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Topic: Higley's 'take' on Baltimore Dime Museum demise...
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Feb 12, 2007 12:31PM)
Having gone through the closing of my own 5,000 sq ft Dime Museum in 1994, I can certainly feel for what Dick is going through right now. Lots of trauma.

If I were to advise anyone (and I do almost daily in my gaff business) on how to avoid this devastating situation when dealing with the public and museum stuff it would be this and take from it what you will…

My own museum had many anomalies and sideshow exhibits but they were all in ONE room of the Museum (True Wonders Old Time Museum, Lake Tahoe 1993-94). The rest of the collection consisted of legit stuff…Actual Presidential antique exhibits, (even furniture from the White House!), a massive collection of fabulous Tin Toys and wind ups, 60 fully restored Pedal Cars, Robby The Robot and Movie Stunt vehicles and props. Celebrity collections of costuming from Sammy Davis Jr, Liberace and Bing Crosby an entire room of rare Toy Trucks, many Old arcade machines still a nickel or a penny. There was a lot to see besides the 9 ft 3 inch mummy of Olaf The Giant and the other bizarre gaffs and critters. Bottom line is…there were few who cared. Would you have paid $3?. Probably, considering the folks who visit this forum. But the general perception was the Museum was a repository for Freaks and the Grotesque. How many times did I hear, “I don’t want to see that stuff…yuk”

But you know those that took the time to listen when I told them what was really in there went in (not many) and wouldn’t you know it, MOST of them wound up hanging around in the big Sideshow room engrossed in the things they professed a desire NOT to see.

If I were to do it again (in a heart beat) I would make sure there was lot to see for everyone, as before but would play down the grotesque…word of mouth would take care of that advertising on the sly. Ripley's has tons of cool stuff but it's a Srunken Head people remember. But understand, it is the cool stuff that gets them IN, not the prospect of a mini head...even though THAT is what they focus on once inside. (generally speaking)

To be successful the Museum has to be inviting for EVERYBODY, not just those who appreciate a good Mummified Giant. That's why my How-To stresses this idea.

Sorry Baltimore. Your great loss. Everybody’s loss when a fine and rare collection is broken up. Gott be a big loss for Dick...I know when mine closed it *** near killed me.
Message: Posted by: Freak Prodigy (Feb 12, 2007 02:42PM)
Well everything is up for auction, check out http://www.dimemuseum.net for the info.

google the auctioneer's name and you'll find a listing off all the stuff for sale.

If you can, please, buy something...I'd hate to see any of this stuff end up in some crotchety old mans garage, never to be seen by the public again.

Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Feb 12, 2007 03:26PM)
Working against that auction is the HUGE fees involved...both the auctioneer and eBay's fees are off the hook for that type of Live auction. I don't think crotchety old men could afford it for their garage...you'll find out when you become a crotchety old man...I'd love to be around to see that! (but unfortunately I think I'm already circling the drain...)
Message: Posted by: Freak Prodigy (Feb 12, 2007 04:21PM)
Most likely I'll be taking your place in that catagory (crotchety that is).

Doug, you are not dying... you can't, you're a robot.

Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Feb 12, 2007 04:25PM)
I'll never die. I'm a Robot.
Message: Posted by: Roslyn (Feb 12, 2007 05:43PM)
For those looking for the auction stuff: http://www.opferauction.com/public/index2.php
Message: Posted by: Freak Prodigy (Feb 12, 2007 06:45PM)
Doug, for your sake, I hope Lori dosen't forget to change your batteries.
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Feb 12, 2007 07:27PM)
Solar Powered dude. This is SoCal.
Message: Posted by: Freak Prodigy (Feb 12, 2007 08:00PM)
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Feb 12, 2007 09:22PM)
Robot. Programed for Sun.
Message: Posted by: Harley Newman (Feb 13, 2007 05:42AM)
Snob, spelled backward, is BONs. May Doug always hit the nail on the head. Because he has again.

Doug and Jim Magus just put out "Midnight in the Dark Museum", a great piece of work! Many SS folks are terrified to think that an audience member could discover they had even a hint of interest in magic, but so what? This is bizarre at its best! There are chunks of entertainment gold, through the whole thing. It's a fertile breeding ground, for anybody with a festering imagination!
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Feb 13, 2007 08:35AM)
I think I twisted my neck on that one as it whizzed in from left field...
thanks Harley but I can't take any credit for Midnight ITDM...that's Jim's baby cover to cover...he just 'used' me.

good though ain't it.
Message: Posted by: leapinglizards (Feb 13, 2007 09:04AM)
Sometimes it is good to be used... ;)
Message: Posted by: Harley Newman (Feb 13, 2007 10:13AM)
You're welcome, Doug! Left field is my specialty!
Message: Posted by: Todd Robbins (Feb 13, 2007 10:47AM)
This auction has been cancelled. Yes, I know the website is up, but it is not going to happen. So, there is no need to bid on anything. It's not going to happen. Pay no attention to this auction. It's been called off. I might go down to Baltimore that day just to check to make sure that it is not going to happen. And it won't, so no need to bid on anything. Nothing to see here, so keep moving. Thanks.
Message: Posted by: Danny Borneo (Feb 13, 2007 11:10AM)
Wow Todd does a really good ObiWan Kenobi impersonation, "These are not the exhibits you're looking for.."
Message: Posted by: Harley Newman (Feb 13, 2007 01:58PM)
Hmmm, Todd. Maybe I won't see you there! Who are you?

