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tv   Lou Dobbs Tonight  FOX Business  March 24, 2017 4:00am-5:01am EDT

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>> dad had a talent. >> there's nobody out there who does what he did. he was just that good. >> but it's lost on his son. >> when you're 16 or 17 years old, the last thing you're worried about is your dad up in a building, building models. >> this strange inheritance ultimately brings them together. >> when his father was alive, he did not want larry to touch them, and i can only imagine what he's thinking now. >> how would you describe this inheritance? >> a little bit more of a journey than i was prepared for. >> so, is it time to take a new tack? >> i know you've said, larry, that you'd never seriously considered selling, but now that you hear this... ♪
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[ door creaks ] [ wind howls ] [ thunder rumbles ] [ bird caws ] i'm jamie colby, and today i'm driving into the oldest settlement in louisiana. it's called natchitoches. it's rich in southern charm and civil war history. battles raged nearby, both along and on the red river. well, that history inspired one man's remarkable craftsmanship. but it left his son wondering what the heck to do with all the crafts. >> my name is larry atteridge. in 2008, my father passed away and left behind his life's work -- a massive fleet of amazingly detailed model ships he built from scratch. >> hi, larry. i'm jamie. >> well, hi, jamie. nice to meet you. >> great to meet you. thanks for inviting me deep into louisiana. it sure is pretty. >> well, i've got a lot to show
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you. come this way. >> larry invites me in to see some of his father's civil war ships. this is one cool viewer submission. which one is that? >> this is the eastport, which was on the red river here in natchitoches parish. it was one of the largest ironclads of the civil war. it was 280 foot long, and it weighed 770 tons. >> with the civil war, i first think of great armies clashing at gettysburg, shiloh, and antietam, not naval battles. but that's the story these miniature vessels tell. when war between the states breaks out in 1861, union general winfield scott creates the anaconda plan. the idea -- blockade southern ports, take control of the mississippi, and, like a huge snake, squeeze the south into submission. the union builds a navy of more than 600 ships.
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>> they would commandeer boats from people -- ferry boats, paddle-wheelers, anything that floated and they could put a gun on it. >> larry's father, william, made models of many of them. there's the c.s.s. gaines, a wooden side-wheel confederate gunboat built in mobile, alabama. there's the u.s.s. vicksburg and the c.s.s. alabama -- a massive propeller-driven ship built in secrecy in england for the confederacy. all are made precisely to scale. 1 inch here translates to 8 feet on the real vessel. where did th did dad buy a book on ship building? >> i don't remember anybody ever teaching him how to do this. it's just something you have to be born with. >> william atteridge jr. is born in 1929 in highland park, illinois, a suburb of chicago.
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from an early age, he's fascinated by the ships he sees on lake michigan and dreams of one day setting sail. in 1951, during the korean war, william joins the navy and travels the pacific on the u.s.s. valley forge. the 22-year-old specializes in cosmetic maintenance, doing the detail work. >> the "45" that you see on the u.s.s. valley forge, he was one of the guys that painted the numbers on the aircraft carrier he was on. >> william is honorably discharged in 1955, returns home, gets married, and starts a family. larry's the youngest of three kids. the family settles in central louisiana, where william's artistic skills lead him to a job. >> he started out as a draftsman for the mobile-home industry. he just had an incredible talent for artistry.
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>> did you inherit the artistry gene? >> no. >> when he's not buried behind a stack of blueprints, william loves to travel the country. >> he took us to national parks all over the united states. but it seemed like we always ended up at a naval air base or some military museum. >> then, in the mid-1970s, a trip to vicksburg, mississippi, sparks william's creative passion. more than 100 years earlier, the u.s.s. cairo was the first vessel ever to be sunk using a mine remotely detonated by hand. william's there to watch it go on display after being raised from the yazoo river. >> he started getting involved with the museum people over there, and next thing i knew, he was building ships. >> the 46-year-old father of three starts with his own
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miniature version of the massive cairo -- piece by piece, out of pine and cypress. the smokestacks... the deck boards... cannons... even miniature ropes. it takes two months. >> you know, he would make the little doors and the little lifeboats. and then he would paint them and he would drive little nails into the deck. >> it's amazing. >> he just went haywire with it, really. >> over the next decade, william builds a civil war flotilla. there's the c.s.s. virginia, the first steam-powered ironclad warship, built by the confederate navy. the u.s.s. neosho, a union vessel with a steam-powered front-gun turret that can spin 360 degrees. that's some firepower. and the c.s.s. calhoun, a civilian steamer converted into a 500-ton side-wheel gunboat.
