WELCOME TO MY VIRTUAL GARAGE SALE!
All of the items below are for sale. If you are local to my zip code (the Spokane, WA area), we can arrange a downtown pickup. If getting you your item requires shipping, the final price will include the actual shipping charge.
Unlike most garage sales, all prices are firm. If you really really really want a thing, I may make an exception. But I’m also just as happy to keep all this stuff as I am to sell it. Prices are fair, and in many cases priced so you can resell it and make some money. Nothing’s going for a quarter, folks!
Contact me via the “Contact” page on this website.
I accept Venmo, PayPal, and cold hard cash.
118 VINTAGE, INTERNATIONAL, AND CONTEMPORARY BOTTLE CAPS ($25): When I was a little boy, I rode my Big Wheel around the neighborhood collecting various detritus from the gutters. Bottle caps were a regular find, and I saved them all. My penchant for such shiny things continued as I traveled the world, and I always came home with more caps for my ever-growing collection. When I moved to Spokane two years ago, I finally got rid of the bulk of the bottle caps. And now, as I’m leaving, I am ready to be rid of what remains. There’s cool stuff here. Old Coca-Colas, Tusker from Africa, Angkor Wat beer from Cambodia, a bunch of German local stuff, and so on.
VINTAGE LEATHER VEST, SIZE WOMEN’S XXXL ($20): Found this vest at a foofoo thrift shop in Portland a few years ago. It was misfiled with the men’s jackets, and I didn’t give two cares that it was a women’s XXXL (I normally wear a men’s LG). It fit me just great, even if the buttons were on the opposite side. I bought it specifically for a fund-raising party I was planning to attend. Rocked it with chinos and rolled up shirtsleeves while everyone else was sporting tuxedos and ball gowns. Can’t lie, I felt like a schmuck all underdressed. That is, until a strikingly beautiful human tapped me on the shoulder and told me they dug my vest. I still love it, I’m just ready to give this mojo to you. Note: the leather has a few blemishes—see images.
CANON EOS REBEL T2i WITH LONGER LENS ($250): Ever since I got an iPhone, this digital beauty I’ve carried around the globe has sat unused. I’m keeping my old school film Nikon, but this sucker is ready to be in the hands of someone who will use it. Works amazing. Rechargable battery, port, and cable all included. Case, too. Sad to let it go, but sheesh, it’s been a paperweight for too long.
PRANA WINTER JACKET, SIZE MEN’S LG ($40): A few years back, I took a temp winter job at Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, NY. I was hired to be an animal caretaker, but when the staff realized I was ill-suited to clean chickens’ “vents” or dispense medication to goats and aggressive 700-lb. pigs, I spent days, sunrise to sunset, on feeds. Basically I was responsible to get all the 400 or so animals their various daily meals. Mind you, it was winter in upstate New York—so it was bitter cold. This jacket kept me from freezing to death. It’s like wearing a sleeping bag with arms and deep pockets. And the maneuverability is to die for. This ain’t your springtime sort of coat, folks. This sucker will melt you in the arctic.
VINTAGE RADIO FLYER RED WAGON ($50, LOCAL PICKUP ONLY): If you are in Spokane, this is a perfect iconic representation of the town for your home decor. Just imagine, a miniature River Park Square in your very own living room! I found this collector’s item in someone’s trash in North Carolina and it hung in a tree in my front yard (along with 6 busted bicycles) for years. The patina is just right. Still, I don’t really want to bring it back to NC with me—so come make it yours. Please.
ART BY TOM GRIFFEN, CEDAR PINS, 15/17/18 INCHES TALL ($50 FOR ALL): When a cedar tree fell in my front yard a few years ago, I tried to make spoons out of it. But the cedar wood was too soft and I kept thrashing the blanks. So instead I just messed with the logs and my carving axe, getting a tremendous amount of joy from how differently the blade worked on the buttery wood. As the ground filled with cedar chips and the air around me grew aromatic, I chopped away at these three pieces. They sat in the firewood pile for a while until one day I was like, nope, and brought them inside. I displayed them in my front window for years. They are wonderful. Andready for your home.
14” ROBIN WOOD CARVING AXE WITH LEATHER BLADE PROTECTOR ($20): I could not begin to even guess how many wooden spoons I made with this axe. This sucker has a lovely heft, a thick handle, and a blade that sharpens perfectly. Problem is, however, that the head is loose on the handle and I don’t want to deal with fixing it. I’ve since replaced it with another doozy from Robin Wood and this one is gathering dust. This is the perfect carving axe for starters and veterans alike. Make mine yours.
