SHEPPTON — Aside from being in the news media he loved so much his whole life. Louis “L.A.” Tarone was a collector who also loved automobiles, baseball and just collecting things.
All of the items he collected in his 59 years were available in an estate auction Saturday by J & J Auctions.
About 100 people braved intermittent snowfall and a snow-covered parking lot to bid on the vast amount of items Tarone collected.
The inside of the auction house was filled. So was a good portion of the outside parking lot.
Five very full rows of tools, three rows of vintage toys, including a collection of metal toy cars and trucks, and one row of hub caps were outside, covered with tarps.
Tools amounted to the largest item in the estate because Tarone’s father, the late Louis Tarone Sr., was a plumber and tradesman.
There was a row of small motorcycles, including two Harley Davidson bicycles, a Benelli 1971 mini bike, and two late 1960s dirt bikes.
His love of autos — he owned as many as 10 at one time — was evident in his collection of hub caps, which he apparently gathered from the estimated 30 or 40 autos he owned during his lifetime, as well as auto carburetors. Inside were models, and a collection of 1/24 scale cars.
The bidding began outside, as small boxes of mixed items were auctioned off.
Bob Gabardi, the East Union Twp. fire marshal, managed to be the successful bidder for a “No parking” sign. The red and white sign had the words “stadium parking” on it.
“I’m going to put this sign up now in this parking lot,” Gabardi joked.
As the bidding continued outside, people were mulling around inside, looking at all of the items.
Tarone was a 1983 graduate of King’s College with a bachelor of arts degree in mass communications.
A few of his classmates, and associates from the news media gathered, including Mike Moran, the long-time local radio personality who graduated from King’s in 1980 and became close to Tarone; Times-Tribune staff writer Borys Krawczeniuk, who graduated from King’s in 1982; and Stan Phillips, program director at Magic 93 FM, a 1989 King’s grad who came to see if he could add to his record collection from Tarone’s.
Tarone was also a staff writer for the Standard-Speaker. He wrote columns that appeared regularly on Sundays before his death June 25.
Tarone’s love of music was exemplified by a very large collection of 33⅓ and 45 RPM vinyl records, and a collection of radios, turntables, stereos, head phones, typewriters, DVD players and DVD/VHS players.
Included in the collection were tapes of radio airchecks, which are recordings of radio broadcasts. Moran and John Treese, who along with his brothers, James and Frank, operate a nostalgia radio website that replays Tarone’s “Sunday Night Hall of Fame” programs recorded in the early 2000s, were also there looking for more Tarone material. Treese did manage to win the bid on an old Magnecord reel-to-reel tape recorder used in the WAZL-AM newsroom where Tarone spent a part of his career, and obtained the old recorder when it was finally put out of service by the radio station.
Inside, there were also 1970s clothing, which included a large collection of vintage to current T-shirts including sports, music, and advertising, along with decorations, household and furniture items that were laid out with like items.
Tarone’s baseball passion — he was a lifelong San Francisco Giants fan because he said Willie Mays was the greatest player who ever lived — was evident in his large collection of Giants clothing, including T-shirts and caps, as well as 1950s, ’60s and ’70s baseball, football and basketball cards including Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Yogi Berra and several other greats.
He was also a big fan of the rock band the Rolling Stones, and collected their memorabilia, including posters, records, books and compact discs.
Otherwise, Tarone just liked to collect vintage items, like jewelry and watches, cigarette lighters, cameras and lenses, T-shirts, jerseys, posters, photos and other unique items, like a pin ball game with “The Fonz” character from the ’70s TV series “Happy Days.”
It took five hours to take bids all of the items at the sale, which finally ended at 6 p.m.
Contact the writer: [email protected]; 570-501-3585
Other vintage items in Tarone’s collection included advertising from now-defunct beer companies, like Neuweiler’s, Stegmaier’s and Kaiers; vintage Civil Defense posters; several old phones; an autoharp; a Lionel train set; clocks; advertising coffee cups; holly and other decorations; BB guns; a miners hat and old percolating coffee pots.
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