It was such a fun trip. It all came about because of the Passions Auction. Way back in April, after the sale, I read a comment on a message board about "the stuff they kept back for the auction in August." But I didn't know for sure that was true or even when it would be. Then on July 17, they put out a news release about the auction and I saw it on one of the message boards shortly after that. I knew it was pretty close then, and we had just been on vacation. I figured airline tickets would be sky high too. It was just some weird moment the following week, when I read about the auction again, that I just went to Travelocity to see what the tickets would cost. And when I saw $175 plus tax I was like, whoa!! So I called my mom to see if she wanted to go because she had said something about the Celebs Go Ape event last year. She only likes short vacations too and hadn't been anywhere yet this year. So I called her and she wanted to go. It was the first vacation we had ever been on alone together. It was a lot of fun.
We flew out on Friday and stayed in Universal City near Universal Studios and CityWalk. I knew the area and the hotel and liked it there, and I wanted to take Mom to Citywalk so I thought that would be a cool place to stay. She had to brave the freeways though, but she did a valiant job as I helped navigate with the HertzNeverLost GPS system. We ate at Buca di Beppo's there, which I love. She loved it too. And then we walked around and saw all the sights there. We even got a caricature of us done. The guy put us in gowns and had us holding Oscars. It was such a good drawing!
We arrived at the auction place on Saturday morning around 9:30. It was in El Segundo. There is a huge hill on up the road from it that reminded me of San Francisco. We were able to park around the corner and not on that huge hill. They had a Passions poster up by the doorway and a huge banner above the door announcing the auction. They had cones too, I believe they were purple ones, with "Passions" written on them. And there was a red carpet leading up the steps too. We thought that was cool. Mom wanted my picture on the red carpet, so we both posed on it.
The door was open, and to our left we could see the auction room set up with wooden chairs. There was a screen in there. There were two aisles of chairs, with 6 in a row, I believe...I didn't count the rows but there were maybe seven. We didn't go in that room right away. We went on to the right as we entered the place, where there were people sitting behind a table. They checked us in. I had pre-registered us to bid. We had to give them our driver's licenses to keep so we wouldn't run off with our stuff. Mom wasn't too keen on that. But that was kind of weird too because I remember paying before I picked up my stuff anyway.
Then we went on around the hallway. That's where we came to the first of the Passions props, in cases. All along the back of the display cases were the costumes, hanging on racks. They would find an outfit someone was interested in and get it down and show them. One of the first props I saw relating to Eve was a love letter from TC to her. Ugh. Why couldn't they have had Julian write her a letter, you know? I would have paid so much for something like that!! So we looked through the cases and I located some of the props I wanted, like her coroner's certificate and her I.D. badge, and I saw her doctor's kit too. It was bigger than I thought it would be. I had my eye on all of them. LOL. Then we went around the corner to a somewhat larger room with more display cases and Tabitha's antique furniture, her bicycle, the juke box, and most of the larger props. The angel statue of the little girl was there. It was really big. And a street sign that pointed the way to different places, like the Book Cafe and Lighthouse Park. I believe it had four place names on it. Other signs were along the wall as you entered the first prop room. We saw the Harmony sign and the goodbye sign, etc.
Mom and I both admired Tabitha's game table. It was a really nice-looking table. We then went back and asked to see a few of the clothing items, one of Eve's nightgowns, her robe, her lab coat and some scrubs I had my eye on. Then we went back to see the larger props again. I had my papers in my hands of a detailed list of the items pwtala had PMed me in a list, along with their lot number. I told Mom I needed to mark the ones I was planning on bidding on. So she found me a pen to do that, and right after I did that, I happened to look down the other side of the prop display and I couldn't believe it. I told Mom that I think Tracey's down there. Of course I knew it was her but I said "I think." I could hear her talking too as she looked at the items. I remember her asking if this was all the items they had on display. People were talking to her too.
She came around and went back into a corner to check something, maybe her list of items or her cell phone, I don't know, and I approached her as she was looking down. I said, "Hi, Miss Tracey" or something like that, and she said "Hi" as she raised her eyes. And then there was a look of recognition in them as she saw it was me, and she said, "Oh, hi!" as she reached to give me a hug. She asked, "Did you come all the way out here for this?" And I told her I came with my mom for a little vacation too and that she was managing the freeways for me. And then Mom came over for a hug and I introduced them. Tracey was dressed in a white tank top and tan skirt, like the outfit she wore on set when I came for a visit. She looked so cute. She had white tennis shoes on and was wearing sunglasses. She had her hair parted on the side and pulled back in a ponytail. It still looked highlighted like it had been at the end of the show. She was
Tracey asked if I saw her message and then she said, "Oh of course you didn't, because you're out here." And I asked her what message, LOL. And she said she left a message on the board about a chat. I asked if she left it the night before and explained I was having some problems with the wireless service at the hotel and she said no, she had just left it before she came there. I thought that was so cool she wanted to have a chat. I told her a few people had asked me about one and I thanked her for her message. I think she asked me what I hoped to get and I showed her the things I had marked on my paper and told her they were all her things. I told her I wished they had some framed pictures of Evian like they did Ethan and Theresa. How I would have loved to have had a picture of them like that. But they only had photos like that of ET and Endora, mainly. Tracey said that they gave them envelopes with tons of pictures in them before the taping ended. I think I mentioned her DVDs she rescued then too. I told her people on the net were saying, "Go Tracey!" that she had saved them. I said we were glad she has them and she smiled.
