Skip to main content

tv   Trish Regan Primetime  FOX Business  May 25, 2019 2:00am-3:00am EDT

2:00 am
at 5:00 p.m. eastern on the fox business network. say a prayer for those severing in the military for us. thank you for joining us. enjoy the holiday wee >> 100,000 creepy crawlers... >> spiders that'll cover your whole face. >> all collected from the far reaches of the world. >> wait. is it alive? >> talk about a bug's life. >> walt disney went into the museum and wanted to buy the collection. >> but there's a bigger story behind this bizarre bequest. >> that was an interesting and eye-opening experience all of its own. [ door creaks ] [ wind howls ] [ thunder rumbles ] [ bird caws ] ♪ >> i'm jamie colby, and right now i'm driving on the outskirts of colorado springs, colorado. i'm looking for the turnoff
2:01 am
to a strange inheritance which includes, believe me, one of the most unique collections. and my marker? it's a giant beetle. >> hi, jamie. >> how are you? i'm fine. how are you? my name's rj steer. in 2007, my grandfather john may passed away and left the largest privately owned collection of insects in the world. ♪ at the time i didn't know what the rest of the family might want to do with it. >> it's housed in this little museum. nestled in a small canyon, it's one of those classic american roadside attractions. of all the strange things you might like to inherit one day... wow! >> ...a few thousand drawers, canisters, and cases full of bugs is probably not on your list. would it change your mind if i told you it's been appraised for millions? [ record scratches ] somebody tells you you're
2:02 am
sitting on how much in terms of value of this collection of insects? >> there are some insects that have never been seen since, there are some insects that are thought to be extinct but not confirmed, but the collection was assessed between $5 million or $6 million. >> for bugs? >> for this collection. >> this whole place feels like a time capsule. >> pull one out. >> to the may family, the collection is a priceless legacy. but i learn it's also a scientific marvel of sorts. >> you must be jamie. >> hey! are you sam? >> sam. >> sam johnson has been coming to the may natural history museum for more than six decades. the museum inspired a childhood passion that paved the way for a career as an entomologist and high school biology teacher. >> i bring my biology classes here every year, and we look at literally the best examples in the world. >> this place is old school. wooden display cases with
2:03 am
gooseneck lamps... the handwritten descriptions... and a collection that includes many insect species that have never been seen again. i've never seen so many insects. >> each carries with it this incredible story about its niche and its environment. >> have we spanned the globe here? >> oh, absolutely. it's from everywhere. >> the story behind this collection is almost as spine-tingling as this spider, which happens to be where the tale begins. it was captured by the original benefactor of this strange inheritance in 1903. james may was a british national who fought in the second boer war in africa. he was shot, wounded, and left for dead. thankfully, may's life was saved by a tribe of zulus, and during his convalescence, he passes away the hours enjoying a boyhood pastime -- bug collecting and pinning. when he regains his health, he
2:04 am
continues a life of adventure, which includes his obsession with bugs. rj steer is james' great-grandson. >> he immigrated to canada, which was still part of the british crown at the time, and worked as a park ranger in manitoba and hunted big game, and also continued to avidly collect. >> james gets married and has three sons, only one of whom -- john, born in 1915 -- shares james' love for bugs. carla harris is john may's daughter. he went on trips with his father collecting around canada. he certainly supported his father that way and loved the collection. >> when the great depression hits, james loses his job as a park ranger, and money is tight, but his teenage son john, who, unlike his father, has a head for business, figures out how to turn dad's unusual hobby into a money-making a traveling bug exhibit.
