I’ve never liked the idea of buying hair. Wait...I should probably explain that. I’m not talking about the way Elton John bought hair for $28,000 and had it surgically attached to his head. I’d certainly consider that, if I didn’t end up looking like Donald Trump (or Elton John). No, I’m talking about hair you collect. I’ve told the story before about a friend I played racquetball with. His mom cut Elvis’ hair, and got a call from a collector that wanted to buy it for $500. She sold it all to him (this was in the ‘60s). He called back later wanting more. She didn’t have more, but being a smart business woman, she collected all the black hair on the floor of the barber shop and sold him that. And when I see all those strands of Elvis hair selling for $25, I wonder if it really is his hair.
Well, a lock of Thomas Jefferson’s hair sold in Texas for almost $7,000. A bit more pricey than the King’s, but then...Jefferson died 190 years ago. Elvis died on the crapper in the ‘70s.
Heritage Auctions said they had 14 strands of the hair, too. So if the buyer is smart, maybe he’ll sell those strands individually for more in a few years.
And how was the hair acquired? Jefferson’s personal physician cut it at the time of his death on July 4th, 1826. So, an anonymous bidder has a nice item to display at his 4th of July BBQ in a month.
The seller was a collector named William F. Northrop. He bought it from an autograph collector in the 1980s.
Now, on the other end of the collecting spectrum, comes the controversy from the sale of George Zimmerman’s gun. It’s the one he used to shoot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. It’s a Kel-Tec 9mm PF-9 pistol. Since Zimmerman was acquitted, he’s free to do what he wants with the weapon that was given back to him from the Department of Justice.
He’s tried to auction it twice and things turned disastrous. No, no...he didn’t shoot one of the bidders. A lot of fake bids came in and ruined the auction. My two favorite fake bidder names were “Donald Trump” and “Racist McShootFace”.
Well, the same thing has happened on the third auction at UnitedGunGroup.com, but there was a bid over $138,000 that might be legit. Another bid of $250,000...probably isn’t.
Is the sale in bad taste? Of course it is, but collectors have never cared about that. If a Bonnie and Clyde gun came up for sale, it would be worth a fortune. What about the gun used to shoot JFK? Heck, I’d rather have the gun used to shoot Lee Harvey Oswald. I’d frame it with that great photo that captured that incredible moment in time.
The idea of collecting morbid stuff is odd to me, but I got to admit -- when the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino opened in Las Vegas, I thought it was both tasteless and cool, to see part of the plane that Otis Redding was in when he died.
Now, I’d never buy a piece of Nazi memorabilia, but...I was dating a woman that had signed documents from Hitler. So, if an item like that fell onto my lap, I’d certainly keep it.