all in with some sort of amusement, and told whoever would listen that he had not driven a car in years, but instead rode his bike the 3.5 to 5.5 miles up and down the hills that would give a younger man a heck of a workout.



As he stood behind me in the final moments before the sale opened, the organizer handed him something in a pink paper shopping bag that matched his underwear. What was in that bag? No one found out and John disappeared from the line wandering down the road clutching the bag with a significant aroma trailing him. Would he add whatever was in that bag to his collection in the garage I silently wondered?
After that final thought we all marched into the house and mayhem and bedlam ensued. I opted not to get the vintage 70’s Levi Strauss pants and instead purchased a teapot purse and more sunglasses. My sons still shake their head when they see my attire and collections, just like how we viewed Johnny I guess– and their late father always asked them what they were expecting from me and said,

“You know your Mother has always been a little different!”

Just like Hillside Johnny I guess…. oh well–all- Johnny B Goode:)



Related reading:

Howard McNeely- I Aim to Please

H B Montgomery Auctioneer

50 cents I ’m bid–Auctioneer Clayton Hands

Antique Furniture? The End of an Era?

In the Year 1923 —- “BHM”– (Before Howard McNeely)



Can You Help Shelley Tomorrow?



Can you Help Tomorrow?

Is anyone able to help pack up clothes tomorrow start time 9-4 for Dickie’s Cause 4 Paws Rescue.
Any amount of time will be so helpful. 
Message me please. I’m in dire need of help for tomorrow. 
This is to make money for the rescue. We are moving a whole store into storage.
I need at least 5 helpers , oh please. 
I know it’s hot and boring but you’ll help save lives.
Wednesday there is a whole other store to move. Furniture and other items. 
Many hands make light work.
Click here to help Shelley please!

Saturday July 9 from 8:00-2:00

at the Self Storage Units
337 Town Line Rd East
Next to Valley Vet, in Carleton Place

There will be many “new like” items.
Amazing deals. Furniture as well.
We have 4 storage units full of items for sale.

All proceeds go towards saving the lives of kittens and cats in Dickie’s Cause 4 Paws Rescue.

It’s Going to be a Heck of a Yard Sale! July 2!



You are Invited–Join Our Yard Sale–Carleton Place Farmers Market–July 2

Yard sale at the Carleton Place Farmers Market– July 2- 8:30-12:30

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Not ONLY are you invited– but the Carleton Place Farmers Market Vendors are going to join in too and sell some of their yard sale items too!

What do you get? 10 x 10 space in the parking lot is $10. ……bring your own table/chair/canopy.

Check in and pay Darrylene from My H0bby Farm day of to obtain where is  set up space.

Please Book Ahead!

Please book ahead- Email- darrylenes123@gmail.com.

Please Note!

–Yard sale  stuff only  ie. NO plants, baking, crafts  or stuff that the Carleton Place Market sells.

Indoor Garage Sale — Art–Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum Benefit



Here is just a few of the thing that will be sold Saturday..

Original works of art by local artists, some featuring local landscapes. Complete silk screened alphabet – unique and clever concept – by Ralph Storto. In original packaging. Prefer to sell complete set for $100 or best offer, but will sell individual letters, approx. 16″x20″, for $10 each. Call the museum if you want the set.

All proceeds from this sale go to the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum


Reflections of the Old Parish Hall — Carleton Place


Last week I was doing some research work on Eliza and William Kelly who donated the stained glass windows on the Epistle side of St. James Anglican church in Carleton Place, ON. when I got side tracked. The windows of St. John the Beloved and St. Andrew have been plaguing me for awhile now, but there is nothing more enjoyable to write about than the story of a building.

It was the old brick parish hall built in 1924 that really intrigued me. Elliot Memorial Hall sits on the former location of an old lumber yard, and if the walls of the church hall could talk, they would tell tales of quilting bees, farm meetings, wedding receptions and the voices of the Junior Choir would provide the soundtrack. All these wonderful memories were housed in a building that was named after one of the most influential and longest serving rectors of the parish: Canon Archibald Elliot.

Thinking of my own church hall, Trinity Anglican Church in Cowansville, Quebec, I realized both buildings were similar. None of these structures are noteworthy in architecture, but I can remember every nook and cranny like a lot of people. From the stage where I sang my first song of “How Much is that Doggie in the Window” to memories of the annual Christmas tea, the men’s oyster suppers and the teen dances later on in life.

In the summer the hall was used for Vacation School, and to this day I still remember how to make a pencil holder with Plaster of Paris, aluminum foil and and an empty frozen orange juice container. I will never forget being wedged between my grandmother and my mother on hard “splinter-giving” chairs while we waited to serve tea after a funeral. I can still smell my grandmother’s “Evening in Paris” perfume, and hear the noises my mothers crinoline made while she fanned herself with a napkin.