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all with the precision you'd expect from a career draftsman. >> before he built a ship, he'd study it. he had blueprints from the smithsonian institution, and if they didn't exist, he would draw his own set of blueprints. >> down to the finest detail. >> he was a fanatic about it. >> was your mom applauding his efforts? >> not really. i recall her not being all that thrilled with dad spending a lot of time in the shop. >> but he wouldn't stop. >> oh, no. it became an obsession. >> by the time william retires in the early 1980s, he's churned out more than 500 ships. that's when the hobbyist decides to share his fleet with the world. he built an annex on his property, next to the family home in arcadia, louisiana -- his very own civil war naval museum. let's be honest -- most people would build, maybe, an addition to their house.
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your dad told your mom, "i'm gonna build a museum for the ships." >> you know, for lack of better terms, i think he didn't reay listen to much about what my mother had to say. >> william doesn't even let his son touch his delicate crafts. not that larry's interested. >> as a young man, i didn't pay as much attention to what he was doing. when you're 16 or 17 years old, the last thing you're worried about is your dad up in a building, building models. >> but outside the family, word is spreading about a reclusive shipwright in the woods of louisiana. they call from around the country and around the world. civil war buffs and private collectors not only want to see his work, they want to buy it. was this profit-making for him? that's next. >> but first, our "strange inheritance" quiz question. the c.s.s. virginia was a confederate ironclad warship also known by what name?
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the answer after the break. do you remember what your sdad and i taught you. about hands only cpr? yes. uh, kind of. if you see a teen or adult suddenly collapse, the first thing you do is...? call 9-1-1. and the second thing you do is?
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push hard and fast in the center of the chest at a rate of at least one hundred beats per minute. who even knows what one hundred beats per minute even sounds like? ♪ well, you can tell by the way i use my walk, ♪ ♪ i'm a woman's man: no time to talk. ♪ ♪ music loud and women warm, ♪ i've been kicked around ♪ since i was born. and now it's all right. ♪ ♪ it's ok. and you may look the other way ♪ ♪ we can try to understand ♪ the new york times' effect on man ♪ remember it's only two steps: call 9-1-1. and push hard and fast in the center of the chest to the beat of 'staying alive' until help arrives. ♪ ah, ah, ah, ah ♪ stayin' alive ♪ ah, ah, ah, ah ♪ stayin' alive ♪ ah, ah, ah, ah ♪ stayin' alive
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>> so, by what name was the c.s.s. virginia also known? the answer is "b" -- the merrimack. it was a union ship salvaged by the south and rechristened as the virginia. in 1862, it faced off against the monitor in the first duel
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between ironclad ships. >> by the 1990s, william atteridge has built an armada of nearly 1,000 model ships. visitors from around the world travel to his makeshift museum in the louisiana woods to see his amazing craft. did he charge people to come in? >> his museum was donations only. they would drop a couple dollars in a bucket and he'd let them go through there and he would talk them to death. and, finally, it was almost like, "okay, we got to go." [ chuckles ] >> one of his early patrons -- louisiana state university historian gary joiner. do you remember the first time walking in? >> absolutely. the first thing i saw was this giant model of the c.s.s. arkansas. and i said, "you know what you're doing." >> was he a teacher? >> he was to me. he was a historical sponge. >> gary commissions william to
