Ever watch the television show 'American Pickers'? Ever dream of that one big prop score from the world of Twin Peaks? Well, Saturday, October 17th, 2015 on Vashon Island in Washington State was certainly the place to be. Hastily put together, under advertised and under attended...well, let's start at the beginning.
My friend The Woodsman tipped me off about the Craigslist ad. Estate sale? Twin Peaks props auction? Huh? Naturally suspicious, I made the three hour drive to the location on Saturday. The sale and auction was running on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. I was tempted to go on the final day, but as it turned out, attending on Saturday was indeed fortuitous.
Still, what was this all about? How did a bunch of Twin Peaks props end up here? Who's estate was this? Of course, we weren't too far from the filming location of The Pilot and Fire Walk With Me. Intriguing. Accessible only by ferry, I had a rough idea where it was due to the ad, helped by the signs along the way mentioning Twin Peaks in uncomfortably large letters (can't we just keep this a secret?) I ended up at the waterfront property and 115 year old house.
More than a few cars were parked outside which was certainly to be expected Saturday on an island that is no stranger to tourists. Fine. After all, I had until Sunday before the auction. Right? Walking up the driveway I noticed that the detached garage was open. I peeked in only to be staring at what was clearly the mail box structure from behind the desk at The Great Northern Hotel. Chills. I walked to the house in what could only be described as an expedited fashion.
Inside the musty smelling house I quickly detected that the Twin Peaks items were mostly confined to the dining room area. Yep, the Craigslist ad was true. There it was. I was standing directly in front of the original neon RR sign from the series and Fire Walk With Me. Are you kidding me? A bit dusty but with the neon completely intact, I couldn't help but feel I just landed in a temporary museum that was soon to disappear like one of Agent Cooper's concerning dreams.
I immediately inquired about who owned the house. My ears slightly burned as I heard the name. Patricia Norris. Yes, the same Patricia Norris who was the production and costume designer on Twin Peaks and was a longtime collaborator with Lynch including The Elephant Man, Wild at Heart, Lost Highway, The Straight Story and others. ANY doubts I had about the authenticity of the items on display went out the window.
Time to get busy. Having accepted the fact that I was going to have to drive up again the next day to complete the auction, it was then that I looked at the fine print of the flyers in the house. The estate sale would end on Sunday, but the Twin Peaks silent auction would end tonight! Saturday, not Sunday! Suddenly, my instinct to drive up Saturday seemed like a very good idea indeed. I later heard people showed up on Sunday. Ouch. I'm not going to go into details about who scored what and what the prices were etc. Suffice it to say that few people bid and most items sold as indeed did the RR sign. ("That belongs in a museum" I can hear sullen fans sob!) Or maybe it belongs in Lynch's house? After all, we heard that David called himself asking about the sign one day after the auction. So don't worry if you missed this most amazing event. It can happen to the best of us.
Not all items auctioned are pictured here but they will eventually be added to our sister site Twin Peaks Props.
Special thanks to The Woodsman, Mister Bruce and the friendly folks at the sale.