2:05 am
>> john may learned how to create airtight wooden display cases from an old german cabinet-maker and the practical realities of traveling with a collection. >> by 1930, the entire family hits the road, in both canada and the u.s., with their traveling displays of bugs -- all fronted by 15-year old john may. he was a teenager, and he had grown men working for him? >> there's a whole group of men who were working as roustabouts. they were destitute. >> so he helped a lot of people along the way, and he also intrigued a lot of people with this collection. >> he wanted it to be interesting to the general public, and i really think he did a good job of it. >> by 1936, john starts his own family with wife, vicky, and before you know it, their three daughters join the entourage as they bounce from fairground to exhibition hall -- with many of their shows drawing standing-room only crowds. >> i remember topeka, kansas,
2:06 am
a lot and des moines, iowa. those were big fairs. we went to expositions in madison square garden. we were in rockefeller center. >> while john focuses on expanding their traveling show, his father, james, collects more specimens, often by trading them through the mail. >> the insect collectors of the time relied heavily on missionaries in borneo or maybe the local postmaster in the middle of africa somewhere, and they'd just swap specimens. >> and so it goes through the depression. but by the early 1940s, after more than a decade of living like nomads, the may clan is ready to settle down -- john and vicky in particular. >> whenever we were at a fair, my mom, she'd have to find water spigots and haul buckets of water to wash our clothes. he wanted a permanent museum so he wouldn't have to continue the very strenuous fair circuit. >> during their travels, the entire may family fell in love with colorado's scenery.
2:07 am
but there's another reason john bought a piece of ranch land here. >> colorado is the perfect location. it's already a dry climate, so the specimens are preserved much better. >> true to form, john may designs the museum that would exhibit his father, james may's, collection. john even helps build it himself. rj, an architect, is amazed at what he was able to do. >> my grandfather literally taught himself the building techniques in order to construct it. he figured out how to salvage, reuse, adapt any pieces or parts that he could get. >> with an eye to the future, the shrewd businessman insists on paying extra for something he figured he needed to expand his roadside attraction. >> he arranged and made sure of the water rights. he built six reservoirs, a series of ditches accordingly, all learning, of course, how to operate the heavy machinery to do so. >> on may 1, 1952, the may natural history museum opens its doors.
2:08 am
the may family is finally home, only to lose their master bug collector when he dies in 1956 at the age of 72. >> we probably have somewhere in the neighborhood of 100,000 specimens and, more or less, my great-grandfather's legacy is that he is the one who collected essentially all of it. >> the future of this strange inheritance is in the hands of john may, who has even bigger plans for it. those plans include the biggest name in theme parks. >> walt disney wanted to buy the collection. >> that's next. >> but first our "strange inheritance" quiz question... is it...? the answer in a moment.
2:09 am
2:10 am
♪ ♪
2:11 am
what's my passion? the sound of the ukulele. the softness. it goes right to your heart. >> stay engaged and keep doing what you love. hear well. stay vital. check your hearing wellness every year. [ wind howls ] [ bird caws ] >> now the answer to our "strange inheritance" quiz question... it's, "b," 22 inches. that's the record length of a chan's megastick -- with its front legs extended. ♪ >> when james may, one of the world's leading bug collectors, dies in 1956, his son john takes charge of the collection. john's already built a museum
2:12 am
in colorado to display his dad's bugs, but now has bigger aspirations. so it's with keen interest that john reads in the paper that the great walt disney is in colorado. john gets in touch and invites him to the museum, with the idea that maybe he can lease disney part of the may bug collection, and it could be a hit at disneyland, which had opened the previous year. to everyone's delight, walt himself agrees to a visit. john's daughter, carla, who's 13 at the time, is there when the legend arrives. >> walt disney went into the museum and dad took him all through the collection, and i trailed around behind watching this whole thing, and he was very impressed. he wanted to buy the collection. >> john sees an opening. he and disney discuss terms. john only wants to lease it, with his father's name on it. walt stands firm -- sell or no deal. >> dad said, "if we do sell it, will we at least get credit?