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build ships to use as visual aids in his classes -- 17 in all. what'd you pay? >> i think i paid $175 at the time. >> was it a steal? >> oh, yes. without a doubt. he was just that good. lar, even museums commissioned ships from william. was this profimaking for him? >> he didn't make enough. my dad was a very kind soul, and he did a lot of things out of the goodness of his heart. >> what would it cost for a ship? >> back in those days, he might get $300 or $400. and he would spend two months building it. >> year after year, he churns out models. then, in 2005, william is diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and given six months to live. larry has long since moved out. he now owns a successful ambulance company two hours away. but he starts making the trip
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back and forth every week. it's the most treasured time he ever spends with his father. >> during that period of time is when he taught me the most about these ships and about him. the realization came forward that we didn't really know each other. >> do you wish you had spent more time with him? >> absolutely. we loved each other, but we just didn't have that closeness. >> william atteridge outlives his prognosis by three years. he dies in 2008 at age 78. were you with him when he passed? >> yes. it was just me and him. i just told him i loved him and, you know, kissed him on the forehead, which is probably the first time i ever remember kissing my father. >> and with that, larry comes into his strange inheritance -- more than 100 ships, the blueprints he built them from, as well as the records of another 1,000-plus models he's sold through the years --
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an archive of the hobby his father elevated to an art form. have you had this collection appraised since you inherited it? >> i did when he first passed away. and i think it was around $130,000. >> would you sell? >> not for $130,000. the emotional attachment, to me, is worth a great deal more than that. >> but things can change. and, as you will see, they do for larry -- more than once. how would you describe this inheritance? >> it was a little bit more of a journey than i was prepared for. >> that's next. >> here's another quiz question for you. extra credit if you can name the war during which it was deployed.
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>> the answer is "a" -- the turtle. its inventor tried and failed to attach a time bomb to the hull of a british ship in new york harbor during the revolutionary war. >> it's 2008, and larry atteridge has just been left his strange inheritance -- more than 100 scale-model civil war ips built his father, stacks of blueprints, and a request. do you remember your last conversation? >> what he asked me to do was to take the collection, to show them in his honor, and keep them together. >> so you're guarding the fleet? >> yes. [ chuckles ]
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>> with his father's ship collection more than two hours away from his home, larry decides to move them to a closer port. a bed-and-breakfast in nearby natchitoches agrees to put them on display. these are so delicate. how do you even go about moving that many ships? >> i rented a 26-foot u-haul truck. we got furniture tarps and put them on the floor. >> larry's wife, pam, lends a hand -- with some hesitation. >> when his father was alive, he did not want larry to touch them, and i can only imagine what he's thinking now. >> the ships go on exhibit in natchitoches, with larry serving as the curator. but just a year later, with his ambulance business growing, larry decides he no longer has time to manage them. >> all of a sudden, i realize that i have to move these again. >> he reaches out to the state of louisiana, and they're on board. for a second time, larry
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carefully pas up his sprawling and delite fleet. this time, he ships it to a state museum in tioga, louisiana. five years pass. then, larry receives an alarming phone call. the museum's unstable -- literally. how unstable? >> it was about to cave in. then it became kind of a panic situation for us. >> for a third time, larry scrambles to relocate his strange inheritance. he decides just to bring it home, where the boats will be absolutely safe -- he thinks. then, early one morning... >> my stepdaughter came into the room and said, "hey, the house is on fire." >> the whole house, within five minutes, was in flames. >> in the 40 minutes it takes the fire department to reach their rural location, the atteridge hous ground.
