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The Sequel : OUT OF MOTHBALLS

July 05, 1987|Charles A. Johnson

Talk about civic pride: The Chamber of Commerce in Fulton, Mo. (pop. 11,000), spent $2,640 for two black wool suits that Ronald Reagan wore as spoiled playboy Drake McHugh in Warner Bros. "King's Row" (1941), which was set in the little town.

When a local insurance man saw an auction notice in USA Today, he alerted the chamber's executive director, John Yeager.

He contacted Sotheby's in New York and made arrangements for them to call him when the suits came up for bid. Then he got his board of directors to raise $2,500, because "we thought the suits would be a logical addition here to the community" (which boasts a "King's Row" restaurant). Yeager hasn't decided whether he'll display the suits at the town's college or museum.

Luckily for Yeager, the bidding stopped at $2,400--since he had only $2,500 to spend. (With Sotheby's 10% commission, the suits totalled $2,640.)

What would Yeager have done if he'd been outbid?

"I'd have probably cried a lot."

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