2:13 am
will there be a plaque saying this is james frederick william may's collection," and this sort of thing? and disney said, "no, they don't give credit to anything in disneyland. it's all disney." >> john walks away, but, like disney, expands in florida. the may family opens a second bug museum in the popular theme park weeki wachee springs. he straps his signature beetle onto his pickup and drives it cross-country. >> what did you think as kids when you had this big beetle to transport on top of the car? >> [ laughs ] well, it's a real traffic-stopper. it really is. but there he is. >> he thought if he could lease in a good location, we would make a lot more money, but there, he had to build special cases out of metal. i mean, it was a major project to be able to display without the whole collection being destroyed. >> ultimately, john may's venture in florida runs into the same problem he faced with disney. >> the reason that we left florida was because abc-paramount took over weeki wachee springs, and they
2:14 am
didn't want us there privately. they wanted to either buy it or we had to leave. >> in the mid 1960s, john carts his bug collection back to colorado, but the experience makes him realize he needs more than a bug museum to draw customers. so he decides to put in a campsite. >> the original parcel was 180 acres. my grandfather added onto the land whenever anything became available somewhere in the neighborhood of 950 acres for all of it together. >> eventually he built on the plateau above the museum, and we ended up with a 500-site campground. >> thank goodness he tied up those water rights decades before. now his bug museum is not just a place for science buffs or curious road-trippers. tack on the campground, and it's an overnight adventure. the hercules beetle statue, which made the trip back from florida, is an irresistible draw. inside the museum,
2:15 am
there's a 17-inch walkingstick bug... moths with a 10-inch wingspan... butterflies in every color of the rainbow... and the black widow spider that entomologist sam johnson says deserves its deadly rep. so the black widow is not just a myth? >> no, it's not a myth at all, although the toxicity, it varies from individual to individual, but they've killed a lot of people. i had a friend who was this close to dead before the emts got there and saved her life. >> okay, these bugs are giving me the creeps... even before sam johnson insists i try my hand at bug pinning. so, sam, pinning 101, and you had to pick locusts? you had to pick the locusts? >> [ laughs ] i just couldn't resist. >> luckily, sam is joking, and we move along to something more tolerable. if i see correctly, you picked something much more beautiful. >> yeah, yeah. this is weidemeyer's admiral. this is a butterfly.
2:16 am
>> beautiful butterfly. >> so we can spread its wings like that. >> oh, my. >> and all we have to do then is take a pin. and i can put a pin, not through the wing but right next to the wing. see how you do here. put the pin just like i did through that paper. just right through there. that's good. real hard. good. you're like a lepidopterist. >> all right, at least i got through one. for decades the museum, with its quaint old-fashioned displays, continues to chug along, with an aging john in charge and various may family members working at it full time. but as the 21st century gets underway, interest in the museum and campground steadily drop off. and after vicky, john's faithful wife and fellow adventurer, passes away, it becomes clear to their kids that running a museum and a campground isn't easy for an octogenarian. >> he didn't like to delegate authority. he wanted to do it himself. and so as he was declining in
2:17 am
his last years, he couldn't do those things anymore, and during that time, the ranch began to degrade. >> on november 4, 2007, john may dies in his sleep at the age of 92. >> i was in the kitchen quietly doing dishes. he was in the room next to me. i could hear him breathing, and, all of a sudden, i heard my mother, who had died in 2000, clear as a bell saying, "we're going to leave soon," and walked into the room, and he died. my feeling was they were off to explore the universe. >> now john's earthbound heirs face a quandary. the bug museum is theirs, but can it survive? >> my family was contending with a tremendous amount of stress. >> that's next on "strange inheritance." >> here's another quiz question for you... is it a...? the answer when we return.
2:18 am
2:19 am
♪look into my eyes ♪you will see ♪what you mean to me ♪don't tell me it's not worth trying for♪ ♪you know it's true ♪everything i do ♪i do it for you ♪yeah, i would fight for you♪ ♪i'd lie for you ♪walk the wire for you ♪yeah, i'd die for you
2:20 am
♪you know it's true ♪everything i do ♪i do it for you
2:21 am
[ wind howls ] [ bird caws ] >> and now the answer to our quiz question... it's an ant found in arizona. its venom is more powerful per sting than any other insect's. ♪ >> in 2007, when insect impresario john may dies, he leaves behind a strange inheritance -- a museum that contains thousands of bug specimens from around the world. many rare, some extinct. the museum's collection has been appraised at between $5 million and $6 million. but with dwindling attendance, the may family is doubtful
2:22 am
the museum can survive. carrie york worked throughout the years with grandfather john may, maintaining the museum's grounds. >> since the '70s, there had been a lot of changes, so i knew that i needed to increase my electric service and build new picnic tables. i had a thousand things i wanted to do and, you know, couldn't because of time and finances. >> the infrastructure isn't the only thing that's been declining. the books are a handwritten muddle. what needed the most improvement in the way he ran the business? >> everything was tied together. everything was convoluted. and that was quite a transition, especially throughout the inheritance phase. >> even more challenging, in the fall of 2008, americans are told we're on the verge of a second great depression. over the next couple of years, business slows to a crawl. by early 2012, it's painfully clear. something has to be done. >> my mom and my cousin continued doing the roles that
2:23 am
they had before, but contending with a tremendous amount of stress. >> from the time of the first great depression, when their grandfather and great-grandfather took their show on the road, those bugs had supported the may family. was it finally time to fold up the tent? >> i asked each person in turn what they thought they wanted to see happen to the existing operation and what they wanted out of it. that was an eye-opening experience all of its own. >> find out what happens as the family sits down over tea to have a civilized talk and the financial gusher that makes them all think twice. >> there's a joke in colorado that "whiskey's for drinking but water's for fighting." >> that's next when you think of miami you
2:24 am
2:25 am
think of,you know,rich,glamour but 5 miles away from the beach there's people who have never seen a beach. i was confused why somebody was in this situation especially in america. ♪music:oooh,oooh,oooh so when i started joshua's heart foundation it was a key thing to be able to engage youth in the foundation. to help them participate. ♪music:oooh,oooh,oooh i think passing on the torch and lighting a new flame in another person to do good is probably the point of the bigger missions i have. ♪music:aha,aha,aha so we are each making a bigger difference.
