A Calvin Coolidge Potholder ... Going Once ... Twice: Now Here's an Auction for Political Junkies
O'keefe, Kelly, Politics Magazine
A dam Gottlieb has a busy schedule. On weekdays, he visits elementary school students, passing around his extensive collection of political memorabilia for young politicos to admire. Weekends are set aside for flea markets and antique stores.
"My best find ever was at a tiny rural street fair," remembers Gottlieb, 44. "I bought a very rare Teddy Roosevelt button, six inches across, for $30." Gottlieb has been collecting Roosevelt items since a fourth-grade field trip in 1976 to Oyster Bay, the 26th president's "summer White House" in New York. After that trip, Gottlieb saved his allowance in a piggy bank designated specifically in a piggy bank designated specifically for political items. He now estimates his collection at more than 2,000 items, 300 of them Roosevelt-related.
He's scooped up buttons, ribbons, photographs, signed letters, presidential documents, books and newspapers. But his most prized possessions are those linked to California, where he is on the communications staff of the staff energy commission.
"I have items from Roosevelt's 1903 visit to California, a parade that he attended in Los Angeles and a menu that he ordered from in San Francisco," Gottlieb says.
He'll have a chance to show off his collection Aug. 5-7, when hundreds of political collectors convene in Las Vegas for the biannual Political Memorabilia Show and Sale, sponsored by the American Political Items Collectors. Yes, there is a niche market for everything.
APIC hosts small events across the country, but the Vegas show is the grand-daddy of them all. …