Posted: Sep 15, 2012 3:22 PM
ELIZABETHTOWN, Ky. (AP) - The couple jumped in their car around 2 a.m. Thursday and drove from St. Louis to Elizabethtown to peruse the aisles of the Schmidt Museum of Coca-Cola Memorabilia, where the collection is shrinking after two high-profile auctions.
The third auction is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday and features around 587 Coca-Cola collectibles for bid. The museum store also was open this week offering direct purchase of Coke items.
Rob Arthur and girlfriend Mikki Spangler were carefully examining the condition of items they found interesting Thursday afternoon while Spangler jotted down auction numbers so they knew what to bid on. They planned to return home Thursday and take part in an online auction but wanted to review items in person so they know they're getting a good deal, should they win anything. Arthur said it is easy after the sale is final to be disappointed by a picture on a computer screen.
Spangler said she has been collecting Coca-Cola memorabilia since she was 13 and remembers visiting the Schmidt family's museum as a child.
"I've been to the old museum," she said, referring to its former location at the former Coca-Cola bottling facility. "My dad brought me down."
She has traveled to other museums, such as the World of Coca-Cola museum in Atlanta but the Schmidt museum's auction has created an intimate moment for collectors who were advised to look but not touch in the past. To be able to wrap her hands around items she could only stare at as a child is significant, she said.