2005 Yard Sale Poster

Up for grabs are ten painstakingly selected, splendidly keen items, many of which possess strong associations with the Freddy series and Centerboro.

Doing Business with EHA Industries: A Quick Review

  • All prices are firm. That means non-negotiable. So don't ask.
  • No returns or refunds--ever!
  • No personal or starter checks, food stamps, "interesting" trades, foreign currency, etc.
  • Payment in full in U.S. dollars or USPS money orders only!
  • You pay all shipping and optional insurance charges.
  • New York State tax applies if you are a resident of the "Empire" State.

Items listed in this Internet Yard Sale which do not sell
by Cinco de Mayo
will be offered for sale at my

Unexcelled Midsummer Madness Dream Yard Sale

Saturday, July 23, 2005
45 Clinton Street
Centerboro, New York

9 A.M. to 5 P.M. only!

Early birds will be sorry!
Ditto for people who request refreshments or the use of my bathroom.


Here's a nice little book from 1942 illustrated by Kurt Wiese. I came across it while looking for a good "preowned" four-pronged cane at the Goodwill store the other day. There lay Corn-Belt Billy on a card table with an assortment of other cast off books (mostly Reader's Digest condensed novels), and I knew immediately that it would be a perfect item for this sale.

I was flabbergasted to see Mrs. U's former chauffeur's son's name (John Smith) scribbled on the inside cover, and when I questioned her about it, she said she may have seen it long ago in her house on Sherman. But she can cast no light whatsoever upon a curious penciled notation on page 4: "Drive. Deer? flattened cans enough!" I suspect that given the date of publication and the provenance of this book, the note might possibly provide a reason for supposing that the plot of Bean Home News is based upon real events in Centerboro, particularly at Mrs. U's estate during WW II. I will admit, though, that the basis for this supposition is rather more flimsy than solid, Mrs. U's memory being what it is these days and there being so many John Smiths.

Nevertheless, this item will be of major interest to Freddyites, so hurry--it will not be around long for the amazingly low price of

Fiddlesticks! It's been sold.

Neat little ducky, isn't this? It's a hand-carved decoy from, oh, I'd guess the early 1940s. It even has the name Wesley II burned into its bottom and a number of lead pellets embedded in it from bow to stern. Wesley II implies a Wesley I, but I have no information about junior's dad. I imagine it served its purpose and then was discarded when it became damaged or waterlogged or whatever happens to duck decoys to make them useless. Why do I offer this item for sale? Only because it belonged to William Bean, an avid duck hunter whose sure eye and 12 gauge shotgun provided many a succulent plate of duck and sauerkraut at the Beans' dinner table.

If you are speculating that Mr. Brooks, a frequent visitor at the Bean farm named his character Wesley after one of William's decoys, you'd be wrong. It's pretty clear that the character Uncle Wesley was named after Wesley Quackenworthy, pool salesman, homicide victim, and uncle of Alice and Emma Quackenworthy, both hairdressers, who lived long and happy lives after the unfortunate (and unsolved) murder of the petty autocrat who dominated their lives for many years. Less clear is why William would have named a decoy "Wesley."

Another survivor of the big Bean Farm fire, this item is sure to go fast for only

Gosh darn it! It's sold!


Here's an authentic photograph from a camping trip taken by the Beans to the southern shore of Lake Oteseraga in 1922. The shadow you see in the foreground is that of William himself as he snapped this shot. There is what appears to be the figure of a woman near the left margin, and this appearance is noted on the back of the photo along with an exclamatory sentence that Martha had been napping in the tent when Williams took the picture, and that no one else was within a half mile of their site at the time. Now I could probably dispose of this item for several hundred dollars on eBay where people routinely spend large sums on pieces of toast with patterns resembling human faces. However, motivated by a combination of pity for and generosity toward the Freddyite community, I offer this item here for the standard (and most reasonable) price for a photo from a Bean family album:

Fooey! Already sold.

You might expect that I originally purchased this spiffy Zippy anthology for the "Ticket to Mars" contents. But I did not. It's the Alfred Jarry stuff that caught my eye. For those of you who are asking yourselves, "Alfred Jarry?" I refer you to the little article about him at Wikipedia. (You may have to wait a while for Wikipedia to load as traffic is sometimes clogged with its innumerable addicts.) If you are not particularly interested in Alfred Jarry himself, perhaps you will enjoy the related London Institute of Pataphysics site instead. Or maybe you'd just like to buy this issue of Zippy stories for a piddling

Yow! Sold, dang it!

Der Spuk im Grossen Wald? Hah! You don't have to have an IQ much over 100 to figure out which Freddy this is, so I won't bother to translate. It is the second volume sent to me by one of my readers from Deutschland, for what specific reason I have yet to fathom. Perhaps I thanked her too profusely for the first, for before long I received not only Der Spuk, but also an ornate cuckoo clock, and a tacky ceramic beer stein. The latter two items are quite useful--I employ the clock out in my toolshed and keep pencils and pens in the stein, but I cannot think of any good reason to hang onto this book. I doubt that I will receive any more volumes as I got quite the nasty kiss-off letter from my former Fraulein fan in response to what I thought was a polite request to stop sending me presents. Perhaps something got lost in translation. (BTW, "findig" means "resourceful.")

This meisterwerk may be yours for

Oh, pooh! Sold!