MMA TANK ABBOTT SIGNED PHOTO ($10): Though I enjoy watching MMA fights these days, in the era of Tank Abbott, I was not a fan. I have this signed photo because Tank and I attended, at different times, the same high school in Huntington Beach, CA (Marina High), and old buddy of mine who knew this random fact and who deals in autographs and sports memorabilia got this signed for me in the 90s. I hope you are a fan of Mr. Abbott and will take this off my hands.
RED HEAD RANCH TG-BRANDEDbat RANCH COAT, SIZE MEN’S M ($35): I love this jacket/shirt, but it’s a bit too long for my taste. I had it branded years ago with my business logo, and if you wear this I guarantee people will comment on “how cool” the logo is every time you rock it. Seems that simple is what catches folks’ eyes. Two letters and a circle. Wow. How exciting.
EXOFFICIO FLANNEL SHIRT, SIZE MEN’S M ($15): A well-used yet seemingly indestructible long sleeve shirt that fits super comfortable and is sexy as hell. Cut like most Exofficio travel shirts with the back vents and all, but made of flannel and not old man tourist material. There is one problem—it’s missing the third button from the top. Someone you know will sew one on for free.
VINTAGE JERZEES SWEATSHIRT, “TRANSYLVANIA LOUISIANA” AND BAT, SIZE MEN’S LG ($25): This past Halloween, my brother’s family and I all decided to wear bat-related shirts. On eBay I found a $600 Gucci bat sweater and this old sweatshirt for $50. And yes, there is actually a Transylvania, Louisiana (population 743 in the NE corner of the state). Safe to say I got $25 worth of fun from it, so you can have it for way less. NOTE: it fits a little smaller than a proper large. Probably better for you mediums out there.
VINTAGE-LOOKING AUSTIN RAINBOW T-SHIRT, SIZE MEN’S LG ($8): It looks vintage, so let’s say it is vintage, ok? Bought it a few years back in, well, Austin, and have loved it tons. Still fits pretty well, but I want some o game to new vintagey-looking things.
VELDT T-SHIRT, WHITE, WITH BLACK PANTHER, SIZE MEN’S M ($5): Maybe you know “The Veldt” as a short story by Ray Bradbury. Its original name was “The World the Children Made.” The Veldt, in this shirt’s case, however, references a band that I, too, hadn’t heard of until they played at a small venue in North Carolina a few years back. I dropped everything (except my beers), and was captivated for their entire set. Afterwards, they gave me this shirt for sticking around. Shit, it was the least I could do. Look ‘em up. You won’t be sorry.
OLD SCHOOL REI THERMAL HALF-ZIP, SIZE MEN’S XL ($10): It’s an XL because I bough this when I bought XL everything, which gives you a fair idea of its age (mid-90s, probably). Bought it on the same day I bought my first backpack, a Lowe Contour IV, as I prepared for a south-north crossing of Oregon, which I started and didn’t finish. Turns out a 65 lb. pack is a bad idea.
5 90’s ERA CDs, INCLUDING RARE OOP COBAIN/BURROUGHS SPOKEN WORD (ALL FOR $50, OR $10 EACH EXCEPT “THE PRIEST HEY CALLED HIM” FOR $20): A “Just Say Anything” compilation with so much good stuff, the iconic Nirvana Nevermind and Bleach, Mother Love Bone’s self-titled with future Pearl Jammers Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard, and rare out-of-print “The Priest They Called Him” with William S. Burroughs reading the title poem as Kurt Cobain grinds his guitar. It’s the grunge starter kit (see flannel above).
2 DEERHOOF CDs, HOLDYPAWS & THE MAN THE KING THE GIRL ($10 each): Believe it or not, my cousin was in an early lineup of Deerhoof. On the back of Holdypaws, she is the person in the bottom left. She’s pretty awesome, and maybe even gave me this CD. But these days I don’t even own a CD player, so like, what do I do with my CDs? I’ve got tons of digital Deerhoof and it’s a regular go-to, but the CDs want to be played—and maybe you can help them do just that.
