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Thursday, Dec. 16, 2004 08:34 am

common sense 12-16-04

art1643

Being rich really can be tough. Yes, you do have a lot of stuff -- houses, cars, clothes, gadgets, games, gizmos, and other toys to keep you amused as you idle away your time. But then you have all that stuff to deal with. Just keeping it dusted must be taxing. And of course you keep buying more stuff, because, well, you're rich and can afford it, but then you have more to deal with, and . . . aiiiieeee! What's a rich person to do?

Of course! Do what regular people do: Have a yard sale. This is precisely the solution Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg came upon when she realized that she simply had too much stuff. In her words: "I found myself again with more houses and belongings than I could possibly use or enjoy." What a burden!

So she's having a yard sale. Not literally, for it would tacky beyond belief for the Kennedys to display their castoffs on the lawn of the family compound at Hyannisport. No, no, this will be done properly. Sotheby's, the elite auction house, will handle the February sale of Caroline's stuff.

And it is mostly just stuff: a fiberglass kitchen tray, some duck decoys, pieces and bits of a set of plain dinner dishes, a few dinged-up end tables, a pair of folding suitcase racks, and -- get this -- a bunch of Mason jars.

But even though it's just stuff, it is Kennedy stuff, so Caroline's yard sale is expected to fetch a minimum of a million bucks. Indeed, Sotheby's has printed a special 380-page catalog of the stuff, and the catalog itself is tagged at $50 a copy.

Maybe the Kennedys need the money, but really -- shouldn't she just have donated some of this stuff to Goodwill?

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