This pin was issued to Henry Molecule, the owner of the best little corner grocery in Centerboro and a longtime member of the Centerboro Volunteer Fire Company. Henry was also one of the victims of the hepatitis outbreak which originated in the kitchen of the Centerboro Hotel. I know that this pin belonged to Henry because his daughter told me so at the estate sale where I bought it following his demise. Henry did not get much mention in the Freddy books, and I find that odd since he was a somewhat "different" Centerboro resident who would not have gone unnoticed by Mr. Brooks. I will not list all his oddities, but will speak of two. First, he never trimmed his eyebrows or nasal and ear hairs. In his later years, he came to resemble an unkempt Schnauzer. Second, Henry was an opera buff. Upon entering his grocery one would always hear strains of whatever opera he had playing on his gramophone in the back room. Someone whistling an aria around the corner meant that odds were you'd soon bump into Henry.

This memento of a minor character in the Freddy series and in the everyday life of Centerboro may be yours for

Rats! Gone!

Here you have a somewhat tattered copy of the 1954-1955 Centerboro telephone book. It is in truly shabby condition, yet surely valuable to the Freddyite who will relish the wealth of information about Centerboro it contains. Of course, many of the residents and businesses listed in this wonderful publication are long defunct. Nevertheless, it is most pleasant while leafing through it to run across many names mentioned in the Freddy series.

Besides the pleasures of such perusal, this directory would certainly prove to be an invaluable research source for the serious Freddyite scholar--and there are such--to add to his or her collection.

It is difficult indeed to establish a fair price for such a rare item, so, frankly, I just pulled one out of the air.

You're too late. Sold.

I personally salvaged this item from the great Bean Farm fire. It is a one-of-a-kind ashtray which belonged to William, and it comes with a C.O.A. from EHA Industries. Once upon a time in 1948, William had a tame squirrel which Mrs. Bean named Taffy. I remember paying a visit in the spring of that year to the Beans concerning a piece of pasture which they had engaged me to sell for them. While William and I sat on the porch and discussed details of the sale over hard cider, he fed Taffy peanut butter off a stick. The little bugger had absolutely no fear of anyone. He sat right there between us until William ran out of peanut butter, and only then did he scamper off to do whatever squirrels do with their spare time. Though William was typically gruff and unsentimental about animals, he did have a soft spot for a few--at least the ones which he did not consider edible--and he actually doted on Taffy. He was really quite upset when Taffy didn't show up on the porch one day, and even more upset when he found the little fellow stretched out stiff and lifeless beneath an oak tree down by the Centerboro Road. William had the carcass stuffed and mounted as seen, and Taffy became his most treasured smoking accessory.

I am certain that Mr. Brooks must have made Taffy's acquaintance on one of his visits to the Beans. I guarantee this item to be free of pestilence, and I propose a most modest price for this marvelous piece of Beaniana with a direct connection to the series.

Gasp! Already sold.

My kind of Freddy book!

Now this is my kind of Freddy book! It has all the characteristics that I find desirable in a used book.

  • This is a genuine Centerboro Free Library discard complete with a black and white CFL book label.
  • The text is legible and complete.
  • The endpapers have been removed.
  • Discolorations (including one large water stain), foxing, numerous scotch-taped rips and open tears, and dog-eared pages abound.
  • All page ends are really, really soft.
  • It possesses all the usual library marks plus a card holder.
  • The boards are battered, cocked, scuffed, bumped, rubbed, frayed, and soiled. The back board has not one, but two circular drinking glass stains.
  • Everything's loose--joints, hinges, and pages!
  • There is evidence of biopredation, most likely from small insects.
  • This volume strongly emits the musty smell of an elderly library book.

If ever there were a non-collectible, reading copy to be sold "With All Faults," this is it! What more could one ask for? Not much! This banged-up beauty is yours for

One Buck!
Sorry. It's sold.


But wait! There's more! In addition to your lot, you will also receive absolutely free of charge

  1. ten detailed color photographs from different perspectives of your site (much better than its low-resolution image to the left)
  2. a detailed topographic map showing the precise location of your lot in Utopia Planitia
  3. title search and survey report
  4. mineral and water rights
  5. transferable flood insurance
  6. Eureka 2-man Timberline tent and two sets of thermal underwear for temporary shelter and comfort
  7. 200 24-oz. bottles of water for personal use and/or for trade
  8. a two-month supply of deluxe freeze-dried dinners and energy bars
  9. a coupon for 15% off rubble clearing good for one year
  10. the right to summarily exterminate all hostile living creatures within the perimeter of your property and one full Martian month of bodyguard service
  11. first shot at buying adjacent properties
  12. and a fantastic bonus: Purchase before March 31, 2005, and receive admission tokens for two to the annual Sand Carnival on the grounds of the winter palace as a personal guest of the Grand Incarnation of the Great Crustaceanoid--only 200 kilometers from your site.

You are invited to purchase this most desirable prime lot in Phase 1 of the Utopian Estates subdivision for a very reasonable

Too Late! Sold.

(Do not despair. I expect several more lots to become available within the next couple of months.)

Can you believe it?! Because of my long relationship with good old Two-Clicks, I am in the unique position to offer you what may be the real estate deal of all time--your very own 40-acre homestead on Mars in the splendidly huge and surprisingly varied Utopia Planitia region! Wow and wow again!

The deed to this wonderful building lot is signed by Two-Clicks himself. He is the only Martian authorized by the current Grand Incarnation of the Great Crustaceanoid to conduct real estate transactions with alien beings. Owing to my extensive experience in real estate (and--quite unofficially--my special friendship with Two-Clicks), I have been selected as the sole human agent for Earth-Mars land deals. In other words, you want a piece of Mars, you go through me!

Of course, you assume all responsibility for securing your flight to Mars and the costs of oxygen generation, food acquisition and/or production, and construction on your lot. For an additional fee which you will have to negotiate directly with him, Two-Clicks will be happy to assist you in reaching Mars and in hiring reputable Martian building contractors following your successful paid-in-full cash purchase of the property.

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