Did I learn much about religion in those hallowed halls?

Did I run a tight ship when I was head of the Sunday School?

I remember picture and hymn books, but what I remember most is the inner workings and the warmth of that building. That is what lingers most in my memories just like the parish hall of St. James does. When I walk into that building today I still feel the invisible arms of friendship around me. I sense the history of women that worked in the kitchen that was sometimes too small, or the fridge not big enough. I hear the scrapings of wooden tables and chairs being moved about and hear laughter in the air.

How many slices of pie were given out in that church hall and how many leftovers were donated to those in need? Of course there are still the whispers of arguments during budget meetings, but some how they are soothed over by the men and their muffins brought in once a week.

I am lucky; I have two buildings to remember, but for others Elliot Memorial Hall is the only memory some have. Photographs can preserve the memories of things, as good fellowship and friendships are lasting, while sometimes buildings are not. Some structures stand forever, some stand for a short while. I suspect the church hall’s favourite task was providing shelter for those that entered, listening to the laughter of playgroups, the clicking of needles, and spirited tongues. The memories of Elliot Hall, almost tangible, still something real, in this world that changes so fast, are soon to become simply reflections of the way life once used to be.

Come buy a memory from The Old Parish Hall

Yard Sale Saturday April 25 beginning at 9:00am. We’re selling the contents of our old Parish Hall. Items include:
electric typewriter
light fixtures
window blinds
wood doors with frames
water tank
A/C unit
Keyboard & stand
Book cases & wall units
TV’s & Carts
VHS & DVD players
wooden harvest table
projector screens
cork boards
white board
wooden storage/toy box
bulletin board/partitions on wheels
flatbed storage carts
lots of craft materials
Halloween & Christmas Stuff
glass ware
and more ,much more

Consumerism — Then and Now — Junk and Disorderly Sale Carleton Place Museum Photos


Photos from the Carleton Place and Beckwith Museum Sale June 6th by Linda Seccaspina

Other Photos by  Mail Online



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God Save the Queen– and support our local Museum!

Weird Things People Collect — Carleton Place Museum Junk & Disorderly Sale Saturday


Remember the guy who bought a box of unpublished photos of Marilyn Monroe at a garage sale for $2? Or another who walked away with what looked like an early Andy Warhol painting at a yard sale for $5? Well, you have a chance to find some neat collectibles on Saturday and Sunday at the Junk & Disorderly Sale at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum.

Here are some things you won’t find, and why do people collect them? Well, I have no idea.

Celebrity Hair Locks 
John Reznikoff owns the bizarre, yet the most expansive collection of celebrity hair locks in the world. The collection includes the hair of famous celebrities and historical figures including Edgar Allan Poe, Albert Einstein, Abraham Lincoln, Marilyn Monroe and Ludwig van Beethoven. 

How can anyone verify that the hair is authentic? I feel like any old barber with an eBay account could make a fortune off these guys.

crazy collections - celebrity hair

Human Remains-skulls etc.

Just out of interest, how many women do you get back to your place if you collect this stuff? AND how many leave?

Belly Button Fluff
At 22.1 grams, Graham Barker has the largest collection of belly button fluff. It’s his own fluff, if you’re wondering. He started the collection in 1984. No, I am not wondering, trust me!
crazy collections - belly button fluff

Cat Whiskers

A few years ago the media did a story on a woman who had a collection of cat whiskers. Yes, cat whiskers. She had them mounted and framed and plastered all over the walls of her house. I had nightmares for a month after seeing THAT story!

Love dolls
Wacky couple Bob and Lizzie Gibbons share their home with their rather unusual collection of 240 love dolls. According to the couple, they like dressing the dolls up and even take them on shopping trips. I can’t figure out where Lizzie Gibbons is in this photo. Where’s Waldo err Lizzie?
crazy collections - love dolls

Souls of the Damned

I don’t know about you guys, but I have heard some collect the souls of the damned, trapped forever in their small, square, paper prisons. (Stamps) Excuse me—philately will get you nowhere!

Murder Memorabilia

Why? Just why? Nothing like cooking eggs in Jeffrey Dahmer’s frying pan. Yuck!

30,000 Toenail Clippings
Why would anybody want to collect that? Why? Well, okay, this weird collection of toenail clippings is actually intended for medical research.
crazy collections - toenail clippings

It’s all fun believe me.  Or is it?

You know what they say: “One man’s TRASH is another man’s TREASURE”.

See you Saturday and Sunday at the Carleton Place and Beckwith Heritage Museum!