Tracey went on back to see the rest of the props we had already seen and told us she would catch us again later on. I think she made a phone call too. We saw someone go up to her to take a picture. Others, I could tell, wanted to take one too. Mom and I had our cameras with us and she told me to go get a picture if I wanted one. I had thought about waiting but then I realized this would be the best time, so I went up and asked her and we took one and Mom did then with her too. When I took mine with her, I remember looking up at her afterwards and telling her she looked great, so thin and beautiful. And I remember putting my open hand against the bottom of her ponytail and telling her her hair was so beautiful like that. She smiled. (No, I didn't yank on her ponytail, as rumor might have it! LOL). She was very gracious with everyone who wanted to meet her and get a picture snapped. That was really sweet because this wasn't a fan event and she wasn't obligated to do any of that for us, but like always, she was so gracious with us fans.
Then Mom and I went to get a seat in the auction room. It was probably around 10:15 or so then. They were playing music and had some footage of the show's highlights playing. I remember seeing Julian with dark hair in one and Eve pointing a gun at Ivy. Mom and I spent most of that time talking though, and checking the long list of items. There were 850 on the list, and when I had called the auction place earlier in the week asking how long it would probably last, I was expecting to hear "Four hours" or something like that. They said eight!! LOL. I bet it went even longer than that. There were two screens that showed a picture of each item. Some of the tops were on rather revealing mannequins, and the announcer made some little quips about wanting to take the mannequin home. The announcer was seated near the screen on the left. The auctioneer stood near him, in the center. A table along the front had the man watching the Internet bids and the guy running the slide show of items. A table along the right held the phones and four people manning them, for the phone bids. I didn't realize the whole thing was televised live on the auction site. The auctioneer let us know that they would go below the minimum bid if no one made the $50 bid ahead of time. And they often did.
Tracey came in and stood in the back of the room for a little while, talking to someone. Then she left out the front door, maybe to go to her car. She later returned and sat in a chair against the back wall, right behind me. That was pretty cool because during the auction I was able to turn around and chat a little. I heard the man beside Tracey talking about how he wanted her medical bag. He may have said for his dad, I am not sure. She told him there might still be stuff in it. I asked her if it was one she carried, telling her about the description of it in on ebay as having been in Alistair's room. She said there were two medical bags they used normally so this was definitely one she carried then.
I had set my sights on some smaller things anyway, some things that would be easier to take back and display too. But I remember asking her about the baby booties, what happened to them, and she said she thought she remembered seeing them at the sale. I told her we didn't have enough notice about the sale but that when I heard about this and saw the cheap airline tickets, we were here!
When Eve's bloody lab coat came up for bid (it was the 20th item) my mom kind of nudged me to see if I wanted it and I said, "I don't want that, with all the blood" and told her I was waiting on a later lab coat of hers. But I should have gotten it. It went for just $20, so I probably could have had it for $30. And sadly, it was the only item there with something of both Eve and Julian's...his blood! LOL. When it went Tracey said she thought I would have gotten that and I said it would have been good for Halloween! And she chuckled.
Later, when TC's love letter to Eve came up, I told her I wasn't bidding on that. She laughed. When the DVD came up that TC had made for Eve, she wasn't sure what that was from and I told her I thought it was from the scenes in her office when he was trying to get her back...that slide show they had played there. She said normally when they played something like that, it was done later, added in, and that only the cover was real. But she said maybe this one was real since they were auctioning it. I asked about the books too...were they like that and she said oh yeah. That the cover might say it's a book of spells or whatever, and inside, it's Little Women.
When Eve's Georgetown Medical degree came up, I turned around and asked Tracey if she wanted that but she said no, you go ahead. I told her I was waiting on her coroner's certificate. I just thought it looked better, I guess. When it was on the block and I won that bid for $40, she gave me a pat on the back in congratulations. I remember telling her that they had Eve's middle name on that certificate, we had noticed, and that it was Jonna. She was surprised at that too. There were some times someone would bid and the guy would say someone way in the back was, and I was never sure if it was Tracey or the guy next to her. He bid on a lot of things. I remember I had thought she might be the one bidding on the juke box but turned around and saw him hold up his number kind of subtley on his lap. I am not sure if he got the juke box, but he did get other things, including her medical bag, for $150, and he asked if she'd sign it for him and she said yes and told him how long she'd be there.
I know for sure of one thing she bid on...Miguel's motorcycle! It was maybe at $700 or $800 when I realized Tracey was bidding for it. She won it for $1,000. It was a Yamaha. It was only used in those first shows so I am sure it is worth much more than that. I turned around and asked her if she rides and she said, "No!" LOL. But it was a good deal. There was another time I thought she may have been bidding on something too but gave up, but I am not sure if it was her or not. I remember when she won the motorcycle, they asked for her number and it was 116. I was 108.
