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Pound Ridge Daily Voice serves Pound Ridge, NY
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Pound Ridge Woman Gives Away Lifetime of Memories

VISTA, N.Y. – A lifetime of personal possessions were stacked on tables and tarps in a back room of Copia’s Home and Garden Center in Vista on Saturday as people rifled through them in hopes of finding something of interest.

This wasn’t a tag sale, at least not in a traditional sense. Pound Ridge resident and renowned photographer and artist Lisl Steiner was giving away much of the merchandise, which ranged from clothes and shoes to books and paintings and an eclectic collection of memorabilia.

“There’s an old Austrian saying, ‘Your last shirt has no pockets,’ which is another way of saying, you can’t take it with you,” said Steiner, who is 85 and has photographed some of the world’s most notorious dictators – including Castro – during her world travels.

The items heaped around the back room had spent the last 16 years in a storage locker and Steiner felt it was time for them to go.

“It’s crazy having so much,” Steiner said. “I thought they would be (in storage) for six months and they were there for 16 years. It’s like an anchor around your neck.”

Steiner was giving away most of the stuff, but some of it she sold. Other items she set aside to give to friends. She said seeing it all again didn’t really create any feelings of nostalgia.

“At my age, it’s not a trip down memory lane – it’s more like, ‘just get rid of it,’” Steiner said, as she answered questions from people inquiring about particular pieces.

Steiner dealt with each “customer” one item at a time, deciding whether to sell, give it away or keep it.

“Sometimes I tell them, ‘I want that back,’” Steiner said. “It’s my privilege.”

By noon, the room was crowded with people looking for something cool to take home – a vintage pair of shoes, antique cameras, political memorabilia and classic children’s books. It seemed there was something for every taste.

“It’s been going very nice so far,” Steiner said. “It’s been very civil. Whatever I don’t get rid of is going to the Salvation Army.”

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