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Cherished Teddies denouement

After much investigating of options by Mom, my uncle's honorary son made a deal with the buyers of the house (which he also arranged) to throw in a few grand extra and keep (most of) the Cherished Teddies right where they are, presumably to sell off at market rates at their leisure.

My uncle's original intention was to leave the entire collection to "the nieces." I haven't asked the other two about it, but I was feeling slightly guilty about rejecting the notion, despite having no practical way to deal with over 900 adorable figurines. However, I am happy to accept half a dozen that either share my name or represent my interests.

So, in the end, everyone is happy. :-)


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 15th, 2016 05:53 am (UTC)
I think a lot about possessions these days.

A dear friend, who was in fandom, died suddenly just before the holidays. She was single, and her parents had no interest in the fannish collections that she'd lovingly amassed over the years. (Nothing like 900 figurines, though!) So a friend rescued a bunch of her stuff and then had us all over to choose things to remember her by. (In NYC, landlords will be perfectly happy to leave your whole life by the curb for sanitation to take away, so they can empty out the apartment and get it back on the market.) It felt good, like it was honoring her, but also sad to see the things she'd cared so much about just up for grabs.

My parents are in their 80s, should probably give up the house, but are lumbered by their history of being born in the 30s, with the shadow of the Depression and WWII over them -- they're not hoarders, but they have trouble discarding things. And my aunt, who lives uptown from me, has actually crossed over to being a hoarder -- she has decades' worth of bills that she's paid, in a one-bedroom apartment.

And my husband and I have no children; I have no living siblings and he has one in England, who's unmarried, so who will end up going through our *stuff* or will it end up at the curb? I won't be able to retire until I'm well into my 70s, but when I turn 70, I am going to seriously start deaccessioning possessions -- giving, donating, selling, etc.
Jun. 15th, 2016 10:05 am (UTC)
I'm so sorry about your friend. It's so hard in fandom, when family has no interest in the parts of someone's life that we know so well and understand how they value.

It's good to think about, and to plan. My uncle is 73, and I think the serious inventorying he was doing of the Teddies (of which there are actually 2800 -- 900 was what my two girl cousins and I would have been dealing with each!) was the beginning of making a plan. It didn't happen until then because, even though he's been "retired" in the sense of no longer running a parish for several years, he was still teaching several university classes and volunteering as an airport chaplain right up until health issues forced him to stop.

So what I'm taking away from this is the importance of having a plan in place that we'll be able to easily set into motion to take care of everything with minimal effort, whether on my part or that of whoever gets stuck with the job. It's definitely percolating in my head.
Jun. 15th, 2016 02:10 pm (UTC)
They wished she'd been someone less geeky. They came to the giveaway party, and were quite touched by her friends' reaction. (The burial had been private so none of us were there.) But they definitely didn't get her interests, at all. I feel lucky -- my dad and I used to watch Star Trek together, when I was growing up, so he got it, and my mum-in-law was in Babylon 5 fandom with my husband, though she didn't go to the cons.

2800! I cannot imagine owning that much of anything . . . except books, where I do have about 1500, but definitely want to decrease that by a bit . . . and I do NOT want them lying out on the curb two weeks after I die. Everything signed, unless I can't bear to part with it, goes on eBay the week I turn 70 . . .

Jun. 19th, 2016 06:58 pm (UTC)
Including the collection in the sale of the house sounds like a win for everybody: your family doesn't have to deal with Doing Something with the collection, and the buyers will, I hope, recoup their investment. There are many places in the Detroit area to sell vintage/antique/collectible stuff, and of course there's always eBay.

Jun. 19th, 2016 06:59 pm (UTC)
Exactly! It was a stroke of genius on Honorary Son's part.
Jun. 19th, 2016 07:07 pm (UTC)
It also sounds like the house has just the right buyers. If they're willing to take the Collection, they're the kind of people who will take good care of the house, eh?
Jun. 19th, 2016 07:13 pm (UTC)
Indeed! :-) I've forgotten the details of the explanation Mom gave, but evidently the mayor of River Rouge (or possibly Ecorse? He was running parishes in both concurrently at one point, and I'm blanking on which one she said) is involved somehow. I think she said he's buying it for a family member with kids who's been out of work, or something along those lines.
Jun. 19th, 2016 07:18 pm (UTC)
I know there are good people everywhere, but the people in Southeast Michigan seem especially generous to me. Or maybe the newspapers do an especially good job of reporting "people are good" stories. I've been seeing stories like this regularly in the Detroit Free Press.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


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