Last weekend, we had the honor of auctioning off the lifelong collection of Bill Lukan. Like most auctions it started with a phone call, but this one was a little different from the very beginning. I was home with the kids on a “normal” day when the phone rang, I answered and a member of the family handling the estate started explaining the situation and asked a few questions. She explained that Bill had lived in New York, then moved to Florida and they were interested in us doing his auction. Looking back on the phone call now, I remember thinking- “Is this for real?” and “How is the stuff ever going to get here?”
I passed along he message to Matt and he called them back. That night when he got home from work, we chatted about our days and he too was almost in a state of disbelief. Some phone calls and emails later, plans were made to have the items delivered to Dyersville. Matt arranged a time to meet up with the family and look things over. From the pictures that family had shared with us, we knew there was some really good stuff, but we quickly discovered there was some fabulous stuff that we may never see again. Matt took some photos and made arrangements for the auction.
A few weeks later, we started moving things to our auction center and started photographing each item. I am always curious as why people collect what they do. It was evident from the very beginning that Bill was an interesting guy. As we set up for the auction, we felt like we got to know Bill through the stories that the family shared and the items that he collected. We learned the he loved to travel and purchase items on his travels around the world. We learned that he loved Christmas and would decorate his house each Christmas with a huge light display, so large in fact he earned the nickname Light Show Bill. We learned that he loved to have fun and spend time with his friends and family. We learned that he loved art of all kinds. We learned that he always loved Iowa and even though his life and his travels took him all around the world, he never forgot his childhood in Dyersville, IA. When I was unpacking a box of items for the auction, I came across a few personal photos. One of the photos was of Bill sitting in a chair with a huge smile on his face. As I held the photo, I thought of what it would be like to have met him. I would have loved to hear about his travels and all of the interesting places that he saw. I would have loved to hear stories about the people he met along the way and the fun times they shared. I never had the opportunity to meet Bill in life but through his auction, I felt like I got to know him a little. And he was indeed a very interesting guy.
Here are a few of my favorite items from the auction-
Lot #5- J. Chein tin wind-up roller coaster