The Ira Benjamin House Contents Sale Ongoing
Winter hollow... or burrow... in January, in Maine; ‘one may.’ And that is usual. Buried burrow banks of snow with wind whipped pandemonium, ‘icy’, branch breaking road blocking wonderful frozen burial of peeking out to ‘see’ that... it is... January
Or, in January in Maine, ‘one may’... have... very, very, very... very ‘late fall’
And this January (2015), we did.
So everyone is ‘still around’... raking the leaves... of ‘fellow citizen’ well after the ‘holiday celebration’ and a full review of one’s woodpile and cold cellar hoard.
Television programming “barks” said Roger Sanderson to me when he was caught out... and about. Usually he watches television for the first three months of each year. And then “emerges” (his word) at the ‘first yard sale’
“CAN YOU IMAGINE WHAT IS IN THAT HOUSE” Roger continued in direct reference to the Ira Benjamin House, it’s contents, the two years of their two ‘yard sales’, the expected third yard sale “this year” (2015) and...
That he had seen my truck ‘parked up there’ ‘in the first part of December’.
“YOU GET ANYTHING. GET AROUND IN THERE?”
It had already ‘snowed’ ‘once’ before that day.
“JUST STICKING MY KNIFE IN THE GROUND.” I said
“Might as well I figure.”
“You FIGURE WHAT.”
“Well... I been as out and as bothered as you. They ain’t SELLING the STUFF. JUST their own RUBBISH. They HAUL IN.”
“Well damn them I said”
“Well Roger... THINK ABOUT IT.”
“I think they STINK; having all THAT HOUSE FULL. LEAVE ME OUT OF IT! Damn you I say to her. She don’t like me never did.”
“So Roger... you know I figure. So... I figure and it HIT ME. Them SOOOO scared. NOT OF US. They hate us. But scared of THAT STUFF. THEY DON’T KNOW! I figured it.”
“Don’t know? Course they don’t know. That’s the point of them sales. You don’t know so sell the stuff you don’t know and be done with it. TAKES ONE DAY to keel haul eleven generations of BAIL in an old PLACE like THAT. DAMN THEM. Some of them are religious you know.”
“Well damn that. ... I figure... ‘she don’t know’. Just says she does. But she don’t know. None of them do. So... it ain’t STUPID there. They just don’t KNOW. So what we’d take off they’s THINK... well... they don’t THINK AT ALL about it. If they did, I figure, they’d ah taken it OFF. Cleaned it out. But: It’s all just CRUD to them. It’s not damn them. It’s DAMN THEM I SEE.”
“What did you see in there?”
“Not see: I UNDER... STAND. They don’t SEE what WE SEE. And they’re scared. Of it. And us feeling around them. So I says... I’ll stick it in the ground. Make her pull it out with her teeth. Right?
“I didn’t even have to TRY”
“What you say?”
“Just like I figured”
“Well... she’s at the market. Right there at Thanksgiving. “YOU LOCKED IT FOR WINTER” I say. She nods. She’s “CLOSED UP” she says. So I say did you sell the CHAIR yet. What chair she says. I say.. well... I make one UP; sort of, OFF what I see in there. You know; back bedroom second floor I THINK it was so, NO, could be OVER the OTHERSIDE. Well she says she didn’t SEE THAT “CHAIR” she says. So I stuck it in the ground. So then come up December.
“She SEES ME and come over and says she CAN...NOT...FIND...THAT...CHAIR... I speak of.
“OH I SAYS YOU SOLD THAT?”
“NO WE DO NOT SELL IT SHE SAY”.
“NO WE DO NOT SELL IT SHE SAY”.
“WHY NOT?” I say. She don’t come back but says “YOU SURE” about that chair so I say that it had the DEER HORNS setting on it. OH SHE SAY Michael wants those old HORNS I know where those are what IS that CHAIR.
“I think I say one hundred twenty-five didn’t I say for that chair?