CAT POWER, DIRTY THREE, AND NICK CAVE’S THE PROPOSITION SOUNDTRACK ($10 EACH): In 2002 I was working at a winery in Santa Rosa during harvest. On a rare off day, I ventured into San Francisco for a blind date at The Great American Music Hall to see Cat Power. A band I’d never heard of, The Dirty Three, opened for them, and I was destroyed. One man playing violins nontraditionally on loop and effectively stealing the show. Cat Power came on 90 minutes late and kept restarting her first song. It was terrible. We were still basking in the Dirty Three set, so we left. Turns out the guy from Dirty Three regularly collaborates with Nick Cave—and did so on the soundtrack for the film, The Proposition, which if you haven’t seen it, see it.
3 CDs BY THE LONDON SUEDE, HEAD MUSIC, COMING UP, AND STAY TOGETHER ($10 EACH): Desert island band #1. The most CDs I own are from The London Suede. I think I have like 20 altogether. These are my duplicates and I assure you, they rule. But you gotta like androgynous British glam post-punk pop with gravely guitars. Because if you like that, you’ll definitely dig these lads, who like me, are no longer lads.
6 PINK FLOYD CDs ($10 EACH): Desert island band #2. I started listening to Pink Floyd in middle school after I saw something at Fantasy records in Eastview Mall about giant pig balloons at their concerts. I’d find their LPs at local swap meets for a dollar or two each and spin them on my parent’s old record player rigged up in my closet. First one was Dark Side of the Moon. Then Obscured By Clouds. Then Ummagumma. And so on. At one point I had most of their records, including a couple by original front man, Syd Barrett. Pink Floyd is aging well. Unlike all the big hair metal bands I was also infatuated with at the time.
9 METALLICA CDs ($10 EACH, EXCEPT RARE CREEPING DEATH/JUMP IN THE FIRE FOR $25): Desert island band number…nope! I did love Metallica back when their thrashing matched my own. But these days they are all nostalgia. They, in my opinion, stopped being awesome when the Black Album came out, and everything after that has been garbage. This mix is (mostly) all the good stuff, including an early “before they were famous” CD and an import I bought from Sight and Sound, the on-base Army PX version of Sam Goody in 1990 in Darmstadt, Germany.
JAY LENO SIGNED PHOTO, CIRCA 1995 OR SO ($10): In the mid-90s I dated a woman who hosted a friend visiting from the midwest who insisted on going to the Tonight Show. I somehow scored VIP tickets and I imagine she’s still, to this day, telling the story of shaking Jay’s hand backstage. Anyhow, the tickets arrived in my mailbox with this photo, which, for reasons I cannot explain, I’ve kept ever since. Please buy it. No judg
ENO DOUBLE NEST HAMMOCK ($35): This hammock is 5 years old, but it’s never been used. Turns out I’m not the lounge-around-in-a-hammock sort of guy. I’ve tried to be. Even went so far as to set it up in my yard for a few weeks straight when the weather was perfect and the mosquitos had mellowed. Still, with a grimace I’d take it down every evening, unused. My efforts to chill were futile. And frankly, not much has changed.
VINTAGE BAUSCH AND LOMB MOUNTABLE MICROSCOPE ($50): Found this ~8ish lb. microscope stamped with “UNC Botany” at one of the best yard sales I’ve ever been to. Was hosted by a local plumber who secretly painted vibrant and frenetic paintings to fill walls with colorful movement. HIs yard sale was filled with curiosities. Creative inspirations. Pieces and parts of things that, when separated from their original purpose, were reimagined as the unexpected. I also bought a rusty old wagon that I promptly hung from a tree. For years it was the sort of thing that strangely brought people together.
HAND-PAINTED 20×30 MYANMAR ZODIAC TAPESTRY ($55): Back in 2004, as I passed through Bagan, Myanmar, the artist of this piece, Ye Htut, invited me and my travel partner to his family’s house for dinner. We folded our tight limbs atop the family table and took up way too much space. We ineptly ate everything with our fingers, spilling rice and mystery meat all over our laps. The childrens’ laughter proved we were a novelty. When dinner was over, Ye Htut presented us with his art. Shortly afterwards, my stomach started swirling and I retuned to the guesthouse. I spent the next 12 hours hoping for death, imagining it would make the pain in my stomach go away.
ANTIQUE FOLKSY LAP DESK WITH TREE STENCIL ($60): When an old lady up the street passed away, her family liquidated all her stuff at an estate sale. They assured me this piece had been in her possession as long as they could remember. She was a letter-writer, and kept her fancy papers and pens and stamps enclosed within so she could stay in touch with her out-of-town people. To me, the tree on the top is a symbol of this genuine connection. Thick roots and skinny branches, deep relationships and new growth. What comes, also goes. And so on and so on. Size: 13×17. About 5 inches tall.
