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Adams Hill garage sale: A street full of bargains

One man's junk is another man's jewel at annual Adams Hill garage sale.

June 22, 2013|By Alene Tchekmedyian, alene.tchekmedyian@latimes.com
  • Natalie Olivares, 13, sold her Barbie collection during the annual Adams Hill Neighborhood Association's Neighborhood Garage Sale in Glendale on Saturday, June 22, 2013. Olivares sold her dolls at a home on the 1200 block of Tyler Street to earn money for a summer camp she wants to attend. About 80 homes participated in the event.
Natalie Olivares, 13, sold her Barbie collection during… (Raul Roa/Staff…)

On a bush in her front lawn, Brenda Noj displayed a white lace hat lined with a string of pink pearls. Next to it was a cluster of hats, belts and other items she'd cleaned out of her Adams Hill home.

Her mother made the hat by hand for Noj's quinceanera almost 20 years ago.

On Saturday, Noj was selling it for $1.

"My mom got upset — she doesn't want me to sell it," Nos said. "I'm like, 'I don't need it anymore.'"

Roughly 80 of her neighbors shared that sentiment and opened up their front lawns to shoppers Saturday at the annual Adams Hill garage sale in Glendale. The event started nine years ago as a way for neighbors to de-clutter their garages to make room for their cars, thus ridding the narrow neighborhood streets of parked cars, according to event-organizer Patty Silversher.

"It's helpful — getting rid of stuff to make room for more junk," said Steve Velasquez, who was selling old radios, antiques and speakers. "They're in my way."

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For some, sifting through the mountains of "junk" was worth it if only to find one hidden gem.

"You've got to go through everything to find treasures," said shopper Dalia Dierks, 70, who took home some costume jewelry and pottery.

Margarite Hermosillo, 61, hoped to sell three vintage beer steins that her father brought home from Germany after serving in the U.S. Army in World War II.

"I've had them ever since — not voluntarily," she said, with a laugh. "They just sit on the mantle."

Some treasures, though, weren't up for grabs.

Among archery bows, hundreds of arrows, remote-controlled cars and DVDs, Bill England, 60, had a box of antique keepsakes. Stuff "you can't even find anymore," he said.

Like a bottle of worm syrup from 1924, marketed as a "speedy, efficient and palatable means of destroying" intestinal worms. And an empty carton of "Our Mother's Cocoa."

He intended to get rid of them until his friend talked him out of it, citing their value.

"This stuff is all turn-of-the-century," England said. "Everyone wants it for pennies."

Throughout the day, customers were clearly hunting for bargains.

A woman browsing the merchandise outside Martha Ramos' home asked the price of a ceramic Santa Claus dish.

One dollar, Ramos said.

"50 cents," the woman offered.

Ramos waved her off, unwilling to budge, and the customer left empty-handed.

"They want to pay a quarter," Ramos said. "It's too hot to stay here for 25 cents."

Moments later, a man clutching a CD-holder dropped a quarter into her hand and walked off with a grin. She had asked for $1.

Ramos shrugged.

"They pay what they want," she said.

For some, it didn't matter, as long as they didn't have to bring their items back inside.

"Anything we haven't looked at in the last five years, we're getting rid of," said Brian Cappler. "I've let everything go dirt cheap."

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Follow Alene Tchekmedyian on Google+ and on Twitter: @atchek.

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