The honey-do list was burning a hole in my back pocket, but the ad on the website had read, “Westport, CT home of 100 year-old woman…needs to be cleared out.” I thought, rather than try to visit 10 random sales, let’s focus on this one sale and return in time to make it up to my wife’s to-do list.
At a little over 40 minutes travel time, this would be the only sale allowable. Of course, the journey was fraught with temptation. It seemed as though every major intersection held the promise of a hundred custom, “____ sale!” signs pointing this way and that. Tightening my blinders and trying not to wince too much, we stayed the course.
Arriving at the sale in Westport, we were greeted by traffic and parking attendants. In southern Fairfield County, this is a common site. Navigating the traffic in and around estate sales here requires coordinated assistance to keep things moving smoothly. Parking on the small side street we needed only to walk a short distance before reaching the door.
After hunting around, my daughter had found treasure while I remained empty handed. She proudly displayed small pieces intended to be Christmas gifts for family and friends. One of the ladies running the sale had even gifted her with a magnetic pencil. I redressed my efforts and continued to look for a story.
I was eventually rewarded when I discovered 2 files cabinets with four drawers full of hanging file folders. Meticulously labeled with tabs like: people, mailmen/messengers, police/firemen, fashion, profiles, proofs, interiors, etc, each one was filled with a number of cut magazine pages from the 1930’s to the 1950s with clips as described by the tabs.
I asked one of the salespeople about these and learned that the files belonged to Bernard Burroughs. Burroughs, a fine artist and illustrator spent much of his career creating artwork for Madison Avenue advertising agencies and the clients they represented. Importantly, the files were for sale. Click here, to see what was inside those folders and to learn more about Bernard Burroughs.A special thanks to Bernard Burroughs' son, Miggs Burroughs for allowing me to purchase and share his father's collection.