CHILDHOOD PATCH COLLECTION (make offer for individual pieces): As a kid, my parents collected patches from everywhere we went and sewed them to a jacket that I promptly grew out of. These are what’s left (with some others I’ve added over the years). Though I’m considering making a new patch jacket, I’m also happy to share them with other enthusiasts. Some are collectible, others less so. Cracks me up that the “Friends of Dolphins” one—the one I got after sending a photograph of my super high score on Dolphin to Activision’s HQ—is a rare collector’s item currently listed on eBay for more than $150. Want that one? Make a reasonable offer. SOLD!! All patches except the Activision one!
GLACIER NATIONAL PARK STUMP (locals only, pay what you want): My highlight of 2020 was a trip to Glacier NP with my dearest person, Katie. We hiked as many trails as we could over 3 days in snowy October, and were thrilled to find fresh piles of bear scat here and there. Definitely wanted to see a bear, but also definitely didn’t want to see a bear, too. I’m not really a souvenir guy, but as we left the park I was drawn to a stack of freshly-cut logs that filled a roadway turnout. Katie laughed when I said I was gonna grab one. Thought I was kidding. But I did. Left the crappy rental car running as I heaved the waterlogged chunk into the trunk.
ASSORTED VINYL RECORDS (if you are interested in any, HMU): For the past 10 years or so, I’ve had damn good intentions to purchase a record player. Such good intentions, in fact, that I started randomly collecting albums in advance. My small but eclectic collection well represents my varied taste, and it strikes me as sorta funny how merely posting these hurts my heart a little. Because how can I possibly have nostalgia for something I’ve never even used? Hmmm…maybe I’ll keep these after all. Still, if you’ve gotta have one, let’s make it happen. And maybe someday I’ll visit and we can cuddle and listen as it spins on your turntable. Old Time Mountain Guitar, used LP James Baldwin Reading From Giovanni’s Room, used 45 Jaques Brel, The Poetic World of, used LP Jacques Brel, If You Go Away, used LP (Listen to “Ne Me Quitte Pas” then YouTube it. JFC!) Barry Manilow, Even Now, used LP (Can’t recall how I acquired this one, but I did once date a person who was related to him) Janko Nilovic, Chorus, new LP Stylissimo (a Compilation), new LP Edith Piaf, Potpourri Par, used LP Three Dog Night, Golden Biscuits, used LP (I love this cover!) Death, For the Whole World to See, new LP (Early all-Black Detroit punk band) SOLD!!—The Beatles, Sergeant Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, used LP (comes with a poster of Barbara Streisand originally included in her 1972 album, Live Concert at the Forum) Gill Landry, Skeleton at the Banquet, new LP (Amazing singer/songwriter stuff here…plus the cover is signed!) Algiers, The Underside of Power, new LP (Signed cover with other fun things inside) SOLD!!—Algiers, Algiers, new LP (Unopened amazing album) MAKE, The Golden Veil, new LP (Growling chill metal by a band as dedicated to social justice as they are to their music. Punch a Nazi! Includes other fun stuff inside)
TIMBUK2 ZIP-UP COMPUTER SLEEVE 11X15 ($5): An eBay mistake. Wrong size. It’s basically new, just with no packaging.
OLD SCHOOL TIMEX G-SHOCK WATCH, PURPLE ($5): I walked across America with this awesome purple watch on my wrist. Days after I finished, the watch battery died. The metaphor isn’t lost on me. I still love this Timex style, but I’m buying myself another Swatch watch. The first one I got was in 1986. Cost me $35. Paid for it with babysitting money where I made $2/hour.
OAKLEY SUNGLASS MODEL SPEED JACKET WITH HARD CASE [OO9228-04 67] ($20): I can’t lie, I found this on the roadside while I was walking across America. They are used, but still in great shape. Love the brown/red lens color. Turns out these suckers are pretty spendy. Found a pair on sale for more than $150. Hoping to score a little gas money for these.
BOOK: NATIONAL AUDUBON SOCIETY FIELD GUIDE TO TREES ($15): During Covid I became increasingly depressed. The doldrums wore on me. I’d just moved to a new place and new nobody—and now I was on a global pandemic quarantine. A drake friend turned me on to the author Barry Lopez. In one of his articles he says that wherever I go, I should become a local naturalist. He said to get to know a place—its flowers and trees, its fauna and history. He said I should get to know the story of a place I’m now a part of. This book helped get me out of my funk.
