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Burb's Eye View: Shoppers hope to take home some memories

December 11, 2012|By Bryan Mahoney

The crowd at the late Bob Hope’s house Saturday indicated one of two things: Either people will buy anything just because a celebrity owned it, or people will buy anything at a garage sale.

At 8:15 a.m. Saturday morning — a full 45 minutes earlier than it was supposed to start — shoppers packed the parking area of Mr. Hope’s home in Toluca Lake like sale-seekers at a Walmart on Black Friday.

Elbow to elbow they shoved each other, grabbing anything they could from the folding tables manned by volunteers and some of Hope’s family. One woman cradled an armload of glass bulb Christmas tree ornaments — the kind you’ll see on any tree, anywhere.

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What does one find at Bob Hope’s garage sale? A lasagna pan? Perhaps a stuffed bear dressed as Santa? Some bathroom tile? All of the above.

Susan Rousseau and Art Mroczek battled the throng and emerged with four plastic bins full of sea-foam green bathroom tiles — around 250 in all. They don’t own a home.

“We were just looking for stuff that we can use [eventually],” Mroczek said. “Some people are crazy for this stuff.”

Outside the guarded parking area, Frank Greenwood looked on at the line that had formed when the tables were cleared. In just 45 minutes the place sold out, and Greenwood could only stand and watch.

“I would love to get in here and get a hold of a hat,” he said.

His collection of 700 hats rotates in a display in his Burbank home. He’s lived here since 1970 and owned several restaurants in the area — sometimes visited by Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. When the performers left, often they’d leave their hats — additions to Greenwood’s collection.

He may have better luck next year, when Hope’s estate auctions off the bigger-ticket items of the home. Saturday’s rummage sale highlights included some action figures (of Mr. Hope of course), CDs and holiday decorations.

The whole thing sent one’s head spinning. It was not nearly as organized as the garage sale at Bing Crosby’s house in 2008, according to neighbor Sharon Pucci, who stopped by the sale on her way to work.

“At that one we got to go inside,” she said.

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