One of the drawbacks to getting older, at least for me, is that I get tired easier, and as I approach my 50th birthday, I find myself reminiscing about a particular conversation that I had with my Dad when I was in my 20s.
“Why do you go to bed so early,” I asked him one evening, about 9 p.m., when he pulled himself out of his easy chair and announced his intentions to hit the sack. “Because I’m tired,” he said.
Flash forward close to 30 years later, and I finally understand. Most nights, including weekends, I live by the adage of “early to bed,” and usually Sunday is the only day that I don’t practice the “early to rise” part of the expression. Unfortunately, it hasn’t made me healthy, wealthy, or wise quite yet.
Speaking of being wise, I wish I was smarter about a lot of things in this business that we call thrifting. Case in point, included in the lot of western/cowboy memorabilia that we recently purchased were several autographed items, several of which I believe are one of a kind.
I found this autograph first. It’s a Lone Ranger creed inscribed and signed by Clayton Moore.
Now, signed Lone Ranger creeds are a dime a dozen on Ebay, but this one has turned out to be special. First, it’s also an Amoco collectible. Clayton Moore appeared in commercials for Amoco’s “Silver” gasoline back in the 80s, so it’s obviously some kind of promotional tie-in. I’ve learned from American Pickers that oil company collectibles are hot, and a search on Terapeak confirms that Amoco items have a decent sell-through rate.
My only concern was that the creed was inscribed to someone name Gordie. Even if he is a “plenty good kemo sabe,” I still had no idea who he was … until I found this photo in our stash.
Yes, that’s the Lone Ranger unmasked, plus Lash LaRue and a fellow named Gordie Peer. For non-western fans, Lash LaRue was another popular western star from the 40s and 50s. He even taught Harrison Ford how to use a bullwhip for the Indiana Jones movies.
Gordie Peer was still a mystery, though. After some research, I discovered that Gordie Peer was, and still is, a master western showman who taught Lash LaRue how to use the bullwhip, and even taught Clayton Moore how to draw his pistol.
Another quick search on Terapeak showed only two photos of Gordie Peer for sale over the past year. Neither sold, but, then again, neither were signed either. A website that specializes in autographed merchandise does have an autographed Gordie Peer picture, though, for a whopping $499.
I know that memorabilia is only worth as much as someone is willing to pay for it, but, surely, an autographed picture of Gordie Peer and two of his most famous students would be worth at least as much, maybe more if I include the signed/inscribed Lone Ranger creed.
To help price those two items, plus the rest of the pictures and other memorabilia, Ella has been sending scans and pictures to a western fan email list of which she is a member. Members not only have been giving pricing estimates, but also have been sending “I want that” emails. I still don’t know about prices yet, but it’s good to know that much of what we bought has actual real-world value.
Now, if only I can convince Ella that she doesn’t need to keep everything.
However, Ella says, "They're mine, all mine!!!!"