From genuine estate sales to foreclosure sales to the person who’s simply downsizing, you will almost always find old family photos. A scrapbook, a framed portrait from a Sears studio, an old black-and-white picture from generations ago, sometimes even slides or an envelope of developed photos from a drug store–they’re yours for the taking.
Seeing a bunch of family photos always raises intriguing questions for me, all extensions of the one great existential question: why? Why sell pictures of Uncle Dan or Dottie when she was a baby, why put a price on a box of old slides from our trip to the lake cabin in 1988? Why?
Maybe the family’s digitized all the photos, and doesn’t want the paper. Fair enough, but if I were to do that (and my relationship with digitizing shit is so fraught with error that I would never rely on that medium), I certainly wouldn’t turn around and sell these things. But you see it all the time.
Like this weekend. Janice and I hit six sales this weekend, from St. Louis Park to South Minneapolis to Edina, and we found a lot of scrapbooks and old photos… and I even bought one. Honestly, I might have bought more if the dealers weren’t selling them for top dollar. Continue reading