Celebrities have never been the stock in trade of The East Hampton Star, so it was not all that surprising that we first learned Liza Minelli had sold a truckload of stuff at a yard sale here last weekend from an item on Page Six. Among the items were a set of epaulets given to her by Michael Jackson.
The New York Post runs Hamptons gossip fairly dependably a couple of times a week, Memorial Day to Labor Day. The editors and writers there have a pretty good ear for such things, as evidenced by the various and sundry blogs and other media outlets that picked up on the Liza story.
Late Tuesday, our front office took a call from a television news producer asking about yard sales of the rich and famous, and, as I was passing by at the time, the phone was handed to me.
It was obvious where the guy was going on this. He assumed that the rich and famous were unloading unwanted items every weekend, and that we could steer him and a TV crew to the next big thing.
“Martha goes to yard sales out there, right?” he asked.
Well, maybe she does, I thought, but most of the time I see people like a certain East Hampton lawyer, who, like me, has somewhat of a problem resisting great deals on fishing tackle. Or there’s the photographer who combs the sales aggressively looking for collectibles to resell. And don’t get in the way of that antiques dealer from Sag Harbor who rolls in before everyone else with a couple of burly helpers to scoop up the good stuff. There are stories aplenty, but not usually of the sort that makes for network TV.
I gave the producer my cellphone number anyway and a tip about one sale this weekend that was likely to draw a crowd. I also let on that it was difficult to tell from the address alone how good a sale was going to be. Sometimes the best locations, I said, have the poorest offerings. The real scores come mostly from those out-of-the-way places on the side streets, not Lily Pond Lane.
Then, too, the little secret is that a lot of people go out on the yard sale circuit of a Saturday to snoop. It’s like one great big house tour without the admission fee or cheeky decorators leaving their business cards where they can’t be missed. I am not sure I’ll tell the television guy this if and when he calls back.