2:26 am
♪music:oooh,oooh,oooh that's it! just giving back and producing love for everybody. [ wind howls ] >> now back to "strange inheritance." [ bird caws ] >> four years after the death of family patriarch, john may, the natural history museum which
2:27 am
bears his name is limping along. during a family meeting in february 2012, the heirs have to decide what to do. should they sell the land? close the bug museum? and if they keep it open, how are they going to get it back in shape? that's when they realize john may's true genius tying up all those water rights decades ago when he purchased the land for his museum and campground. >> there's a joke in colorado that "whiskey's for drinking but water's for fighting," 'cause water is so valuable. >> the estimated value of the land with that water? they're told $25 million. so what would you do? millions from the water, millions from the land... millions, perhaps, from the bug collection, too? i'm with you. i'm thinking it's time to take the money and run. the heirs of james and john take a vote. it's unanimous. the water money would be used
2:28 am
to keep the operation going. >> all eight of us essentially said the same thing, nearly word for word, and with such a unanimity, there was just really no question that it was worth a shot. >> rj steer, grandson of john, great-grandson of james, gives up his career as an architect to head the operation. >> in the back of your mind, did you think to yourself, "okay, we'll take a shot, but it's not gonna be easy"? >> we are literally standing in one man's 50 years' of effort and creation, and it takes a lot to get up off the floor, dust yourself off, and find things that need improving and things that need ending. >> the may legacy will soon find itself being fulfilled by a fourth generation -- all of them united by these crazy, creepy-crawlies. >> you hear very commonly when a business owner dies his children start fighting about it, or they start selling it off
2:29 am
right away or they run it into the ground. all of us are all totally invested in keeping the business going, keeping the museum open for people to enjoy. >> the heirs to this strange inheritance all vividly recall their grandfather james may, trusty butterfly net in hand, fascinating them with his stories and adventures of insect-hunting. he explained that most of the bugs he collected were docile, they were not poisonous, and they were even big enough to easily get ahold of. like the fella over here, the hercules beetle. it can lift 850 times its own weight, making it the strongest creature on earth for its size. try finding a roach motel big enough for a family of those. i'm jamie colby for "strange inheritance." remember -- you can't take it with you. do you have a "strange inheritance" story
2:30 am
you'd like to share with us? we'd love to hear it! send me an e-mail, or go to our website -- >> the heyday of hollywood. >> it was exciting. bette davis, marilyn monroe, joan crawford. >> a star-struck teen bit by the bug. >> before there were paparazzi, there was jack kuster. >> this autograph hound takes names like no other... >> elvis and, oh my gosh, robert redford. >> you name it, all of them. >> it's probably the best collection in the world. >> ...and leaves his stunned heir a lot to sort out. >> what, in your wildest dreams, is this collection worth? [ theme music plays ] ♪ i'm jamie colby, and today i'm
2:31 am
in tampa, florida, to meet a man whose strange inheritance, a massive autograph collection, began with a chance encounter. one thing led to another and then, well, i'll let him tell you. >> my name is juan carlos saucedo-campos, and in 2012, my dear friend jack kuster left me his estate, including a collection that nobody has ever seen. come in. >> hi, juan carlos. >> hi, jamie. how are you doing today? >> thank you for inviting me to your home. >> it's my pleasure. thank you for coming. >> it looks like you've been busy. >> i've been working on putting everything together. elvis presley, james dean. >> wow. >> marilyn monroe. >> vivien leigh, paul newman even. >> paul newman. >> most of these photos are original pictures that juan carlos's friend jack kuster snapped with his own camera, then collected an autograph for each one of them. >> oh, look at jane fonda!
