John Dilks K2TQN oldradio at WORLDNET.ATT.NET
Mon Apr 17 23:29:23 EDT 2006

Close but not 100% accurate.

I was telephoned by the SK's companion.  She telephoned me and 
informed me of his death and asked me to come down and help her price 
out the collection.  After verifying that she was in charge I agreed.

I did not go alone, but with two other friends of the SK.  We told 
her up front that we were not experts, but would give her the best 
guess we could.  And we did.  We didn't low ball anything.  If any of 
the values we placed were low it was not intentional, it was our best 
guess and we said so.  Since I wasn't planning to purchase anything, 
I had no conflicts.

It was one of the most difficult things I ever had to do, as the SK 
and my some of my family members were very close.  Being there 
without him that day gave me a strange feeling, one I hadn't felt 
since until tonight when I read Greg's email. The SK was a good 
friend, teacher and mentor. Much of what I know about collecting ham 
radios and my collecting values came from his friendship and influence.

That day she told us of two others who were there a day or two 
earlier and what was offered for a few of the pieces.  Their offers 
were very low in my opinion.

I made arrangements for a well known and respectable key collector to 
come down with another key collector to appraise the key and 
telegraph collection.  I was not present when this occurred, but I'm 
absolutely sure she got an accurate estimate.

Later I was invited back and given a chance to purchase anything from 
the estate.  She had things marked and I ended up with a few pieces. 
By this time she had the benefit of several collectors giving her 
information and values.

It the succeeding weeks and months I would see her at hamfests and 
collector club meets selling off my friends collection. I made it a 
point to stay away from her area; one - because it still hurt to see 
his wonderful collection broken up, and two - I just didn't have that 
kind of money to spend.  But when she pulled up, it was a feeding 
frenzy and the guys with money to spend picked up some very nice radios.

She sold some items at the AWA meet in Rochester. One item, a 
homebrew radio built by my friend was in the auction.  I kept bidding 
until I got it.  I knew that my friend was planning to enter it into 
the AWA contest that year, but died before it happened.  The coils 
were missing and I asked her if she still had them.  I was invited 
down again to look for them and found them in his shop.

The following year I entered his radio (and matching coils) in the 
AWA contest in his name.  It won the "Craftsman" award for best 
construction.  The only thing better would have been if he were there 
to accept it.

And as Greg said, she came out very well - but it took her months to 
do it, maybe as long as a year.

73, John

At 08:33 PM 4/17/2006, Greg Gore; WA1KBQ wrote:
>Two quick stories then I'll sign off this one. We were notified of a huge
>estate sale in Maryland about eight years ago, The well known and 
>highly regarded
>ham was an advanced radio collector and historian and had put together the
>finest collection of vintage amateur and antique radio equipment that I have
>ever seen even to this day. He had managed to assemble a collection 
>of several
>hundred pieces of vintage equipment many of which were from the 1930s and so
>rare most of us have only seen pictures of them. The news broke at a nearby
>Hamfest and almost immediately the widow started getting visits with 
>offers to look
>(and buy) and help appraise the collection many of whom were former close
>friends of the SK. She was wise enough not sell anything that day but instead
>asked everyone who had stopped by to volunteer to put a price on 
>everything and
>soon she began to see a trend. The SK's acquaintances were very eager to help
>her put price tags on everything and each one would lowball the particular
>items he was interested in but would put close to current market value on
>everything else. She caught on to what they were trying to do when 
>no two wanted
>exactly the same items. I had been notified by the estate sale by a 
>friend and I
>too was up there the following weekend (and made three more 
>subsequent trips up
>from NC) and it was a real free for all at times but the savvy widow turned
>the situation around and it was impressive to watch her maintain control over
>the situation until every item was sold.

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