The One That Got Away…

Let me share with you my story that will probably ring a bell with many Boy Scout collectors.  The story begins over 15 years ago when I was in college and had just filled my last need for my home lodge patch collection.  In 1992 I purchased a collection from a Scouting friend which contained some great old OA pieces from my home state of South Carolina.  I decided to move on to a new collecting interest since my primary collection was now complete.  With only six lodges to collect (one of those I had already completed) the task didn’t seem too daunting.  Sure there would be hard issues to find but at that point some of the proliferation of modern flaps hadn’t really taken off.  For example compare where these lodges were in terms of sold flaps issued in 1992 next to where they are today.

 

Lodge Name, Headquarter City Solid Flaps in 1992 Solid Flaps in 2009

Bob White Lodge #87 Augusta, GA

S7

S42

Atta Kulla Kulla #185, Greenville, SC

S13

S36

Muscogee #221, Columbia, SC

S20

S39

Un A Li’Yi #236, Charleston, SC

S27

S67

Skyuka #270, Spartanburg, SC

S12

S44

 

But even though I got in before these Southern conservative lodges starting getting liberal with their embroidery machines I was always going to have a tough time tracking down the really early and rare items.  It took me the better part of six years to complete my Santee #116 collection (Florence, SC) but I knew that to really complete some of these other lodges I would have to hunt down some bears!

 

Well that brings me to this week and my sad story of the one that got away.  I’ve been hard after the key pieces from Un A Li’yi #236 for a long time.  The only problem is that these have been $1,000+ items since I started looking in 1992.  Being a college student and later a school teacher I never had enough cash saved up to pull the trigger on them when one did make an appearance.  For those who collect OA you might be familiar with these bug-bears that I’ve been tracking.  They are the #236 C1 Chenille (1950s), the S2 (1962 Indian Pageant Flap), S3 (1963 Dance Team Flap) and the S4 (1967 Dance Team Flap).

 

My first chance was back in the early 1990s when I attended Chris Jensen’s South Carolina Trade-O-Ree and he had a C1 up for auction.  I believe the patch sold for just over $800 but this was more money then I had in my pitiful bank account.  My next blown chance was in 2001 when a friend decided to sell off his South Carolina OA collection and arranged for me to be the eBay auctioneer.  I auctioned off another C1, the’63 Dancers and ’67 Dancers.  All of them sold for over $2k each and again I was just the one taking the money not spending.  My other big chance was more recently when I got in another consignment that included the C1 and two more of the dancer flaps.  Once again the timing was not right for my patch account and these ended up in New Jersey (if you know what I mean).So just this week imagine my surprise when an S4 1967 Dancers popped up on eBay.  Finally my patch banking account was deep enough in the black that I could competitively go after this one and scratch one off the list.  The bidding climbed higher all week and in the last few hours it was already over $2,000.  Not to be deterred and seeking redemption for the ones that had slipped through my hands I readied my bids.  I was prepared to bid live and also had a snipe set as a backup in case I needed it.  With about 18 seconds to go I launched my first torpedo and scored a direct hit snagging the high bid of $2700+ with just seconds to go.  I had torpedo #2 fire with just five seconds to go with a much stronger bid for insurance.  It was sorta like when NASA recently launched a probe crashing into the moon.  I threw everything I had at this auction hoping that this would be the day that I finally reeled in the one that had kept getting away.

 

So I close this post with a plea.  If you are sitting on a stash of old stuff from the Palmetto State and just happen to have one of these four rare issues available for trade/sale how about contact me.  I’ve got thousands of items in my Store that I would consider in trade and of course dead presidents to match.  I’ll post my true needs list in the future.

 

I invite anyone who wants to share a similar story about the “One that got away…” to do so in the comment box below.  We can’t all go to the pub to drown our tears but we can share the story with others – not that it makes us feel any better! 🙂

 

 

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As a postscript to this post that went up on the site in October of 2009. I did eventually get this flap for my collection!

By admin on September 12th, 2014 at 9:32 pm

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