2:32 am
>> when she was just a teenager. >> so he took all these pictures and on top of it got the autographs? >> yes. >> how did this all get started? well, according to juan carlos, jack kuster acquires his first autograph in 1943 at the age of 14, when broadway and hollywood star carmen miranda pays a visit to his hometown, rochester, new york, for a uso show. the teenager musters the courage to approach the flamboyant singer for her swirling signature. from that moment forward, jack knows who he is -- an autograph hound. it takes a lot of guts for a 14-year-old kid. >> for jack, collecting signatures was his calling. soon afterwards, jack and his mother move to new york, where film and stage stars abound. jack secures a day job as a graphic artist. at night, the stage door exits
2:33 am
of manhattan's legendary theaters are his favorite stomping grounds. today i'm making a quick side trip to times square to meet bob levine, one of jack's fellow autograph hounds. >> hi, jamie! >> bob, how are you? >> how are you? nice to meet you! >> like jack, he began dogging the stars in the golden age of motion pictures. what is the thrill of autograph collecting? >> i don't know, but i get a thrill out of it. i started in '46. then i met jack, and we were friends all through the years. >> i'm wearing my hollywood glamour red lip, to represent the era of autograph signing. >> yes, ha ha ha! >> what was hollywood like back then? >> hollywood was so glamorous, and when the movie stars came to new york, like lana turner or bette davis, it was a different era, and they treated the fans
2:34 am
with respect. >> and now? >> the glamour is gone. today they have bodyguards. these young kids, they all sign initials now. the autographs that we got then, you could still read them. jack was so fussy, if he didn't like it, he'd ask them to sign it again. >> was he obsessive about collecting? >> yes, yes. he was. that's what his main purpose in life was, to take care of that collection. >> to save money and pursue more autographs, jack rents a tiny apartment on the city's upper west side. >> jack told me many times, "juan carlos, this is my profession. it's hard work, but somebody has to do it." >> a profession that requires coast-to-coast travel. in the 1950s, jack hits the road to the back lots of hollywood studios. >> clint eastwood was found by jack in 1954 outside hollywood studios in california. he was nobody at that time.
2:35 am
he was so surprised to be asked for an autograph. jack believes that that signature was the very first autograph ever given to anybody by clint eastwood. he got james dean, elvis presley, and many more before they were big stars. ♪ >> was there anyone that was particularly nasty? >> many. i remember the story of katharine hepburn. she would never sign. she would always go, "no, never, never, never on the street." very determined and difficult. >> did he ever get her? >> he had to earn it, but she's right there. >> i see she doesn't look very pleased. jack's persistence pays off in a big way. he shares a taxi with rock hudson and takes this photo. he captures this image of a typically deadpan alfred hitchcock. this one of joe namath in 1969, the year he won
2:36 am
the super bowl. and sharon tate before her shocking murder. in time, he even begins traveling the world in pursuit of celebrity signatures. throughout the 1960s, '70s, and '80s, he snaps up sports figures, bollywood stars, politicians, and one of his favorites -- mexican telenovela actors. it's on a trip to mexico city in 1993 that jack -- now 64 years old -- approaches a struggling young mexican soap actor for an autograph. now, the young guy in that picture looks a little bit familiar. who is that? >> [ laughs ] you're funny. i was an actor. it was the end of winter in 1993 that i met jack in mexico city. i see jack coming up in the distance. i just know he was somebody different, and he says, "are you an actor?" i was ever so flattered.