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>> we lost everything. >> so, you escaped with your family, but the ships? >> they were still in the museum. >> thankfully, there'd been a delay in delivering custom-built cabinets to the house, and the models stayed put. wow. someone was protecting them. >> it was just by the grace of god, i think. >> unfortunately, most of his father's sale records for ships that he had sold were in the house and are lost in the fire. have you ever had a moment where you've said, "i do need to sell them"? >> yes. it's crossed my mind. >> we know one potential buyer -- our michael wall, founder of the american marine model gallery in gloucester, massachusetts. when larry called us, we called michael. >> i've never seen a collection like this, especially of civil war models. >> so, what's involved in appraising a collection like this? >> well, for example, i chose this model of arkansas because
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it's probably one of the biggest ones in the collection. i love it because of the artistry that is done with the finish. i feel something like this would probably be worth between $5,500 and $6,500. >> wow. >> the appraiser says ] william atteridge's model of the u.s.s. cairo would also go for about $6k. and larry has about 100 more. michael, what do you sense could happen if larry were willing to part with the collection? >> basically, i broke down the collection in three parts -- the high-end, the mid-range models, and then the low-range. the total was $279,000. >> okay. [ chuckles ] >> quite a collection. >> so, i know you've said, larry, that you'd never seriously considered selling, but now that you hear this...
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that's next. what's your "strange inheritance" story? we'd love to tell it. send me an e-mail or go to our website, strangeinheritance.com.
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>> now back to "strange inheritance." >> larry atteridge is weighing his options after receiving an appraisal of $279,000 for more than 100 civil war model ships that his late father painstakingly built over a lifetime. so, larry, how does that compare to the appraisal you got years ago? >> well, it's a big surprise. it's much higher than it was. >> well, your dad did great work, and i think it's just a testament to what he put into this. >> in fact, when you consider that larry's father sold at least 10 times as many models as he kept, there may well be $2- to $3 million of william atteridge originals floating around the world.
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pretty impressive for just an old guy with a hobby. so, larry, i know you've never seriously considered selling, but now that you've heard this, do you change your mind? >> [ inhales deeply ] well, got a lot to think about. um... i believe i'll hold on to them, keep them in the family and... >> great. >> ...in the bodline. >> it's a lot of money. u couldn't use the money? >> obviously, we could use it, buwe're not in that situation, so... >> yeah. >> ...we'll just hold on to them and keep them in dad's honor. >> and, finally, in a permanent home. ♪ >> well, here they are. >> very, very impressive. ♪ yep. those display cases finally arrived. so, inside their new house, larry and pam have created a mini-maritime museum --
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a contemporary version of the one william had out in the woods all those years ago. minus, of course, the workshop, the donation bucket, and the model-ship builder -- ready, as his son recalls, to talk his visitors to death. do you see your father in these? >> absolutely. you know, i wake up every day, and there they are. and i think it's my long-lasting relationship with my father. you know, if it wasn't for that, i don't know that i'd have anything. >> in that house fire, larry lost records from about 1,000 of his dad's models. well, he's hoping you can help him locate those missing ships. if you look closely at bill atteridge's work, you can sometimes find a sticker with his name, like this one here. and if you see one, e-mail me a picture at jamie@strangeinheritance.com.
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thanks smuch for watching. and remember -- you n't take it with you. >> a homemade hatchet man. >> oh, my god, this is not for real! >> it is. >> what are these meant to do? >> those could dismember people. >> an attic of axes... >> i was in shock because it was floor to ceiling axes, knives... >> cannons, guns. >> ready for an off-the-wall inheritance? >> i heard that they thought he was the unabomber. >> one day my mother has a knock on the door, and it turns out to be two fbi agents. >> leave it to cleaver. >> how many really great knife makers can do what he did? >> probably about forty or fifty... >> that's it? >> ...in the world. >> in the world? >> in the world. >> last call, for $2,750. [ door creaks ]
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[ wind howls ] [ thunder rumbles ] [ bird caws ] >> i'm jamie colby, and today i am in berkeley, california, home to the famous university and once the epicenter of the hippie movement of the 1960s, hardly the place i'd expect to find this strange inheritance, which attracted the atntion he fbi >> my name is tom marek. when my brother robert died in 2015, he left me an arsenal of weapons -- swords, knives, guns, hatchets, you name it. >> hi, tom. i'm jamie colby. >> hi, jamie. i'm tom marek. >> it's so great to meet you, but i have to be honest. from what i've heard, your inheritance is a little disturbing. >> it's quite unique. >> well, let's take a look. oh, my god, this is not for
