I'm always on the lookout for bargains, so these two items caught my eye. First, a guaranteed conversation starter:
A Colt Army Special revolver used by East Chicago, Ind., police Capt. Timothy A. O'Neil to fatally shoot John Dillinger could be yours for what auctioneers say may be much more than their conservative $8,000 to $12,000 estimate.
The .38-caliber, 5-inch-barrel gun and its holster will be auctioned at noon July 28 -- six days after the 75th anniversary of Dillinger's fatal shooting -- at Chicago's Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, 1338 W. Lake. The new Dillinger movie, "Public Enemies," premieres in Chicago tonight and opens July 1.
Typical conversation it might start: "Say, where'd you get that old gun?" "Bought it at an auction. Belonged to the cop who killed Dillinger." "What ya pay for it?" "Oh, around 10 grand." "What a tool you are."
If you're thinking of putting a bid in, I'd make very, very sure of the gun's provenance, since a lot of tomfoolery goes on this area. A few years ago, one of "Wyatt Earp's guns" went for about $50,000 in auction, though there's considerable doubt about its history. And it seems Wyatt, in his later days in Los Angeles, had a habit of picking up guns at pawn shops and selling them as authentic Wyatt Earp guns. Good way to keep up the drinking-money supply.
And this sounds like an absolute steal:
It's a buy-one, get-one-free sale — at a cemetery, of all places. Memorial Park Cemetery on Indianapolis' far east side is offering plots at the bargain-basement price in one section of its grounds. It's not another telling sign of the recession. General Manager Mark McCronklin says it's a promotion the cemetery has run for several years around Memorial Day.
The manger says it's a "closeout sale." No kidding.