2:37 am
when i met jack, this is the card that i signed for him, and this is the picture he took of myself. >> oh, my, juan carlos, look at you. was this a love at first sight? >> well, it's one of those things that when you know you've found your soul mate. call it what you want it, our chemistry was very compatible, how about that? >> how about that? was it wonderful? >> it was amazing. juan carlos and jack keep in touch over the years. in 1996 juan carlos moves to new york to pursue acting in the states, and jack offers him a place to live. >> that was the turning point. jack made it possible for me to be american citizen. >> one of juan carlos's oldest friends is spiro verras. he got to know jack as well. >> juan carlos is an incredibly caring person. jack needed someone in his life to care for him. >> in 2006, juan carlos decides
2:38 am
to give up show business and become a certified skin care specialist. he leaves new york and moves to tampa, florida, to open his own spa business. >> i had already been trained as an aesthetician. and a medical company made me an offer that i could not resist to start my own practice, my own business. >> and jack's reaction? >> jack was not very happy. however, he knew i needed to do something for my future and i needed to have a real profession. >> ultimately, jack is the one who told him, "you need to do this." >> wow. >> "you have to move on with your life." >> back in new york, jack continues to add to his collection daily. how many autographs does he have? seems only jack knows. >> did you think it was 10,000? 30,000? >> i would even say, "do you have about 2,000," thinking that that was a lot. and he would just laugh. >> would he part with any of them? >> absolutely not. he would never sell.
2:39 am
>> but juan carlos worries about his friend jack, who is now 81 years old and living alone. he checks on him every day by phone. and as jack kuster grows more frail, it becomes a favorite topic among his competitors -- what will happen to his famous collection? >> i wrote to a lot of the auction houses. the largest ones knew who jack kuster was before i wrote to them. >> that's next. >> but first, our "strange inheritance" quiz question -- what pestered personality called autograph seekers "mosquitoes"? "sleepy hollow" author washington irving? supermodel kate upton? or pro wrestler andré the giant? the answer in a moment. i switched to liberty mutual, because they let me customize my insurance. and as a fitness junkie, i customize everything, like my bike, and my calves. liberty mutual customizes your car insurance, so you only pay for what you need. ♪ liberty. liberty. liberty. liberty. ♪
2:40 am
2:41 am
(music and splat sound) (music) oops (music) (music birds chirping) uh-oh... (music) (music and patter of little shoes) (music and glass breaking) sorry... (music swells...) (music and loud glass breaking) get on top of it before they do. about every 30 minutes tipped furniture or a falling tv sends an injured child to the emergency room.
2:42 am
preventing tipover incidents is easy, inexpensive and only takes about 5 minutes. learn how to secure your furniture and tv's to protect children at [ theme music plays ] >> so, what pestered personality called autograph seekers "mosquitoes"? it's washington irving, annoyed by autograph seekers who showed up on his doorstep. >> by 2010, jack kuster, an aging new york autograph hound, has accumulated a jaw-dropping collection -- thousands of celebrity signatures from all over the world and matching photos he took himself. jack tells his friend juan carlos saucedo-campos that he plans to leave it all to him. one condition -- jack wants to keep his intentions a secret. >> he wanted to sound like the
2:43 am
eccentric little man that he was and trying to keep it as a mystery. >> he liked the intrigue. >> he loved that, yes. >> juan carlos now lives in tampa, florida, but every single day, he calls jack on the phone, and jack always answers. on july 24, 2012, jack doesn't pick up. >> i called 911. they went to his apartment right away. they found him dead on the floor by the door. he had a massive heart attack. >> as promised, juan carlos is named the executor of jack's estate and the heir to his entire collection. did you really know how big it was going to be? >> i just did not know the magnitude of everything. >> in addition to screen stars like grace kelly and pop icons like michael jackson, jack has hundreds of international
2:44 am
figures whom juan carlos has never heard of. how many signatures are we talking about? >> we're talking about over 35,000 signatures. >> wait, 35,000? >> thousand. >> plus 1,700 original photos and hundreds more signed promotional stills. juan carlos carts the whole kit and caboodle back to tampa and locks them inside a fire- and waterproof safe. then, he calls his friend and attorney, spiro verras, for help. >> initially, i handled this as i would handle any probate in my practice. i wrote to a lot of the auction houses, and they were all extremely interested. the largest ones knew who jack kuster was before i wrote to them. >> what, in your wildest dreams, juan carlos, what is this collection worth? >> it's hard to put a price on it. >> well, what would an appraiser say? what kind of numbers are we talking about? give me a ballpark.
2:45 am
that's next. >> here's another quiz question for you. according to autograph magazine, which one of these celebrities is most unwilling to give autographs? beyoncé, angelina jolie, or tobey maguire? the answer when we return.
