The cars started lining up at 6am. The old, cigarette smoking man in suspenders made his way around back and peered in the sliding glass window at 6:30am as I drank my morning coffee. The doors opened at 10am. We brought my parents out, my dad in wheelchair, and went across the street to wait at Dr. Cantor’s home until the sale was over.
All day long the vehicles pulled up and walked out with bed frames, watercolors, lamps, mirrors and a dust buster. One cop, in a pickup truck with Passaic County stickers, was impatient to get his treadmill. He backed up on the lawn and gunned his accelerator for the front entrance. Two fat dudes carried the treadmill out, loaded it on to the flatbed, and the truck tore up the lawn and drove off. Someone stole the bird-feeder, or maybe it was sold.
My dad couldn’t really look at the sale while it was happening. He said to me, in stroke accented English, “It’s like my life is being torn up…” We took a short ride, to the pleasantly antiseptic Tice Corner, and used the restroom in the Senior Center, which is located inside the farmhouse that once belonged to the farmers whom the mall is named after.
We went back to the house after the “guests” had left and I grabbed a corn husk broom that I had locked up in “the safe room”. I swept up the wrappers, leaves and dirt on the wood floors. Many bargain hunters had walked around the house that day, more guests on one day than have probably ever been inside. They were all strangers, none of them friends, and they plundered and purchased so many memories and so many items of no small measurable emotional value.
Now we are here for just a few more days, in a large and elegant home which everyone here still loves and wishes to continue living in. But time, age and illness have converged to end the story of the Hurvitz Family in Woodcliff Lake, NJ.