An occasionally updated chronicle of estate sales in the city and suburbs of Chicago.

"It's such a guilty pleasure..." Lynne Stiefel, Pioneer Press

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Highland Park House of Horrors

I'm a minimalist, a Modernist and a card-carrying neatnik, so everything about this Chalet-style house in Highland Park gave me the willies.

Just inside the front door. Hello, is crazy home?

To the left was the living room. Or what would have been the living room if it hadn't been converted into one of the North Shore's largest collections of curiosities. There was stuff everywhere but the ceiling.

The "dining room." Please watch your step.

Another angle of the dining room. That stereo on the right was pumping out heavy metal, which only added to my growing sense of dread. This place was weird.

Welcome to the kitchen, where the specialty of the house is pork and beans in a can. This is where I first heard the shouting.

Turns out the owner was home, and none too happy. Because this was the second day of the sale, almost everything was half price. But he didn't like that. In his opinion things were priced too low already. They'd always been priced too low and he was getting ripped off.

I scurried down the stairs on the right, to the basement.

Oh boy. This place made the first floor look livable. The argument raged on, and now the people running the estate sale were shouting as well. What did he want them to do? Look at all this stuff! They couldn't work miracles. And besides, he'd signed a contract.

Deeper into the basement. There was stuff back there, but no way to get to it. Note the vacuum cleaner on the left.

Doors slammed above me and the argument continued outside. I crept back upstairs to the second floor.

Top of the stairs. Vacuum cleaner #2.

One of the bedrooms. Vacuum cleaners #3 and #4 are there in the back. It's like people kept giving this guy vacuum cleaners as gifts, hoping he'd take the hint.

In the end, I all but ran screaming from this place. But not before getting a few things I'd managed to find in all the clutter.

Purchased: Jack Jones, Our Song; Robert Goulet, Sincerely Yours; Barbra Streisand, Stoney End LPs, Stewart Moscovitz penguin print, $1.50.

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