2:46 am
2:47 am
2:48 am
at comcast, we didn't build the nation's largest gig-speed network just to make businesses run faster. we built it to help them go beyond. because beyond risk... welcome to the neighborhood, guys. there is reward. ♪ ♪ beyond work and life... who else could he be? there is the moment. beyond technology... there is human ingenuity. ♪ ♪ every day, comcast business is helping businesses go beyond the expected, to do the extraordinary. take your business beyond. [ theme music plays ] >> so, which of these celebrities is known as the least likely to sign an autograph? it's tobey maguire. according to autograph magazine, the "spider-man" star ranks among the most unwilling signers. >> in 2012, juan carlos saucedo-campos inherits over 35,000 celebrity signatures and more than 1,700 photographs from his dear friend
2:49 am
jack kuster. among a tight circle of new york city autograph hounds, jack was a legend. juan carlos recruits his friend and lawyer, spiro verras, to shop the collection around to auction houses and see what it's worth. >> we would get a reasonable market value for the items. juan carlos was struggling to grapple with the vastness of it. >> to get the ball rolling, let's bring in tim luke, who owns treasure quest appraisal group in south florida. before that, he was a director of collectibles at the famed christie's auction house in new york. 35,000 autographs in a collection, is that a stalker or an autograph hound? >> well, it borders on hoarder almost, but it actually is a passion, and like insanity is on the edge of genius, it's that kind of same thing with a collection this large. the other thing that i love about this is that jack got all of these signatures.
2:50 am
the provenance is so important because there are a lot of fakes that are in the marketplace. >> now, this blew my mind, alfred hitchcock, the photo, but also that he would draw his profile! >> also adds to the value because the doodle is something. it's his profile. that became very iconic to alfred hitchcock. >> so, james dean, this is a very early, early photograph, isn't it? >> this is great, and this becomes a whole nother category when you look at james dean and also bruce lee because they both died unexpectedly early. so you have limited number of these signatures out there. the rarer is bruce lee because we also have a doodle from his character from the films. >> ah, norma jean. >> [ chuckles ] >> tell me about these early pictures of marilyn monroe. >> the early photos, this is really great. very desirable to any monroe collector. >> tim figures the james dean autograph could fetch up to $4,000 at auction.
2:51 am
bruce lee, $5,000. and the marilyn monroe, $6,000. if these are some of the gold nuggets, what's the whole collection worth? what kind of numbers are we talking about? give me a ballpark. >> i would say for insurance purposes, this is a million-dollar collection, easily, because of the condition. >> in tim's opinion, it might have been worth even more. >> there's a lot of variables that go into this. let's take a look at the elvis photograph, for example. you see it says "to jack"? >> yes. >> well, because it says "to jack," that's limiting the market because is jamie going to be interested in something that says "to jack"? i'd rather just have a regular signature. so, with the "to jack" on it, you're looking at the $800 to $1,200 price range. >> i contacted several of the largest auction houses that deal in autographs. one suggested they will put together a book to honor jack kuster and market the
2:52 am
product as the jack kuster collection. juan carlos asked me, does this mean that people would be able to buy particular items out of the collection from this catalog? i said yes. >> the heir will have to think about that. so, you have full control over all this. >> a hundred percent. aren't i lucky? >> you are, but what's next? juan carlos's big decision. >> jamie, this is what i want to show you. would you do the honors? that's next. [ gasps ] what's your strange inheritance story? we'd love to tell it. send me an e-mail, or go to our website, ♪ what's going on up here? can't see what it is yet. what is that? that's a blazer? that's a chevy blazer? aww, this is dope. this thing is beautiful. i love the lights. oh man, it's got a mean face on it. it looks like a piece of candy. look at the interior. this is nice. this is my sexy mom car.
2:53 am
i would feel like a cool dad. it's just really chic. i love this thing. it's gorgeous. i would pull up in this in a heartbeat. i want one of these. that is sharp. the all-new chevy blazer. speaks for itself. i don't know who they got to design this but give them a cookie and a star.