“You said that on that old chair?” she says.
“I don’t recall’ I say.
She looks and says she now knows just where that chair should be she say. Would I come down to see that chair with her she say. Sure anytime, I say, we have weather like this. So NEXT DAY we go DOWN. And I don’t do anything but FOLLOW her. She don’t know and shows me this CHAIR. I say that ain’t the CHAIR. Seems it was right over THERE.. But there’s no chair there. But SEE them HORNS is THERE. Well Michael say he wants those HORNS she says. How much are those worth she says. I say they ain’t anything. She sees some horns are valuable she says. THEM HORNS is just eight points BUCK I say. Nothing I say. Oh no she say them- some of them- are worth a LOT. OH, I SAY, SO I GUESS.
“So we can’t find the CHAIR. I go all around with her. It was all just the same up there. They ain’t even THOUGHT of moving it out. NO SALE I see and that IS THAT. They just figure to USE THAT house for THEIR SALE. So she says what about the chair? Well I say someone must have taken it OFF. OH she say no. Well I say. NO she says. Could I KNOW that chair if I SEE IT. Course I could I say. ONE HUNDRED FIFTY DOLLARS YOU SAID she says. NO ONE TWENTY-FIVE I say and... right now... she’s STILL pulling that CHAIR out with her TEETH. Right to THIS DAY she is.”
“Don’t you ever HELP.” Roger says.
“It must be in here somewhere I say. But we locked it back up. Down to the truck I said ‘Didn’t you ever sell that china doll?”
“What china doll?” she says.
“You know that one that’s FAMILY in the BOX. One of them Mary Anne showed it to me at the sale.”
“Mary Anne showed you a doll.”
“I think it was here. At the sale. I think so. Old china DOLL in a box. I think so.”
“Right here at the sale you say; a doll in a box.”
“FOUND IT in the HOUSE” they said. Could have been at PARKERS. PARKERS had that SALE THERE TOO LAST SUMMER REMEMBER”.
“At Parkers?” she says.
“Could be a DOLL there.. HERE. I thought so. FIND quite a bit IN HERE don’t you.
“Well they’re not supposed to GO IN the HOUSE. Just the SALE is up FRONT. That chair you see it AT the sale?”
“No. I see THAT. When that time back in the winter we went in I see it.”
“Wonder where that chair is.” She says.
“OH” I say “Someone FETCH IT I bet.”
“They’re not supposed to fetch anything from the house.” She says.
“OH I thought you be selling out the house.”
“No not right yet. Not until it’s square.”
“No not right yet. Not until it’s square.”
“But your planning another sale this spring.”
“Those sales weren’t part of the valuation. Everything in the house is supposed to be valued. That they say. Didn’t yet say HOW to value it.
“Probably don’t know its there to be valued” I say.
“OH” she says “That’s all being taken care of”.
“I think she’s the one taking care of it. She figures”
“I see you stuck it in SOFT GROUND d’aint you” said Roger.
“Peg it. Pegged her. She’ll be up all night in there look’en; finding that doll.
Find that chair won’t you deary I say.”
“She snap your head back if she find out.”
“She’s got an awful lot of old chairs in there to find out about.”
“What if I go in and say something.”
“Not you. I stick my peg. Not you. Just let her stand there looking at it; my peg.
Gonna snow now. She be out. Can’t get in. Every time she go by she be look’en at that peg. We’ll see her in the spring. She be awful ready to know I found that chair. Still in there now I think I tell her. I think it IS in there; that chair.”
“You think you’ll get that chair”.
“Not yet I’ll get it. Maybe three more years I figure. I’ll be in now. I got her figured now. She’ll always be looking for something I said I think. Gonna get me my old mirror and tell her I think.”
“What old mirror you think?”
“She won’t pull that old mirror out with her teeth but I will. I’ll stick it in the ground and pull it out with my teeth. You can watch me do it.”
“You’s mumblety-pegged her I’ll say.”