BOOK: DOWNTOWN SPOKANE IMAGES1930-1949 ($10): When I came to Spokane in Fall 2019 and found a place to live, I bought this book hoping to learn more about the part of town I’d be living in. My apartment sat just across the street from Spokane’s Fire House No. 1 and on the boundary of the city’s massive fire of 1889. Great old timey photos and history within.
2 MIKE TYSON SPORTS ILLUSTRATED ISSUES ($10 EACH): I’ve been hanging onto these issues from Dec ’86 and Aug ’87 since they arrived in my mailbox when I was a kid living in Pittsford, NY. I remember my mom would intercept the swimsuit issue each year—but a couple weeks later my dad would sneak it back to me.
(2 Remaining) ART PIECES: BUNNIES ON SMALL WOOD PANELS ~13X4 BY TOM GRIFFEN ($15 EACH): If you know me, you know that I am obsessed with painting bunnies. Over the years I’ve hung more than a thousand similar images all over the world. What initially started as an anonymous art drop for others to find evolved into countless commissions for specific sizes, colors, and poses. My favorites, however, are the ones that were made organically. Such as these and the ones below.
4 ART PIECES: BUNNIES ON 12X12 CANVAS BY TOM GRIFFEN ($35 EACH): See the description above.
FRAMED 8X10 PRINT OF HARRY HOUDINI PHOTO ($15): In 1910, a group of Spokane businessmen offered Harry Houdini an unrecorded sum to do a stunt on the (then) Washington Street Bridge. With chains about his feet and cuffs on his hands, he sunk deep into the freezing waters of the Spokane River before surfacing fully free of the bonds. I imagine they hoisted him up, he grabbed a fancy dinner at a local hotel, and then the next morning was off to do a similar stunt elsewhere. It’s funny what we do to make a living.
VINTAGE ALLWAY “UNBREAKABLE HANDLE” GUN SAW ($5): Another random estate sale find that I thought would be more valuable than it actually is. Which makes me think of the idea of a thing having monetary value. Does age create more value potential? Rarity? Errors or brokenness? If we applied our reverence for antiques to human beings, maybe we’d take better care of our aging family members rather than subject them to slowly die in “homes”. Just a thought.
OTTER SYMMETRY PHONE CASE FOR IPHONE 7 & 8 ($5): Didn’t realize my iPhone was a 7-plus when I bought this case. Ugh. It’s colorless, clear, and already aging. But it’ll protect the heck out of your cell. Practical is in fashion.
17 PAGES OF NFL GAME DAY ’93 (FOOTBALL CARDS ($20): I can’t be bothered to try and figure which of these McDonald’s cards is worth grading and reselling, but maybe you can. Full disclosure—in the little bit of research I did do I learned that none from this set is gonna make anyone rich. But with a little time and effort, you will quickly recoup the $20 I’m asking.
VINTAGE WOODY WOODPECKER “THE CRACKED NUT” 16MM FILM ($5): From an estate sale free bin. Definitely old and a fine curiosity, but not market valuable.
PATAGONIA SNOW BEANIE ($10): I love this beanie! But I washed it and now it doesn’t fit my head. Would be great for smaller-headed people. Worn on three hikes in Glacier NP before the dry cycle that altered it for good. My big-headed loss, your small-headed gain.
SOLD!! 2 NEARLY-NEW PRANA JEANS, INDIGO BLUE (REGULAR FIT) AND GREY (SLIM FIT), 33Wx32L ($25 EACH): I hate paying full price for jeans, so I bought these less-popular styles from an online close out. The blue ones are a bit darker than I prefer, and the grey ones don’t fit over my Popeye calves.
WINDEX, NEW ($3): One thing of Windex is enough. Two is OK. A little back stock is never bad for something I regularly use. A third, however, is the result of an oversight while doing some big shopping. Two on-deck Windexes is excessive. And sorta embarrassing, too. Please help me regain my self worth.
HP OFFICEJET PRO 8710 ALL IN ONE PRINTER-FAX-SCAN-COPY ($20): It worked for years, but I don’t want it any longer. Last I tried, it worked great. But for $20 I’m leaving all the details up to you. Just want this large piece of office equipment off my hands.
BOOKS: WRITING-RELATED ($5 EACH): Lately I am eschewing the idea of craft. Even still, these books all helped me get to this place.
