Monday, February 6, 2012

Ladies and Gentlemen, Elvis Has Left the Building

Collectors always amaze me.  I mean serious collectors, collectors who dedicate whole rooms of their house to their passion, and have collections spanning decades, and many, many thousands of dollars. Sadly, I never get to meet these collectors, and only learn about them after their death, when their family begins to sell off their prized possessions.

Such was the case this weekend.  You wouldn’t know it to look at it, but a small, non-descript house in middle Georgia held one of the largest Elvis Presley collections in the U.S, and due to the owner’s death, it was for sale, piece by piece.  The sale ran for three days, starting on Friday, and ending on half price day on Sunday.  My wife, Ella, went on Friday, and was among the first 50 that were allowed in the house.  She came away with mostly wild west items/collectibles (another of the deceased’s passions), but told wondrous stories of all the other collectibles in the house, including the Elvis room, and the Star Wars closet.  So, naturally, I was chomping at the bit to get there on Sunday to see if anything was left.

We got to the sale right at 1 p.m. on Sunday, and there was a small line already.  The door promptly opened, and Ella pointed me in the direction of Elvis nirvana.  On the way, though, I was waylaid by the Force, and had to stop and look at the Star Wars closet.  It was interesting, with Star Wars record albums, and a few new action figures.  The closet also featured a box of magazines, which, in some way, featured Star Wars.  There was also a cardboard standup R2-D2, and, get this, boxes of Dixie cups featuring the Star Wars characters.  Only, the boxes were empty.  He was displaying empty boxes. 

Deciding to come back, since there didn’t seem to be a great interest in Star Wars by the patrons in the house, I stepped into the Elvis room.  The room was dominated by a large table with what had to be hundreds of albums and 45s.  On the walls were tables filled with photos, magazines, newsletters, memorabilia, and, my favorite, books.  Now, remember, this was the third day of the sale, and I really wasn’t expecting to find major value.  I was wrong.  Book after book scanned for good money.  High ranks, but good money, nonetheless.  I quickly amassed a large pile, which sale workers promptly grabbed for me and took to the holding area. I then concentrated on the magazines and memorabilia.  I grabbed a box of Elvis fan club newsletters, dating back to the 1970s, for the princely sum of one dollar, an Elvis concert T-shirt, a baby shirt featuring an Elvis festival logo, and several Elvis magazines, which were protected in plastic covers.  I wanted the Elvis scarf, which I assumed was one of the ones he would throw into the crowd at concerts, but decided I would have no way to verify its authenticity.

I looked over the posters and photos, but passed on them because I really don’t know their value.  I have a feeling, though, that doing so was probably a mistake.  I also passed on the albums and 45s because I wasn’t sure of actual value.

Deciding I’d done all the damage that I could do in that room, I went back to the Star Wars closet, determined to find something.  I settled on an original four CD-set of the Star Wars soundtrack, while looking wistfully at the other items.

I also grabbed two $1.50 power center/surge suppressors onto which you sit your computer monitor, and into which you plug all your peripherals.

I wanted more, sure I could make my money back easily, but decided that the logistics of storing everything outweighed my need for more inventory at that moment.

Upon arriving back home, the image of all that potential inventory still haunted me.  I emailed the estate sale, asking if they would sell everything left for one money.  They replied that they already had an offer of $1700, but would let me know if it fell through. 

I’m not sure that’s a good deal, but know that I’ll feel Moody Blue if it’s offered and I don’t buy it.

OK, you knew I had to get an Elvis song reference in there somewhere, right?

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