My parents actively collected antiques from 1973-1978. This video shows the section of their warehouse in Sherman where they were stored and refinished before their antique museum opened in 1992. My dad loved to restore and repair the antiques as needed.
My parents had two purposes for buying antiques. First, they appreciated the craftsmanship in the antiques and thought they were made better than what you could buy new. They would go to antique auctions almost every weekend, making trips home with their purchases in their El Camino. They could buy the antiques for what the dealers were paying, so it was a good way to buy. Plus, my dad could repair things that needed repairing. Basically, it was a great hobby for my parents after my dad retired. My mom would say what she liked at an auction, and my dad would buy it.
The second reason they bought antiques was to have another inflation hedge. In the 70’s inflation was starting to run anywhere from 6-13% per year, so people were worried about having too much in cash. My dad had majored and taught economics and he was aware of the dangers of inflation, even at those levels over time.
Some of the antiques they bought were used in their house, also. They thought it was smart to live with your investments, as well as have them as furniture for the house. Over the following two decades, they did very well with their antiques as they went up in value, or rather, the dollar’s purchasing power went down. They also had a great time together in the process.
One more thought on the subject of what they bought. They decided to only buy walnut antiques because the wood was not as fragile as oak and other types. Because of its quality, walnut antiques could have more ornate carvings, such as what you see in Victorian furniture. It’s when the availability of walnut became scarce that the furniture makers turned to other types of wood, and the ornate carvings disappeared. My parents thought walnut would always bring a premium because of its quality, however, this has not been the case so far. People have tended to like oak, even though it’s not as strong as walnut. Quality doesn’t always win out in our society.
There was a time thirty years ago that my father found himself storing collectible cars in his warehouse in Sherman for a car collector. If he had decided to buy the cars from the collector, we would have had an instant car museum. It might have also been a good investment, but my dad was thinking more about antique furniture than he was about cars, so it never happened. My parents had been buying antique American Victorian walnut furniture at auctions since 1973, which was stored in another section of the warehouse.
Sorry about the poor video quality…it never transferred properly, but at least I have something on tape. We were in the early days of home color video cameras and DVD recorders. I’m still working on the best way to transfer things the best way to YouTube, also.
It would have been great to have a car museum, but my parent’s antique museum leading to our jazz museum was our path. Neither one was even an idea, yet, but they would both happen in their own time. This tape was from the mid to early 80’s. In settling my parent’s estate my sister got this warehouse, so it doesn’t look like I will ever have a car museum because I won’t have a warehouse to store them. But you never know how things work out, do you?
Before we started the jazz museum in 2010 my parents owned an American Victorian antique museum in the same building. It operated from about 1992-2008. When my father died in 2008, we were in the process of adding a jazz museum on the top floor. However, after he died, my sister and I split the foundation, with her foundation taking the antiques, and ours taking the building and jazz artifacts we had already acquired. We have been adding to the jazz museum’s collection ever since, and the antiques were all donated to various charities and other museums.
This is a bit of how things looked in the late 90’s, as seen on this TV spot in Sherman. The building is an old Masonic temple built in 1924. My parents bought it in 1985 in a sealed auction directly from the Masons, who wanted to build a one story structure. The building is perfect for a museum, having been built about the same time jazz was becoming popular in America. Elevators were not that common in buildings in 1924, so we will have to someday configure an elevator into the building to help get people up and down the three floors. It’s a reminder to me how tough the people must have been in 1924.
In the past year we have added all new air conditioners and LED lights to help modernize the building. We have acquired donations of around 5,500 jazz albums for people to see when they come to the museum. It’s not just the liner notes that tell the story of jazz that is fun to see, it’s also the album cover artwork that is interesting. Album covers and liner notes are disappearing as people download music, so these albums are becoming more interesting to see as time goes by. We are living in a world today without liner notes with our music. I’m wondering how that happened, and how will we know who is playing on the music we download, or see what they look like, not to mention who did the arrangements. How will we research our music history going forward and see what was happening at any certain point in time? All we will have is the music, if we don’t have any liner notes.
There’s a great trumpet player in the Dallas area named Rodney Booth. He played in the UNT One O’Clock Lab Band a year, or two after me, and had led a band around town for many years. We have worked together on many shows and recording sessions, and is a very good friend. Rodney also teaches at UNT where he teaches improvisation and conducts the Two O’Clock Lab Band.
He put out a great CD back in 1998 called “Look Over There”, and one around 2010 called “Ten & One”. He reminds me a little bit of Chet Baker in that he sings and plays trumpet. He also performs some of Chet’s tunes, too. If you like this example, I suggest you buy one or both cd’s. They are both great. This tune is from “Look Over There”. The personnel is: piano, Whitey Thomas, Fred Hamilton, bass, and Bobby Breaux, drums.
A rare interview with the founder of the Jazz Studies program at UNT in 1947, Dr. Gene Hall, and Leon Breeden who followed him in 1959. These were the first two directors of the program, which was the first in the country to offer jazz courses for credit. Dr. Hall mentions how the term “stage band” got started. You could not use the word “jazz” in those days in a college setting.