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real! i am totally creeped out right now. >> we have axes. we have knives. we have mallets. >> guns. >> there are a few guns in here. >> floor to ceiling, in every nook and niche -- big and small, sharp and blunt. intricate rows of knives, arrays of swords, hoards of hatchets. talk about "axes of evil"! >> you have to look at this more as an art display. i mean, my brother compiled this collection over his entire life. >> and he lived here? >> he lived here. >> in this room? >> his tv's in here, his bathroom is in here, and his bedroom is in here. >> where's his bed? i don't see a bed. >> up in the rafters. >> i know that our show is "strangenheritance," but this is truly weird. >> you had to know my brother. he was a little strange, but he
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was my brother. >> robert marek is born near san francisco in 1958. he's the second of four boys. tom is the youngest. >> we had a great childhood. i mean, we were four male children, one year apart, and we egged each other on. >> was there anything about your brother that stood out early on? >> he was a little bit of a clown. my brother was into pyrotechnics. we had weapons, bb guns, .22s. >> nice arsenal. >> it just was a fun house for a young man growing up. >> as a teen, robert is fascinated by stories of war, gore, and weaponry. he and bruce horton become friends in high school. >> he could tell you about conquerors going back 4,000 years and and give dates and names. he loved to read this stuff. >> after high school, robert joins his buddy bruce at uc berkeley. he double-majors in art and art history, with a focus on the craft of ancient weaponry.
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>> we kind of formed our own little clique. in the art department, pretty much everybody was weird. >> of course, there's weird, and then there's weird. while his classmates draw, paint and sculpt, robert fashions weapons from scratch. and so begins his collection. how on earth did your brother learn, not just to make a knife, but to make swords and hatchets? >> one, reading up on it, because he really enjoyed reading and the history of weaponry, and, second, from experimentation. he had bought knives and swords. he had seen how they were assembled, and he decided he can do it better. >> in his senior year at berkeley, robert channels his vision into edgy performance art. here he is blowing fire for the camera. >> we had a performance-art group called the architects of doom. bob was like the armorer for us. we basically beat the crap out of everything. [ all yelling ] >> after college robert does odd jobs -- masonry work,
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medical data entry, even serving subpoenas. all the while, he dedicates more and more of his time to collecting weapons and making them. how accurate was the historical part of what he did when he would make them? >> his knives had to be able to fool an expert. the composition, the iron had to be correct. the way the handle was mounted with rivets had to be correct. >> how many really great knife makers are there out there that can do what he did? >> probably about forty or fifty... >> that's it? >> ...in the world. >> in the world? >> in the world. >> i'm here at klockar's blacksmith shop in san francisco, meeting with renowned swordsmith francis boyd. he knew robert and shows me how much effort goes into a single knife. i'm no robert, but i think i can do this. >> okay, so grab it. >> got it, got it. >> you got it. now slide it under there. >> okay. >> and push it all the way up and then just hold it level.
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okay, hold it. go that way. okay, it's too cold. pull it out. >> it's really hard work, folks. after reheating our steel, francis teaches me how to hammer it into a blade. >> all along the edge. now flip it over. all right? now hammer along there. >> you're a very patient teacher. >> right, right, always move the work, always hammer in the same place. yes. >> yes, i got a yes! but i'm nowhere near done. it will take days of filing, polishing, and sharpening, so francis shows me what our crude weapon can eventually become. >> and there's the finished knife. if you turn this in the light, you'll see a pattern in the metal. where you see this thing along the edge, it's as hard as glass. >> this doesn't just happen
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in an hour. >> no. >> you saw how many knives he had collected and made over the years. how many hours did he spend? >> his whole life. you know, like a painter's got to paint, sculptor's got to sculpt, a knife maker's got to make knives. there's no way out. >> where did he work on them? >> at my mother's house. we had a lathe and drill presses and all this equipment my brother could use. >> it's not long before her son's hobby attracts unwelcome attention. >> a mother does not want the fbi knocking on her door asking about her son. >> the fbi? >> the fbi. >> but first, our "strange inheritance" quiz question. the famous swiss army knife was not originally manufactured in switzerland. was it made in... the answer after the break.