2:54 am
department of the social security administration. the reason of this call is to inform you that your social security number has been suspended for suspicion of illegal activity. if you do not contact us immediately, your account will be deactivated. for more information about this case file, press 1 or call immediately our department number 326 -- this is a scam! thieves are misusing the social security administration's authority in phone schemes to trick you into giving them money or personal information. they state there is a problem with your social security number or account. they claim there has been suspicious or fraudulent activity and you could be arrested or face other legal action. they even spoof ssa's main customer service telephone number on caller id. don't believe them. don't provide any information. ssa employees will never threaten you for information or promise benefits in exchange for information. in those cases, the call is fraudulent. just hang up. if you suspect you've been contacted by an ssa scammer, call the social security fraud hotline at 1-800-269-0271
2:55 am
to a child battling a wish can feel like a dream. but it's so much more. wishes are an important part of medical treatment. a chance for kids to see themselves differently. wishes can give kids the strength to fight. to get better. to grow up. where there's a wish, there's a way. >> now back to "strange inheritance." >> it's 2015 in tampa, florida. juan carlos saucedo-campos has inherited a collection of photos and autographs from his beloved friend, jack kuster.
2:56 am
it turns out that they could be worth a million dollars -- but to get the highest price at auction, he'd have to split them up. as the offers come in, juan carlos thinks it over -- thinks about the money and about dearly departed jack. his decision? >> i'm in no position to destroy this phenomenal legacy that my dear friend jack left to me. i want to keep it intact. >> but if he won't sell, will the money be there tomorrow? or will it fade away like those golden-era screen stars jack adored? you know, ten years from now, some of these autographs won't be as relevant as they are right now. timing is really an issue. will he ever feel like he missed an opportunity? >> i don't know. it's something that i've actually thought about quite a bit. >> i'm gonna keep it safe and in great condition, as it was left to me. maybe in the future, i might
2:57 am
change my mind. i don't know, but for the time being, i like to keep it close and admire it. every time i see one signature, i think about jack. >> it seems like you put in a lot of hours to try to make some opportunity happen for him. did you feel disappointed? >> not at all. not at all. it's a rare person who chooses sentiment over money. >> so, instead of collecting a check, juan carlos immerses himself in the painstaking task of archiving the autographs and transferring -- by hand -- the hundreds more photos from film slides to digital archive. >> jamie, this is what i want to show you. would you do the honors? >> today, juan carlos has invited tim luke and me to see the culmination of that effort... what? ...the crown jewels of jack kuster's collection, on display for the very first time. i cannot believe this.
2:58 am
hollywood glamour everywhere? hello! >> i have categorized by the vintage actors on this wall and the vintage actress on this wall over here. >> wow, hotties over here and babes over here. i like it. jack met all of these people face-to-face? >> he saw them face-to-face, and they all handed their signature to jack. on this part of the gallery, i have all these boxes full of signatures. >> latin tv hosts, mexican stars, soaps. >> british actresses, ballet and dance. >> the forties, the fifties, the sixties, you name it, i have them all. >> oh, my god. >> what do you think that jack would say if he saw this room? >> i can almost see his face right now. he will be absolutely thrilled to see what i've done with his
2:59 am
collection, exactly what he wanted me to. >> it's beautiful. >> well, my collection would not be complete if i don't have -- >> exactly. >> what's a jamie colby going for nowadays? >> especially with this provenance, it's priceless. >> it's not every day that someone asks for my autograph. i feel like you felt the first time jack asked you for yours. >> oh, well, it's a pleasure. >> a collection that took a lifetime to acquire, now preserved for another lifetime, perhaps, thanks to juan carlos's admiration for his cherished friend. pop star taylor swift recently observed that with the advent of smartphones and front-facing cameras, no one even asks for her autograph anymore. all these kids today want is a selfie. oh, hey. >> hi, are you jamie colby? >> yes. what's your name? >> taylor. would you mind taking a selfie with me? >> i would love to take a selfie with you, taylor.
3:00 am
i'm jamie colby for "strange inheritance." and remember, you can't take it with you. ♪ thank you for being with us tonight. i'm gregg jarrett, trish will be back on tuesday. maria: happy memorial day weekend everybody. welcome to the program that analyzes the week that wasn't helps position you for the week ahead. i am maria a few moments my special guest is here, the founder and ceo of zola. it is the beginning of wedding season. even if the economy continues to improve they say interest rates will likely remain unchanged for the foreseeable future. minutes from the may reveal this week that the federal reserve is committed to a quote


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on