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

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

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A Robbery in Portage Park

I was robbed of the one thing in this Portage Park house I thought was worth having.

It was a drab and dreary place that bore the marks of several amateur renovations.

There wasn't a lot of stuff left behind, and what was there wasn't very interesting.

Plus, the sale was presided over by a busybody who insisted on hovering over me like I was black and this place was Tiffany's.

She would disappear for a while, only to swoop back in a few moments later from another direction.

Naturally, she caught me snapping photos.

And she wanted to know, "Why are you taking pictures?"

Fortunately, I have a few cover stories ready for occasions such as this, and fed one to her.

I finally went up to the attic, hoping she wouldn't follow.

It was just as sad as everything else. I'd like to think a baby didn't really sleep up here, but it seemed entirely possible. There are blankets still in that crib, after all.

But at least there were some books. I always check out the books.

That's where I found this: a practical field guide and checklist for homicide investigations. It was packed with procedures and guidelines and all kinds of juicy stuff I was sure civilians and mere mortals never get to see. And it was going to be mine.

I took it downstairs to pay for it and get out. But before I could reach the cashier, the busybody reappeared and snatched it out of my hand. All she said was "That's not for sale." Then she -- and my great find -- were gone.

At the time I was outraged. But it turns out the book can be bought on Amazon for about $10. So there.

Justice has been served.

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