EATONTON - Someone’s going home with a stuffed armadillo this weekend.
And an Elvis tie, a chandelier decorated with pistols and a bunch of kitchen, laundry and bathroom doo-dads.
“There’s so much stuff piled up in there,” said Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills, referring to the massive sale and auction of Tex and Diane McIver’s ranch and all its contents. “Diane had every kind of little cowboy knickknack you ever cared about seeing all over the house. When she saw something she liked, she bought it.”
Sills knew the McIvers for years before Tex went to prison for killing Diane (accidentally, his lawyers argued without success), making this weekend’s event a professional and personal challenge. Auction firms handling the transactions have hired off-duty deputies for security and crowd control and Sills is serving in the unpaid, unofficial role of logistics consultant.
“I told them to sell the tractor last,” he said. They might need it to pull cars out of the mud given the rain pounding his county at the moment. “I don’t want a traffic problem.”
Lou Dempsey’s firm is handling the real estate auction (he expects the spread to fetch somewhere from the high $800s to more than $1 million) and Robert Ahlers’ firm is handling the tag sale of odds and ends and auction of finer items. Neither spent too much time focusing on why the home and everything in it are up for grabs.
“It’s really a sad situation,” Sills said. “The saddest thing of all is the lawyers are going to take all the money.”
The sale is being conducted in concert with Tex’ legal team and representatives from Diane’s estate. The court will direct the proceeds.
Lots include exquisite jewelry and fine pieces of crystal, furniture and art; oddities like a fur-lined magazine rack and a few ribald collectibles; and pieces that are so personal it feels almost intrusive to peruse them. Diane’s wedding dress and party-favor bags from that happy day. A custom bottle of McIver Ranch wine. Candles burned to varying lengths, displayed around the bathtub.
And a tray of half-used bottles of perfume.
Diane McIver wore Eternity.