Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The day has not started out well

I am somewhat hesitant in posting today, because it has not been a very good day so far. One phone call, and I am in a scattered state of mind.

For those of you who don't know me well, I grew up in a national tourist attraction area, the Amana Colonies, in Iowa. Eight years ago, at my parents' estate sale, everything that my brother and I did not want was auctioned. I thought we had gone through the sentimental things and had what we wanted. I did not attend the auction because of the extreme emotions connected with selling everything in a home that had been in the family 150 years.

Now, eight years later, the emotions are coming back. I read an ad in the local paper that an antique store in Amana was selling picture postcards from my family's estate. I called to find out what they were. Back in the 1920-30's, when black and white photos were taken, they were put onto postcards. You find many on ebay selling for under $1 up to $10; pictures of towns, state capitols, and so forth.

The lady I talked to said they were pictures of my grandfather, father, aunt, and so forth. Almost 75 of them. They must have slipped through the cracks because I have many postcards of the towns, etc., but not of people. I asked the price and she said $20 to $30 EACH. I think I am still in shock! These are pictures of my family, my heritage. Why would anyone want to buy these and why is it now impossible for me to possess these at these prices? When I asked if the dealer was willing to negotiate, she said the dealer would give a 10% discount on anything over $21.

I have to rationalize that yesterday I did not know about this, so why should it make a difference to me now? These are photos of my family that I would like to have and pass on to my grandchildren and great grandchildren. Is there something wrong with this whole set-up?

I do know, if I ever walk into another antique store, I will have a different mindset than ever before. I will be thinking of where an item came from and if it really should be mine now.

11 comments:

  1. Sandy1:29 PM

    I am sure that the price went up with the knowledge that they were YOUR family heirlooms…have someone outside of the family go into the store and make a much lower bid on them and see where that goes. I can certainly understand your feelings where family mementoes are concerned!

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  2. Sorry Mom. Weird how you found out about it so there must be a reason you should get them back. Have someone go and get them for you. Have Dad call Bruce or Gordon. Offer her some money and tell her they belong to you. Did you tell Corwin? Get him involved too. Can't believe someone got these and 8 years later wants to sell them. People are out for money. Let me know if we can do anything. Love ya, E

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  3. Susan, that's a shame. Words are inadequate sometimes and I suspect this is one of them. Do you have a friend who could make a offer on the entire lot?

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  4. Anonymous2:56 PM

    Susan, I know how emotional this is for you. My dad threw everything out of the second story window of our farm house when he moved after my mother was killed. He wanted no memories of his previous life I guess. I sometimes see those pictures showing up on websites for ridiculous prices. Fortunately, for some of them, I do have duplicate pictures. I have no idea how they ended up in the hands of those people. Most of those vultures are not living in Iowa. rw

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  5. Anonymous3:25 PM

    Susan, if there is any way that I can help you retrieve those family pictures I want you to let me know. I still have tears in my eyes thinking about how that happened. Those pictures should be your family's possessions forever into the next many generations. I was fortunate that I still had most of the really important family pictures too, in my possession after my dad did his give-away--throw-away from the the second story of that old house. My sisters-in-law are still grieving about all of the really special antique furniture that he destroyed by throwing it out of the second story windows.

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  6. I am upset with you. That is horrible. I know you are thinking why do I need to buy back something that was mine to begin with. I agree. I hope you can retrieve the photos without too much hassle. They certainly belong to you and your family.

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  7. oh Sue! I am so sorry - I would bet this person was jacking up the price because of who you are... I have a name for those kinds of people, but wont put it on here..... If you want to email me a phone # I can see what price she gives me as a non family member.... I would love to tar and feather this person at the moment. I feel that anyone in the antique business would LOVE to reunite family with family treasures! She would only need to charge you what they paid for them.... I hope you get them back and if there is ANYWAY that I can help, you just let me know! That includes bringing the tar and feathers to Iowa!!! Love you to you my dear, sweet friend!!

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  8. I appreciate everyone's comments so very much. Right now I need to be in a cool-down period so I can focus and decide what I need to do. Unfortunately, I am not in the area to go "raise hell" and that just is not effective anyway--especially over the phone. There is a LOT of German in me! If there is any change, I will update all you dear, caring friends.

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  9. That is so so hard. I'm so sorry for you. I will pray.

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  10. yuk, this stinks. It seems like you should be able to do something. Have someone else go get some and maybe you don't need all 75 but just a few of them. with the economy like this do they really think they can sell them at those prices? Somebody is trying to take advantage of you.

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  11. Wow, what are the odds of that happening! They should offer to give you back the family original photo's at least!!! Geez...so sorry that this spoiled your day today.

    Hope tomorrow is brighter.

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