BOOKS: AWESOME NOVELS ($5 EACH): A small selection of books I read this year. All will get high praise on my end-of-year spreadsheet. SOLD Transcendent Kingdom, Homegoing
BOOKS: SOCIAL JUSTICE ISSUES ($5 EACH): If you are white and not exploring the idea of race and privilege, you’re part of the problem. If reading this makes you mad, you are the problem. SOLD Things That Make White People Uncomfortable
BOOKS: ADVENTURE ($5 EACH): What’s causing that hot fire burning in your belly? Stoke it. SOLD In Praise of Walking, SOLD AWOL on the Appalachian Trail
BOOKS: NONFICTION ($5 EACH): Just a couple books about real shit that will make the details of your life feel fortunate and luxurious.
OFFICIAL PHOTO OF LONG AGO SOLAR ECLIPSE AS SEEN FROM SPOKANE ($15): Where were you during the last total solar eclipse? I was in Carrboro, NC, but I recall friends loading up their families and posting up along the “path of totality.” For a while afterwards, how close one was to this path served as a temporary bit of social currency. The next one is in April 2024. And the best place in the US to see it will be Kerrville, TX. Book your hotel now for to ensure some major bragging rights.
AERIAL VIEW OF SPOKANE’S RIVERFRONT PARK FOR EXPO ’74, FRAMED 8X10 ($15): Expo ’74, also known as the Exposition for the Environment, was a world’s fair held in May 1974. Nearly 6 million people visited and pumped an estimated $150 million into the local economy. This is an official news photo, or so it seems, original and not a print, and stamped on the back with “The Salt Lake Library.” Great view of a bustling part of town.
THE JUICEMAN JUICER JR. ($10): Old school workhorse of a juicer. Takes up some space on the counter, but there’s no doubt it’ll make your carrot apple ginger concoction drinkable in seconds. Easy to clean, well cared-for, and innately has more soul than a magic bullet. This is the record player of juicers. Just owning one makes you cooler, even if you never use it.
SOLD!! BEST CANDLESTICK EVER ($20): Not sure what it’s made of, but even if it were solid gold it wouldn’t be cooler. Stands 14 inches tall and doesn’t even need a candle on it to steal the room. Maybe the design was hammered out on the streets of an unnamed city, maybe in an old artisan’s basement lit by breezy candle flickers. It’s raw, rough, imperfect, and a little wonky—which is pretty much my preference for everything. Maybe it is for you, too?
THRIFT STORE QUALITY CORN PALACE TRUCKER HAT, SNAP BACK ($5): When I moved to Spokane, I drove a U-Haul from North Carolina. Took the northern route through South Dakota and for like 300 miles I was inundated with billboards advertising “The World’s Only Corn Palace” in Mitchell, SD. After all that brainwashing, I had to stop. If for no other reason than to use the restroom. But I also bought this hat—which, turns out, grabs everyone’s attention. It got wonky after I washed it.
RUSTIC HANDMADE SHOESHINE BOX AND VINTAGE HORSEHAIR BRUSH ($40): Nothing says the olden days like a shoe shine box and the nostalgic thought of someone primping their footwear for a date, a job interview, or just to start the day off right. When I was in the Army, shining my boots was as much meditation as it was regulation. The smell of the black wax, the squeak of the watery swirls that, with patience, turned my boot toes into a mirror. On a daily basis, I quite literally, saw my reflection in my artful efforts. How lucky.
PLANT POTS FOR YOUR (POT) PLANTS ($10): During quarantine I attempted to grow carrots in the natural light of my apartment. I followed all the directions on YouTube, and before long a tiny shoot sprouted from the soil. As they grew and grew I felt less and less alone. Leaves sprouted, the stalks reached to the ceiling, and I imagined what was growing beneath the dirt, out of sight. When time came to harvest, I imagined incorporating my apartment veggies into a stir fry. But I only yielded a whopping three 1-inch carrots. All of which I promptly rinsed off and ate.
SELECTION OF LARGE AND RUSTY METAL THINGS ($45): Ever wonder how things get left behind? I mean, seriously. Think of a place like Gobekli Tepe in Turkey, an 11,000 year old settlement that somehow was left behind. And then, over millennia, became buried by time. Imagine the aloneness of a thing that sits untouched for so long that the earth takes it over. These metal things, all of which I found in the Spokane area, are no exception. The earth swallowed them whole, and eventually spit them out. They changed shape, became discolored, took on features that altered their original purpose—and yet, they are still here. Cold, beautiful, and alive.
