He’s not the most famous Bob Hope in the world but this one’s lived a pretty interesting life, too.
Bob Hope of Atlanta, GA didn’t entertain troops or host any Christmas specials, but he did travel a lot and he’s met a lot of famous people during his time as a well-known public relations man. Sometimes he worked for Atlanta area sports teams. Sometimes he was involved in the Olympic Games. Other times he worked on behalf of companies who needed someone to help get their story out.
Along the way he rubbed shoulders with well-known athletes and became friends with many of them. He was the Atlanta Braves’ PR director when Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s record. A few years ago, he was one of the guests who helped Aaron celebrate his 80th birthday.
Hope found himself in a position to acquire autographs and took advantage of the opportunity, turning his basement into an impressive shrine. Sadly, he lost his curator when his wife passed away two years ago. At 73, he’s decided to move into a smaller place and let other people enjoy items from his collection.
You can’t take it with you so it’s a decision every collector comes to at some point: what to do with all of your stuff when it’s time to downsize and prepare for the inevitable.
“It makes you think about your life and what your life really is,” he says. “You realize there are chapters in it. All of this stuff represents the longest chapter, the many years we were married and the things we did. Now, when you move on, you want to think, ‘I’m not going to do anything with it. Put it in the hands of somebody who will really enjoy it.'”
On Sunday, his collection was part of an estate sale in Atlanta.
Before that, he spoke with Associated Press sports columnist Paul Newberry for this story and it’s a good perspective on life and collecting.