(James is working that night.)
Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Feb 13, 2007 05:18PM)
I'm interested in the old Medical pieces Todd...when you go there to make sure it's not being held, bid minimums for me and when you don't win I won't pay you for them.

You know what's funny harley and Todd and others...for many years I joked with showmen that if you presented it properly and with a blind pitch you could show a turd and people would pay to see it. Looks like Dick took it to task.

In memory of the Baltimore Museum and Valantines Day I'll be making Turds (Faux Bio Material) tomorrow and putting them on a leather chord to add to the Dark Museum...you can call them Lincoln's or Clintons or Saddam Hussiens...hell how about Mozart's Final Movement. $10 a turd. What a deal. NOT!
Message: Posted by: abigkahuna (Feb 13, 2007 10:57PM)
Such Lovely Stuff...Too Bad I am driving that day to the next spot... Oh well...
Message: Posted by: DeWayne (Mar 2, 2007 07:46PM)
Well? Anybody get any of it? Was it a fun auction?

Report please.

Message: Posted by: Harley Newman (Mar 2, 2007 08:34PM)
There were about 400 buyers crowded into the auction house, with a couple of TV crews, a computer station, a phone station, and everybody bidding with great enthusiasm. A couple of folks bought quantities of things Some got nothing. I was amazed.

I was able to get the musical saw, without going bankrupt. Now I have to learn to play it. There are so many horrendous one-liners going through my head, I might have to self-trepan, to relieve the pressure.
Message: Posted by: T-RAY (Mar 3, 2007 01:33AM)
I got the GIANT RAT.... over 3 FEET LONG--NOT INCLUDING IT'S TAIL!!! This GIANT CREATURE was captured in a NYC subway tunnel......police heard a man's screams and when they shined their lights into the tunnel, they saw this MASSIVE BEAST chewing on a disabled homeless man's leg. Luckily, they were able to shoot the beast and we have preserved it so you all can see THE GIANT RAT!!!!! Coming to The VENICE BEACH FREAKSHOW SOON!!!!!
Message: Posted by: DeWayne (Mar 3, 2007 02:23PM)
That's cool! Thanks Harley & T-Ray.

Message: Posted by: Freak Prodigy (Mar 3, 2007 05:50PM)
I got squat.

and no, it isn't a cool gaff, is nothing, nada, zilch. And I'm bitter about it.

But such is life.

Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Mar 3, 2007 07:23PM)
Better to be bitter than bitten by a hitter with a 600 lb bat...(or a spongey fat dude.)
Message: Posted by: handa (Mar 4, 2007 12:58AM)
I'll admit that the number of buyers scared me away.

I wanted to bid on the Rangoon Sewer Demon thingy and the Swordfish Beak Sword, but suspected winning bids much higher than I was willing to go.

I can't be bitter having not bid...

Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Mar 4, 2007 01:38AM)
I'll make you a sewer demon thingy...all is not lost I'm an expert on those things!.

What's a sewer demon thingy?
Message: Posted by: zombie5225 (Mar 4, 2007 07:54PM)
The two things that I wanted from this auction, the two bodied duck and the gun slinging squirrels, both went for $300-500, wayyy more then I could afford. I almost won the ball of string though. Does anybody know who the two phone bidders were that were spending all the money???
Message: Posted by: doctorrigormorto (Mar 5, 2007 08:38AM)
I am sure that one of the phone bidders was Bill Jameson, he has amassed one of the largest private collection of Freaks I have ever seen. He owns the most Shrunken Heads in the world and he bought the Niagra Falls Museum around 7 years ago and disovered that he had the original Ramses Mummy!
Lucky ***.
Message: Posted by: Harley Newman (Mar 5, 2007 12:04PM)
And then turned around and donated it back to Egypt, if I'm not mistaken.
Message: Posted by: Freak Prodigy (Mar 5, 2007 01:38PM)

That word hurts my ears in that context. Unless of course, I'm the one being donated to!

Message: Posted by: doctorrigormorto (Mar 5, 2007 02:53PM)
Yup. Its true!
Harley you are correct, it was a great move on his part and a nice contribution to history. I think that the Discovery Channel did a TV Special about it a couple of years back.
Message: Posted by: Harley Newman (Mar 5, 2007 04:40PM)
I've always heard good things about him, and his collections. One of these days, I'd like to meet him.
Message: Posted by: Harley Newman (Mar 5, 2007 04:41PM)
I also hope to run into you, one of these days, Scott!
Message: Posted by: doctorrigormorto (Mar 5, 2007 08:04PM)
Harley... this world is getting smaller and smaller, and I have a good feelin' about whats going to transpire over the next couple of years. I know that we will get the chance to cut up jackpots soon.

You will like Bill, he is a staright up eccentric like you and I, very excited about his collection and a font of information. This guy knows his stuff!

I will keep you in the loop as things transpire up here in the Great White North.
Message: Posted by: Freak Prodigy (Mar 5, 2007 08:18PM)
I'd like to meet this man.

Message: Posted by: Doug Higley (Mar 5, 2007 09:28PM)
He has or had one of my pieces years ago...I made a 'couple' for a big museum in Quebec to take on world tour. I was making really weird ones back then. Bill bought the 'Male' and the Female went off to learn French. John at Sideshow World has it now after I repaired it from it's ordeal on tour.

Don't know if Bill hated the piece or not. I hope 'not'.

He is THE man when it comes to authentic heads. He had sent me a cool T-shirt long ago that I wish I still had...wore it OUT!
Message: Posted by: doctorrigormorto (Mar 5, 2007 11:48PM)