VISTA, N.Y. A lifetime of personal possessions were stacked on tables and tarps in a back room of Copias Home and Garden Center in Vista on Saturday as people rifled through them in hopes of finding something of interest.
This wasnt 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.
Theres an old Austrian saying, Your last shirt has no pockets, which is another way of saying, you cant take it with you, said Steiner, who is 85 and has photographed some of the worlds 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.
Its crazy having so much, Steiner said. I thought they would be (in storage) for six months and they were there for 16 years. Its 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 didnt really create any feelings of nostalgia.
At my age, its not a trip down memory lane its 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. Its 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 childrens books. It seemed there was something for every taste.
Its been going very nice so far, Steiner said. Its been very civil. Whatever I dont get rid of is going to the Salvation Army.
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