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jackie: as an 18 year old, i let my mistakes kind of take over my life. i was point-five credits away from completing high school and i didn't do it. angela: i got pregnant and i was the main one working so, i did what i had to do to survive. jocelyn: sentía que la escuela no era para mí. karim: most of my family they never graduated high school or even let alone go to college so i'm trying to break that barrier. jackie: my family never stopped pushing for me to be better because they knew what i could become and who i could become as a person. karim: everyday after work i went straight to school,
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studied hard, and it paid off. jocelyn: sentía como que si quiero cambiar el mundo tengo que cambiara mi primero. group: surprise! surprise! surprise! angela: i could not have gotten my diploma without my family. jocelyn: mi consejera, ella fue lo máximo para mí porque me ayudó mucho con todo. jackie: i've been given an opportunity and i'm just thankful for it. angela: yeah it's hard, but keep on going and keep on trying. karim: the high school diploma has just added to the confidence and now i feel unstoppable. narrator: find free adult education classes near you at finishyourdiploma.org.
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>> so, where was the swiss army knife originally manufactured? in 1891, the swiss army needed a folding knife that could also open cans and disassemble a rifle. the fish scaler, ballpoint pen, and led light came later. >> a boy fascinated with battles of yore grows up to be an expert craftsman of deadly weapons. some he makes from scratch, like this battle axe.
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others, he buys for their historical value, like these world war ii navy knives. in 1986, 28-year-old robert marek is still living at his mother's house near san francisco. he doesn't know it, but his eccentric hobby has landed him on the radar of federal law enforcement. what happened? >> my mother answered the door, and there were two fbi agents there. and they told her they wanted to interview my brother, and she asked why. and they explained to her that they had done a profile on the unabomber. >> at the time still unidentified, "unabomber" was the fbi's code name for a domestic terrorist who sent mail bombs to his victims. he killed 3 people and injured 23 others. >> the unabomber had an association with uc berkeley, apparently was thought to be intelligent, and also worked with wood. and my brother was an artist who went to uc berkeley. he worked with wood.
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>> did they bring him in for questioning? >> the following week, they came back to interview him, and my brother was never terribly open about howhenterew went. he was a little embarrassed by this episode, but quickly they ruled him out as a suspect. >> the following year, in 1987, robert moves into this house in a quiet berkeley neighborhood, where he can live by himself, surrounded by all his weapons. >> did he have friends? >> well, you know, again, as an artist, you could call him a starving artist. a lot of his friends were on the edge, too, financially. they were just unique people, the type of people that make life interesting. >> his neighbors recall the first time robert has them over for dinner. what was your reaction? >> i was in shock because it was these beautiful wood walls, but floor to ceiling axes, knives. >> cannons. >> cannons. >> guns. >> oh, my. >> yeah, and so after we got in and the door closed, i kind of felt like we were never coming home. >> instead, robert serves them a delicious gourmet meal --
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hold the fava beans and nice chianti. do you think he got a kick out of people's reaction. was that part of it? >> you know, probably. he was proud of his collection, but he wanted to overwhelm you. that was his goal. >> for the next 20 years, robert does what makes him happy. he fashions weapons -- lots of them -- and collects them, too. he covers the walls of his house row by row, layer by layer. while his weapons collection grows over the years, he and his brother tom, a straitlaced financial planner, grow apart. >> i moved up to washington state, and as a brother we just separated. >> then, in july 2015, tom receives some distressing news. >> i got a phone call from a female friend of his, who told me he was in the hospital. and at the time they thought he had a ruptured appendix, which he did have. and later on they found out it was cancer. >> robert is diagnosed with
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stage-iv cancer throughout his body. how did he react to his diagnosis? >> he was a little scared. he wanted more time in life. the doctors thought he would have a couple more years. >> but just three months after that diagnosis, robert passes away. he's only 57. >> i don't believe he was ready to go. he had more work in life, more knives to make, more pieces to add to his collection. so, it was very sad. >> you had to be close to him to see the full person who he was. otherwise it's just a snapshot, and yeah, he's strange, but he's an incredibly unique person, and we won't see another one of him, maybe ever. >> robert names brother tom his principal heir, but he doesn't forget about his close friends. >> i thought he was very generous, to leave money to people he knew late in life, college friends, people he cared about.
