Mid-America News - APRIL 2020




Soulis Auctions to sell important
militaria collection

The Jack Angolia militaria collection includes a selection of good quality bomber jackets as well as personal effects of particular service people who tell their stories. (photos courtesy Dirk Soulis Auctions)

The collection of Jack Angolia, one of the foremost experts on militaria in the United States, will go up for sale later this month at Dirk Soulis Auctions. Dates of the sale are April 17-18, at the Soulis Auction facility in Lone Jack.

“Going up for sale are more than 500 lots of uniforms, firearms headgear and complete Veteran Service Archive groupings from this legendary collection of WWII U.S. military items,” said Dirk Soulis. “The vast majority of the material being offered was acquired directly from veterans or their families,” he added.

“Included are service history collections for Admiral John S. McCain, father of the late senator, and Tuskegee Airman William S. Powell Jr. In addition, items of various notable servicemen and hundreds of regular guys from all branches of the military,” Soulis said.

Most collectors of militaria will recognize Angolia’s name from the more than 40 books he has authored on various aspects of militaria. A collector of militaria since 1944, he doesn’t regard himself a dealer, but rather, a devout collector who prefers to trade rather than sell duplicate items.

And in the current Coronavirus situation, Soulis emphasized that prospective buyers will, as usual, be able to bid on items live and online, noting that his auction is the “oldest click and mortar auction gallery” in the area. “

In early March we implemented COVID-19 auction procedures,” Soulis said. “For those who prefer to bid from home during this temporary situation, we’ve added numerous features that will make participating in these events easy and economical.”

If in the past you have attended an auction in person, send an email to Jody@SoulisAuctions.com for information on special bidding options intended to replicate the in-house bidding experience and sale terms while bidding from home.

“We’re not just setting out a bunch of wipes and saying everything is fine. But, if you should stay home, please do and take advantage of our enhanced features if you have symptoms. We want to see you back here when this blows over,” Soulis said.

Soulis Auctions is located at 529 W. Lee’s Summit Rd. in Lone Jack. View the collection at www.dirksoulisauctions.com.



Excelsior Springs evokes the Roaring ‘20s in Gatsby Days

Each spring, Excelsior Springs travels back in time to its golden age, the Roaring ’20s. Gatsby Days is a celebration that explores the culture and history of the early 20th century with live music, original poetry, art, vintage cars and fashions. The annual festival is named for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel The Great Gatsby, a famous story of the Gilded Age of the 1920s. The fun begins April 29 and runs through May 3.

Take a tour of the historic Elms Hotel led by “Al Capone,” Thursday, 6:30 p.m. and Saturday, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Tickets are $10 adults; $5 students. Meet in the lobby at The Elms 10 minutes prior to your tour departure time.

The Gatsby Days kickoff event features the Excelsior Springs High School Jazz Band plus a special set from an adult jazz group. If you like to dance to jazz, bring your dancing shoes as there will be a small dance area.

This is a joint fundraiser between the Cultural Guild and the school bands. Half of the proceeds go to the school band program. Tickets are $10 adults; $5 students.

On Saturday, May 2, “Autos Through the Decades” will be in the circle drive west of the Hall of Waters and down Spring Street from 10 a.m. through 4 p.m. Judging is at 11 a.m.

Dresses and gentlemen’s attire will be modeled during the fashion show at Paradise Playhouse. Ragtime and jazz music will be playing in downtown Excelsior Springs on Friday and Saturday. Visit the merchants in downtown Excelsior Springs during Gatsby Days to see their decorated windows.

Anyone interested in participating as a volunteer should call 816-679-4443 or 816-656-1340.


Back to the top


Shawnee Antique Mall still a favorite of collectors

Jeff Viard owns the Shawnee Antique Mall and Amy Brosseit runs it.
(photo by Leigh Elmore)

For many collectors and pickers in the greater Kansas City area, the Shawnee Antique Mall, is a must-shop stop in their quests for “that special something” that will enhance a collection.

“We are known as a mall that focuses on antiques and collectibles,” said owner Jeff Viard, who has owned the mall for the last six years, although the mall itself has been in business for 30 years, hence its reputation among collectors.

“We are not what you would call a decorator store,” he said, noting that most antique malls have established their own “characters.”

Viard came to the antique and vintage trade by necessity. He had been laid off as a builder, so he rented a booth at Shawnee Antique Mall, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Viard’s personal tastes tend toward model trains and antique toys. A G-scale model steam engine and cars, which once belonged to his late brother, stands above the check-out counter. Viard assembles a model train layout during the Christmas season.

