Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sifting Through the Discarded Memories of Others

DB~ and I like to watch Storage Wars on A&E, as does most of her family. While watching an episode a month or so ago, we used the Google machine to see if there were any storage auctions in the Pittsburgh area. Sure enough, there's a circuit of auctions throughout the region.

We found one today that started in Robinson at 8 am and went to Etna at 11 am, with a stop in Forest Hills afterwards. We went to just the Etna one and took DB~'s parents and met her brother there. There were 7 units for auction at the Etna facility under the 62nd Street Bridge, but unlike the show the auction itself was held all in one place, so you had to take notes to remember what was in each unit.

The one unit had some interesting furniture that could appeal to a restorer, but it wasn't for any of us. That one sold for about $200. Five of the other six units had mostly junk and all went for under $100. The real prize unit, compared to the others, had an interesting shuffleboard/bowling type of game. It seemed old, perhaps 40-50 years old, and we overheard another buyer saying it could be worth $1500 by itself. There were also some interesting furniture pieces and a plate tamper for construction. This locker went for $1800, so those buyers may have been right about that bowling shuffleboard game.

After that auction, we headed to Burgatory for lunch. It was fantastic, as always, but the best part was we got there at noon and didn't have to wait at all. As soon as we got seated, the waiting area started to fill up. By the time we left, they were waiting out the door.

After we left Burgatory, DB~ and I still felt like poking around, so we drove into Lawrenceville. DB~ heard about this cool store called Divertido (Spanish for "fun") so we checked that out. We came away with a Pizza "Pi" cutter in the shape of the mathematical symbol for pi.

When we left there, we stopped in an antique store called Scavengers. Its owner, a gentleman named Al, was quite interesting to take to about his love of Pittsburgh beer brewery collectibles. None of the stuff behind the counter was for sale, as it was part of his personal collection, which was a shame as there was some cool stuff from a brewery I never heard of before called E&O Brewery at the site of the current Penn Brewery.

Aside from the brand-new Pizza Pi cutter, we didn't buy anything today. But we met some saw some interesting folk at the storage auction and got to meet a quirky antique dealer and hear his stories. That alone made this snowy January day a good day. Getting to see DB~'s dad elated to go to a storage auction was the icing on the cake.

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