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>> after his brother's death, tom visits robert's house for the first time in more than a decade. >> i was just shocked, and i was overwhelmed. i had seen photographs, but they only show one wall or one segment of the collection. >> i would imagine that if he spent this much time collecting, he probably kept very detailed records? >> i wish he had, but no, he did not. >> so, do you have any idea what you have here? >> i really don't. >> but this guy will take a "stab" at it. >> there could easily be a hidden jewel buried somewhere. >> next. >> here's another quiz question for you. what's the name ofse weapons built by robert marek? are they... the answer when we return.
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>> so, what's the name of these weapons built by robert marek? the answer is... they were used in medieval times to attack enemies in body armor. >> forged by expert hands, a massive collection of more than five thousand weapons. it's tom marek's strange inheritance, hanging off the walls and rafters of his big brother robert's berkeley, california, house. >> just visually it was overwhelming. it was my brother's life, but i don't think i could have been prepared until i walked through that door. >> he'd like to honor his brother's wishes. >> we had a heart-to-heart talk in the hospital. he would have preferred it to go to a museum. he would have preferred it to go to a single collector. >> but it's clear that's a tall order. >> and he gave me permission to auction off his collection.
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he realized that was the most likely outcome. it is sad to me. it's my brother. it's a collection of artwork that he created. >> tom's not sure how valuable the collection might be, or how to sell it, so he contacts michaan's auctions in alameda, california. they send in their sharpest mind -- world-renowned antique weapons expert greg martin. is this a once-in-a-lifetime collection? >> oh, i believe it is. you don't find collections like this, compiled by the maker and the collector rolled into one. >> greg tells me that's what makes this inheritance so unique. it's a combination -- some historical items robert purchased, but most he made himself. >> this axe, this is a handmade piece that he forged and pounded out. >> wow. >> this is really i think very interesting. these are all classic renditions of the bowie knife. >> so, did he research these
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in order to get them so accurate? >> he would have had to. but i was going to point out, one of the characteristics of a bowie knife, one of them, is a clip-point blade. >> what does that do? >> and clip-point blade, sharpened, like this one, if you're having a knife fight or something, it becomes handy when you pull back. >> so, both parts of this blade are blade. >> that's right. this is sharp and this is sharp. >> and it's not just blades of every size and shape. robert also dabbled in gunsmithing. >> now, this is a serious piece of metal... >> no kidding. >> ...that robert was working on and evidently he was making himself a very big-bore gun of some sort. >> that's really heavy. >> i understand robert was a real big guy, and, i mean, i can barely get it up. >> greg also pulls some of the . . .
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known as a howdah gun. >> what year do you think? >> 1880s, most likely. >> so, greg, what do you think this one's worth? >> between $1,500 and $2,500. >> do you have an idea in your mind of what this collection might bring? >> piece by piece, if you, i think it would probably bring a quarter of a million or more. >> a quarter of a millio >> really? that much? tom's ready to find out. so, it's off the walls for more than 5,000 weapons, headed to auction. >> $2,500, go $2,750. $2,750 is now the bid. go $3,000. >> that's next. what's your "strange inheritance" story? we'd love to tell it. send me an e-mail, or go to our website, strangeinheritance.com.
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♪rock guitar ♪yeah ♪(rock music) ♪all i know is what i've been sold♪ ♪you can read my life like a fortune told♪ ♪and courage built, man i won't let go♪ ♪what we need right now is ...soul♪ ♪(rock music)
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♪you can't do this, you can't deny ♪they feed us lines, but i won't act♪ ♪and all good things will come to pass♪ ♪but the truth is all you have to have♪ ♪and would you lie for it? ♪cry for it? ♪die for it? ♪would you? ♪i believe ♪believe we're still worth the fight♪ ♪you'll see there's hope for this world tonight♪ ♪i believe, i believe ♪yeah
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>> now, back to "strange inheritance." >> it's september 2016, and tom marek is pleased.
