Since we all hate dealing with the Black Friday shopping, I thought I’d start this blog off with a Black Friday deal you might be interested in. I heard about this a few weeks ago, and thought it would be lame. When I discovered it was kind of cool, I thought I’d give you the heads up. I had read that Barnes & Nobles bookstores would bring out autographed copies of various books, as one of many incentives to get people into their stores this weekend. The picture in the paper showed a Hilary Clinton signed book, and I know that when she did a book signing in La Jolla, California, people got there at 3 a.m. (and many were turned away).
I ended up buying a handful of books, all autographed (and at the regular price). I got a Stanley Tucci cook book, a Drew Barrymore book of photos, an autobiography of Alan C******, and one I’m really looking forward to reading – the Martin Short autobiography. All the Barrymore books had a signature that was merely a heart, and the letter “B.” All the others were written out nicely, although I did go through all the Tucci books to find the most legible signature to purchase.
Some of the other books they had I didn’t care about. They included James Ellroy, Clive Clusser, and a few other authors that are names. It might be something you’ll want to check out if there’s a Barnes & Nobles near you.
I was out of town for Thanksgiving when I heard that a woolly mammoth skeleton sold for $300,000. I immediately thought two things. First, the great ‘60s song by Sam the Sham and the Pharoes – Woolly Bully. The second thing I thought is…I’ve got to tell this story to my girlfriend. She was in the other room and I told her the price. She said, “Wow, that’s a steal.”
I laughed, thinking she was making a joke. She came into the room and said, “No, seriously. I saw that story on the news and the thing is over 11 feet high and 18 feet long, and weighs tons. I wouldn’t have thought the price was so cheap except what you told me sold for $3 million the other day.”
It had completely slipped my mind.
You see, the mammoth bones are over 10,000 years old. The thing that sold for $3 mil was only 75 years old. It was the original lion costume from “The Wizard of Oz.” It was worn by Bert Lehr, and it came with a sculpted facial likeness of him. Another collector owned it, and he wants to use the money he makes on the sale to…get this…buy the tin mans costume.
Okay, I was joshing there. He wants to use it to open an exhibit to display his large collection of collectables, which includes items from the TV shows “Lost” and “I Love Lucy.”
From Bert Lehr to Burt Reynolds. He’s going to be auctioning off items at The Palms hotel in Las Vegas on December 11th and 12th. That includes the red leather jacket he wore in “Smokey and the Bandit II” (who knows what happened to what he wore in the first picture), and two Golden Globes he won. An item I’d like to buy and burn – the cowboy boots he wore when he was oiled down in that bizarre scene in the horrible movie “Striptease.” Now, if they have something from “Boogie Nights,” I’ll be all over that. One of the best movies ever. I also wouldn’t mind a football from “The Longest Yard,” but there’s no word on all the pieces of memorabilia yet. I’d probably pass on any items from “Deliverance.” I still have nightmares about that flick.
Bank of America is currently trying to foreclose on his Florida home, saying he owes over a million dollars on three loans.
In the catalogue Reynolds states, “I’ve collected so many things that I truly adore but at this stage in my life I find it very difficult to manage them all. The fact of the matter is that it truly is the time to downsize and for these items that I have loved over the years to find new homes where they can be cared for and appreciated.”
Reynolds, a former college football player, also has some sports related lots in the auction. Signed items by Wayne Gretsky, Jack Nicklaus, and Muhammad Ali, as well as paintings and drawings by Henry Fonda and James Cagney. There are a few gifts from Elizabeth Taylor and Jimmy Stewart, as well as firearms and law enforcement badges. The weirdest item – one of his old American Express cards. Don’t leave the auction without it!
On a side note, when I was a teenager, I found out his address in Florida. I sent him a letter asking for an autographed picture. He sent back a signed photo two weeks later. According to Loni Anderson’s autobiography, he wasn’t the best husband; but to autograph collectors, he was always a class act.