BOOKS: THE LARRY LEVIS COLLECTION (IF YOU WANT THEM, LET’S TALK): I look back on my Creative Writing MFA program and wonder WTF I was thinking writing my thesis on the work of a white, male poet. There’s no doubt this dude’s work is pretty amazing, and my guess is he was a rockin’ cool guy, but he’s one of countless other white dudes who write poetry and get all the cred. If I could do it all over again, I’d study Ross Gay’s body of work. If you don’t know him as a writer, drop everything and make it so. But hey, if Larry Levis is your jam, I’ve got a collection of his rare and collectible (expensive) books. Wrecking Crew (1st ed.) goes for an easy ~$75, Black Freckles (1st ed.) pulls a cool ~$50, and A Condition of the Spirit (1st ed.) is upwards of ~$150 or so. Why? I don’t even know. Want something? Reach out and we’ll negotiate. I’d like to sell them all at once and will definitely make it all affordable.
DJEMBE SKIN-COVERED GOBLET DRUM FROM MOROCCO ($100): When I left Tangier after a month trekking in Morocco, my plane took an unexpected veer east and stopped on the border of Algieria to scoop up the national soccer team for their match in Casablanca the next day. My luggage—including a backpack with this drum in it—didn’t make my flight connection en route to JFK via Lisbon. For weeks after I returned, I called Maroc air, only to learn they had no idea where my bag was. So I wrote it off. Then one morning, without announcement or as much as a knock, my dirty and dented pack was on my doorstep. The drum tucked away inside, unscathed.
RUBIK’S CUBE ($5.00): The classic cube puzzle, but not vintage. Think I got this sucker in 2018 and yes, I solved it a few times after consulting YouTube. Turns out once you get a color with matching side walls, you basically follow a pattern until, boom, you’ve solved it. It’s more about memorization than it is about problem-solving. Frankly, I’m over it. Maybe you’re not?
2 ELLIOT SMITH CDs ($10.00): I first listened to Elliot Smith in the loft of my cousin’s log cabin in Homer, Alaska. The soulful sadness of his whispery voice and a lone guitar matched perfectly the cloudy, drab (and yet overwhelmingly beautiful) landscape of Eagleaerie Road. I hated to hear of his tragic death in 2003, just one year after I was first smitten.
2 MILES DAVIS CDs ($10.00): If you don’t own any Miles Davis, or if, somehow, you’ve gotten this far in life without experiencing him, this is your prescription for a richer existence. If nothing else, listen to Kind of Blue straight through with your eyes closed. And when it’s over, do it again. You’ll guts will shift. For the better.
2 JEFF BUCKLEY CDs ($10.00): Back in the days of Columbia House Records—the mail order company from whom you could get 11 records for $.01 provided you bought 7 more at full price over the next 2 years (or something like that). Well, I meant to buy a Jeff Beck album and mistakenly bought Jeff Buckley’s Grace. Holy cow. I’ve never been the same.
3 ANTIQUE GLASS ELECTRICAL INSULATORS ($75): Glass insulators were first used in the 1850s for telegraph lines. These three examples are all for electric lines, and each is a lovely collectible in its own right. The Lynchburg no. 36 was made between 1923-25 and originally cost 4.5 cents. The largest of the three, the Hemingray no. 40 is earlier, 1910-1921, and depending on color, quality, and condition, can range in value between $1-1000. The small one, a lovely example of the Hemingray no. 12, goes as far back as 1890, and is one of the most common. Still, in perfect condition it fetches $400. This one is niiiiiiiiice!
UDAP BEAR SPRAY CANISTER AND HOLSTER ($10): Bought this in October 2021 for a backpacking trip in Glacier NP. Closest I got to seeing a bear was a massive pile of grizzly poo setting fresh in the middle of the trail. Never sprayed this, and it’s been sitting atop my refrigerator ever since.
ART PRINT— HANDS BY “EL” ($10): Purchased for $15 at Spokane Queer Art Walk in April 2021. Can’t find exactly who this artist is, but she had a bunch of gorgeous prints and clothing at her booth. I love this 9X12 piece, but I am ready to pass it on.
R3 FOOT MASSAGE ROLLER ($10): Back in spring of 2019, I worked a job where they sold these. I picked one up, and since then haven’t used it like I thought I would (in lieu of using the foot massager I’ve had for literally 20 years). It retails for like $40. This is a steal.