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a small slice of his strange inheritance -- a 5,000-piece weapon collection amassed by his brother robert -- is up for sale at michaan's auctions. >> they did a very good job setting up my brother's display. beautiful bowie knives i think people will appreciate and a number of rifles and pistols. >> we will begin today's auction. >> first up, three of robert's handmade weapons modeled after the medieval mace and horseman's hammer. >> we'll start the bidding on this lot at $100. $100 is bid. thank you. $100 is on the telephone. $190 is now the bid. go $200. $190, go $200. $200 is bid there. last call, $200. [ cash register dings ] >> on down the line, this early plains tomahawk -- one of robert's historical pieces -- goes for $250. next, a rare civil war collins hospital knife sells for $550. this japanese gunto sword cuts in at $700. >> lot number 23 is a
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rigby english double rifle. $1,000 is there. $1,000, now the bid goes. $1,100 i have. $1,200 is bid. $1,200 is now bid... >> now, this one could go somewhere. rigby is a sought-after manufacturer founded in ireland, and this rifle, circa 1900, is in excellent condition. >> $1,300 is there first. $1,400 is seated. $1,900 is here, $1,900. $2,000 will be next. $1,900 is the bid on the telephone. $2,000, new bidder. now the bid goes $2,250. $2,250 is bid. $2,750 is there. go $3,000. last call -- $2,750. [ cash register dings ] >> remember that big-bore english howdah pistol greg show me? when it comes on the block, tom switches from seller to bidder. >> yeah, i got it. >> that's because he's his brother robert's principal -- but not sole -- heir. so, if he wants to keep any of the weapons, he'll have to buy them himself at auction. >> ...will get you there. $1,000, $1,100's your bid. $1,100. $1,200 is bid here.
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>> yeah. >> it's too rich for tom's blood, as the pistol squarely hits its appraisal target. >> last call. [ cash register dings ] >> tom will be more tenacious when bidding starts on some of robert's expertly crafted bowie knives that greg showed me back at the house. >> ...the bid there. is there any advance on $130? $140. $140 is up front.new bidder. $1. no advance on $140. up front at $140. last call, $140. [ gavel bangs ] [ cash register dings ] >> i didn't get one of the pistols i wanted. it went for too much money, but i got a couple of beautiful bowie knives that my brother made. i'll bring them home, put them in my cabinet, put them on the wall. i'll remember my brother. >> in total, the sale of just 30 items nets 11,400 bucks. considering there are about 5,000 more still set to go to auction, it seems like that estimate of a quarter-million dollars is well within reach.
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>> i'm happy. i think this will do him honor. >> and for the heir in this strange inheritance story, honoring his brother has always been the point. the money, ultimately, is beside it. >> this was a lifelong passion. not many people can do what they want in life, and he did. i mean, he made it work, without much money, but he put together an amazing collection, and he was proud of what he did. >> i bet you're all wondering, did robert ever actually use any of those weapons in his collection? turns out he did. back in his college days, he took care of the landscaping around his mother's house. he mowed the grass, weeded the flower beds, and when it was time to trim the hedges, he did that, too. his tool of choice for that job? you guessed it, a sword like this one from his collection. i'm jamie colby for
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"strange inheritance." thanks so much for watching. and remember -- you can't take it with you. nicole: breaking news this morning, take the deal or live with obamacare. president trump lays down ultimate uim to house republicans, we will have reaction and analysis. good morning, i'm nicole petallides. lauren: it's friday, good morning, everyone, i'm lauren simonetti. the president say ifs this bill fails, he's ready to move on. does that mean taxes will come sooner than expected? that's a big question. stock market reaction falls six days in a row. we areebounding this morning. up 44 points. nicole: nikkei up nearly

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