Despite the ups and downs of the antique trade on a national basis, Viard maintains that his business has been steady, and the mall has a good base of regular customers.
“We have 15,000 square feet of space and more than 100 vendors,” he said.

“Of course, I’m always happy to see new people come in, and that happens every day,” he said. “I have strived to get more young people into the store and more men as well.” Now guys are some of his regular drop-ins.

Some of those regulars gravitate to the back of the store where Will and Renee Huff operate Jeweled Legacy, specializing in vintage, antique and collectible jewelry. The Huffs have operated in Shawnee Antique Mall for nine years, thus, pre-dating the current mall owner.

“We offer restoration and repair services,” Will Huff said. “We have some treasures dating back to the 1600s. I love jewelry with stories.”

Another service unique to Shawnee Antique Mall is professional glass and crystal repair by Ray Williams. He will pick up items weekly at the mall and call customers with free estimates.
But day in and day out it’s the collectors to whom Viard and his dealers are appealing. That’s a business strategy that’s working.

Shawnee Antique Mall, 7410 Neiman, Shawnee, KS, 913-499-7699.



White Cloud to host its 100th flea market
since 1970

Sometimes around White Cloud, KS, the clouds are actually pink, but it doesn’t matter when the flea market comes to town twice a year. (photo courtesy White Cloud F.M.)

The White Cloud Flea Market was born when the Ma-Hush-Kah Historical Society figured out a new way to raise funds for the society. The first flea market was held May 2, 1970, with 24 spaces sold for $10 each. The next show is set for May 3, 2020. The White Cloud Flea Market is always held the first Sunday in May and Labor Day weekend on Main Street in White Cloud.

Organizers decided to have a second show on Sept. 20, 1970. The second show they estimated they had around 2,000 people in attendance, dwarfing the regular population of White Cloud.
The original shows were held for just one day starting before daylight and ending when the last person left. Eventually the White Cloud Flea Market grew to a three-day show.

As the show grew, it became too much for the historical society and the management was turned over to the American Legion. Finally, the show is now sponsored by the City of White Cloud.
There is currently only one vendor who has been set up every show: Charles Messner, the current flea market manager. Charles’ parents, Mary and Bob Messner, were vendors at the first show. Charles attend the shows, helping his parents until 1997 when his mother passed away. He continues to set up in the same spaces that they occupied.

“You never know what you will find at the flea market from the homemade pies at the American Legion hall to furniture from the 1930s and everything in between. New vendors are always welcome,” Messner said.

For more information contact Messner at 402-245-5367.



Back to the top



Bargain Buyway is 250 miles of Nebraska
treasure hunting

Bargain Buyway is coming to Northeast Nebraska for the 14th Annual “ultimate road trip,” April 24-26. There are 32 towns along the 250-mile loop. Bargain Buyway is an opportunity to entice people and tourists to the area for a weekend of treasure hunting and sightseeing.

Vendors and businesses in each town will have special sales events such as rummage sales of antiques, old machinery, tools, equipment and food fair; anything new, used, cherished and abused.

“We are encouraging everyone along the route—even in the rural areas—to clean out their closets, the garages, even the shelter belts and sell it!” said Denise Fisher, an organizer. “It basically comes down to if you have something to sell or a service to offer, to sell it along the Bargain Buyway!”

Shoppers should look for books, craft items, woodworking, rugs, quilts, scrapbooking, food, food items, cars, parts and machinery.“ And we not only have beautiful country—we have very talented people,” Fisher said.

The Nebraska towns included on the Buyway are Royal, Orchard, Page, Inman, O’Neill, Emmet, Atkinson, Butte, Spencer, Bristow, Lynch, Monowi, Verdel, Niobrara, Verdigre, Winnetoon, Brunswick, Plainview, Neligh, Clearwater, Stuart, Bassett, Creighton, Ewing, Long Pine, Ainsworth, Springview, Burton, Mills, Naper, Newport and Chambers.

For more information, contact Paul and Denise Fisher at 402-583-0092 or Gary and Diane Ober at 402-893-2880.


Back to the top

Submissions wanted!

Tell us what?s happening in your area. Our readers want to know. Discover Vintage America welcomes news on festivals, antique and craft shows, historical related events, art sows, shop/mall anniversaries and new openings, and ownership changes, and events that attract folks to the rich history of America. Press releaes and photos are welcome. Email editor@discoverypub.com, or find us on Facebook.