3 SPOKANE-AREA VINTAGE CERAMIC TILES ($40 for all, or $15 each): After one of 2021’s major windstorms that knocked down trees all over town, I found these tiles sitting under a pile of branches in Coeur d’Alene Park in Browne’s Addition. A strange provenance, but also not so strange since many of the old homes in Browne’s have similar tile work. Turns out these color motifs used by the California Art Tile Co. in Richmond, CA were super popular in the pre-WWII years. Similar, smaller pieces on etsy and eBay sell over a huge range of prices. From $10 to thousands.
1930’s ERA ANTIQUE HUNTING KNIFE WITH RARE ORIGINAL SHEATH ($100): The knife is stamped “PAT. APPL’D FOR”, which proves it dates to pre-1935 when the brand received patent # 1967479, a number they put on their knives thereafter. I received the knife as a gift in 1997—when it was purchased at a butcher shop in Huntington Beach, CA. Been lugging it around ever since. Needs a little cleaning up, but it’s gem mint!
PAINTING— LEGS BY TOM GRIFFEN ($60): Dismantled remnant from a larger piece mounted onto a piece of plywood (18.5 x 12). Painted in 2011 in Carrboro, NC, under a summer moon, while cicadas swirled in my backyard forest and The Pixies roared from my stereo inside. “Debaser,” “Where is My Mind,” “Gouge Away,” and “Monkey Gone to Heaven.” Lots of good vibes and nothing but love in this piece. Hanging hardware already installed. Plug and play.
HANDMADE PORCELAIN COWBOY HAT ($5): I’ve always wanted to be a cowboy. Probably traces back to growing up in a cowtown and watching tall drinks of water stroll through the ‘70s suburbs in crisp ironed Wranglers and pearl snap plaid shirts. This has always been my jam, so things like this regularly pass in and out of my life. Loved it when I saw it, love it still. But it’s time for new cowboy things. Like maybe some chaps.
RUSTY METAL ITEMS ($45): Oh my lord, I have so much of this stuff. I’ll bundle it curiously in various posts, but yeah, I can’t help but obsessively collect this stuff everywhere I go. Here you’ll find two pickaxes, both found at my old apartment home in North Carolina, and a big bolt, found in a rock pile beneath a railroad track near Palouse Falls here in Washington. There’s a story in each piece. Maybe a hundred stories. You can be part of the next.
VINTAGE UNBRANDED FIREFIGHTER’S AXE HEAD ($25): Honestly I don’t quite recall where this came from. I know it once sat atop a busted up old handle that I still have, which I now keep under my bed. I’m always struck by the power of old tools like this one. How intimate someone must have been with its heft, with its edge. I wonder about the energy left behind by this long ago connection and imagine it involved something akin to love. How can you know something as well as a firefighter must know their axe without feeling deeply about it?
KOBALT 6-PIECE WIRE BRUSH SET ($5): There was a time when I planned to restore axes, and this was going to be my foray into removing rust. Didn’t happen, obviously. Still want it to, though. Oh to want!
BLACK AND DECKER 6 AMP DRILL AND BIT SET ($40): Gently used for all sorts of minor art projects. Mostly to hang random pieces of art all around town for folks to find. I’ve been doing this for years and have loved owning a drill. But where I’m moving, my friends have all the tools I need. And what a great excuse for a quick get together!
VINTAGE GLASS SODA BOTTLES ($10): Found these while canoeing in Florida. Crown Cola and, I think, Coca Cola. Both are in great shape. Not only did they survive the original discard from their content’s consumer, but they’ve endured various subsequent storms—including an abundance of hurricanes. Give them another life on your windowsill, or as a vase, or something to keep your marbles in. Give them a new chapter for their survive and thrive story.
VINTAGE HANDMADE WOODEN MAGAZINE STAND ($20): I don’t read magazines, and never used this lovely piece for its intended purpose. I did, however, use it to contain my tall things. A few swords, a long-handled whip I traded a Mongolian nomad a pocketknife for, a carved Cambodia shoulder yoke for easily transporting water buckets, a few axes, and the Bowie knife my grandpa got form a Marine Red Raider during WWII. It liked serving an unintended purpose. Or at least I like to think it did.
BLACK AND DECKER 12 AMP CIRCULAR SAW ($30): One day while I was sawing felled branches in my front yard, a neighbor walked by and marveled. “Man, I haven’t seen one of those in like forever!” He was referring to my hand saw. The one responsible for my dripping sweat and sore shoulder. I smiled and waved, and the next day I bought this. Never used it on branches, however. In fact, that old hand saw remains one of my favorite tools. Nothing like feeling the results of some good, hard work.