It's Hard to be Patient and Wait for the right time.

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ww1czechlegion
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It's Hard to be Patient and Wait for the right time.

Post by ww1czechlegion » Tue Feb 02, 2016 8:14 pm

Here's a subject that sooner or later we all face with collecting.

How aggressive should a collector be in pursuing a lead? As the title states, it's hard to be patient sometimes when trying to buy something from a family.

Approximately 3-years ago I met the grandson of a WW1 U.S. veteran. This man's father still has his own father's WW1 uniform in a trunk in the basement of his house. Apparently there are two pickelhaubes in the trunk as well, along with all the typical equipage of the WW1 US soldier and his uniform. When I initially met the grandson, he specifically told me that neither he nor his sisters want any of the stuff. Apparently since their mom passed several years ago, they've been trying to no avail to get their dad to clean out things from his house.

The son of the WW1 veteran is 86 years old. I recently made a good decision to follow up with the grandson by making a phone call to him. It had been approximately 3-years since I met him, and about 2-years since I had spoken with him. He was very friendly and receptive when I called, and still remembered meeting me. We had a great conversation, and he told me he still has my 2-flyers with phone contact that I gave him when I met him. His dad still has the WW1 trunk in the basement. In a friendly manner he said he'd be sure to call me in the future after his dad someday passes away. Apparently the house is still full of stuff the 3-kids don't want, and they haven't had any luck getting their dad to clean out things in his home and downsize his possessions. So, things will probably stay this way until after he passes away somewhere down the line of time.

My question is this: Should I just leave things as they are? Or, might I carefully approach the son of the WW1 vet (the father of my contact who is the son of the WW1 veteran) by sending him a letter stating my collecting interest, since I know what town he lives in, and have his address? I've never met the son of the WW1 vet, and he doesn't know me. (Or would that risk offending the grandson of the vet who I have a good contact/relationship with if I were to contact his father?)

My fear is that the father will die and things will be sent to an auction house, as they would have several good options available near where the father lives.

Should I just remain patient, and let a sleeping dog alone, and not risk getting bitten so as to say? If I approach the father might I possibly make the son angry by my contacting his father about the grouping, letting his father know I would like to buy everything?

Best Regards,

Alan

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Re: It's Hard to be Patient and Wait for the right time.

Post by J.LeBrasseur » Tue Feb 02, 2016 10:19 pm

Tough call, but I would wait, the kid would not have held on to your flyers for that long if he was not keeping you in mind, just my two cents. I would be nervous going behind the kids back and contacting the father directly, could backfire....

Paul and I had a tough situation around 10 years ago, and it backfired on us. We had a family friend who was a P51 pilot in WWII, he was credited with 2 1/2 kills near the end of the war. He always joked on how he was 1/2 an Ace. He was in the hospital for some illness and Paul and I visited him, and we talked about all this stuff, how he got his DFC and the kills etc. While we where talking he said, you know I still have my gun camera footage of the 2 1/2 kills at the house, you guys can have them if you want. Wow we where pumped. He passed away couple days later unexpectedly.

We waited to not contact the family about the film because they where busy with the funeral etc.

After a couple weeks we contacted them and they said oh we did not think anyone would want that old stuff and we through all his military stuff away a week ago.

A true one of a kind treasure lost, I am still sick about it. But still think we may have insulted the family if we pushed earlier.

It is a tough situation.

Alan, I think yours will work out, be patient.

All the best

James
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Re: It's Hard to be Patient and Wait for the right time.

Post by joerookery » Wed Feb 03, 2016 5:57 am

Tough call, but I would wait, the kid would not have held on to your flyers for that long if he was not keeping you in mind, just my two cents. I would be nervous going behind the kids back and contacting the father directly, could backfire....
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Re: It's Hard to be Patient and Wait for the right time.

Post by Tony without Kaiser » Wed Feb 03, 2016 3:56 pm

I went to see a very pleasant fellow years ago about his father's 1st war Canadian tunic for the New Brunswick 26th Battalion. Filthy, soiled, could not be better. I wrote twice, "not yet" was the reply. Found out last year he passed away and the family threw the 'dirty old jacket' into the garbage.
Kaiser: 09 July 1997 - 12 October 2010.
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Re: It's Hard to be Patient and Wait for the right time.

Post by b.loree » Sun Feb 07, 2016 6:01 pm

I think the key here is that your contact has kept your flyer and is still open to a pleasant phone call. To my mind that would negate the pieces being thrown into the garbage. However, the auction house option is a real threat, hopefully, you have talked about the disadvantages ($cost) of selling through a middleman. Your contact now knows that the items are worth something, if he has any sense, he will look on the net and get an idea of value. So I would expect to pay close to market value. I would not contact the father, obviously, if the kids can't talk him into parting with anything or downsizing then perhaps you would be aggravating the situation by getting involved. It is a very, very tough call.
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Re: It's Hard to be Patient and Wait for the right time.

Post by poniatowski » Fri Feb 12, 2016 2:03 pm

I agree, wait, watch the obituaries.

:D Ron
I really do need to know more about this....

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Re: It's Hard to be Patient and Wait for the right time.

Post by ww1czechlegion » Sun Feb 14, 2016 3:52 pm

Thanks for sharing your insight and wisdom guys, I appreciate it!

As Ron mentions, I'll have to try and keep an eye on the obituaries. The elderly father is about 2 1/2 hours from where I live.

Best Regards,

Alan

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