I remember different times in the auction, when the bloody lab coat came up for bid and when Tracey was bidding, etc., the young fans toward the front would turn around and grin at her. It was such a polite atmosphere and everyone was so friendly and happy. The props people knew Tracey was there, but the guy reading all the item descriptions and the auctioneer obviously had no clue, by some of the things they said, like when her name was read for an item and one of them asked if she was on Family Ties and people said no, that that was Tracey Gold and he said oh, so there isn't a duplicate. And someone near me said, "Yeah, there is a duplicate" soflty...meaning the fashion Tracey Ross or Tracee Ellis Ross, probably. Of course, there is only one Tracey Ross to us anyway!!
The next item I bid on and won was her purple nightgown. It went for $100. Someone on the net, I think, really wanted it too. I told Tracey I had to have that...but mentioned I couldn't wear it. She said I could if I cut it off some and I said if I lose 20 pounds and cut it off a lot, maybe. The next item up, my mother surprised me by bidding. It was the Crane Industries sign. She won it for $90 and said, "Merry Christmas" to me. Awww. We later found out the sign was like 5 feet long, LOL. She had to ship it back. It's such a cool sign though. I remember turning around and lamenting to Tracey that there just weren't any Julian items there...just an overcoat and a suit. (i.e. heavy items, LOL). I so wish they had had something small of his to get too. I also pointed out that that the costume behind the auctioneer that was being billed as the Cowardly Lion costume wasn't that at all. And she said no, that wasn't the one Julian wore. She asked what it was from, and I said that it was the costume "Cat Boy" had worn...Esme's friend Pete. (Pwtala had remembered that when we had tried to place it after seeing it on the colorful brochure they had sent all of the fan club members about the auction). I remember Tracey tapping me on the shoulder once when they had something of Tabitha's up to comment about it too. It was so cool being able to talk to her like that!
Some key items I remember for sale were the juke box, which went for $2,500, and Tabitha's magic bowl, which went for $2,250. The "Goodbye to Harmony" sign at the end sold for $2,000, I read later. A lot of the clothes went pretty cheap. I remember one of Little Ethan's nice sweaters sold for only $5 and some things for just 10. But most went for at least the $20 minimum bid the auctioneer would usually start at for clothes. Many went for $50 and there were some of Tabitha's expensive outfits that went for a lot. But the little things that netted a lot were things with names on them...like the tabloid papers and stuff, or things key to a romance, like an ET letter. Timmy's martimmy glasses went for a lot, as did his shaker, I think. Mom had said those things would have been something she'd have liked to have if she had a bar, that they were so unique. The signs went for a lot too. Anything with a name, like Eve's lab coat and I.D. They went for more than Sam's police uniform, I saw. But some things people got for a steal, like Sam's tuxedo and some of those nice outfits and jewelry that went with it. There were some great bargains there to be had.
Later on that day, I won Eve's smoky purplish robe she had worn for the drunken scenes and the Oblivion kiss. I think it went for $40. Tracey wasn't in there for that bid. I went back to use the restroom a little later and saw her coming out. I told her what I had won and she said she never realized Eve had had so many nightgowns. I told her I probably bought them because of the color and that they were so lightweight too! I also loved them for what was shot in them though...the "Keep the Bed Warm" scene and that hot Oblivion kiss. And I think those drunken scenes Tracey shot in that smoky purple robe were some of her best scenes ever.
Tracey told me she was getting ready to leave and I think I got another hug. We talked more about her DVDs back there...she told me the story of how she had acquired them. She had been hurriedly copying some of them she had wanted at the end of the show and a producer came in and just told her to take them all. She couldn't believe it. But she gladly carried them to her car in different loads. There were a whole bunch of them. I asked her if they were all on separate DVDs and she said yes, and that she had a guide to go with it that told her a synopsis of each episode. Whoa! She said she was trying to find something to display them in...a cabinet of some sort, I think, that would fit them right. I asked her if they were all in order and she said they were before she put them in her car. I told her I had ordered some DVDs from a guy on the net to make clips of for ED and she asked what I had paid for them. She thought I had gotten a good deal on them but told me not to order anymore, that she had them all. I told her wow...because there were some he didn't have that I'd love to have clips of for the site. She told me we had an "in" here and hinted she could get me what I wanted for ED and I was so thrilled about that. She is just so sweet!! We talked about the chat too. I told her how we had lost our chat room when the Blue Note went down but that I had created another but we really haven't used it yet. We talked a little about the logistics of the chat. Then she had to go and we shared a last hug. She told me she would talk to me soon in the chat. I remember once again saying how beautiful she looked, and I told her to take care. It was so great to get to see her again!!!
It was probably 1:30 when Tracey left. Mom and I stayed another two hours. I bought Eve's rooftop outfit, the pink top and tan pants for $30. I wasn't planning on buying that really, but I liked the top and it went cheap. I later bid against someone on the net for Eve's photo I.D. that she wore at the hospital. I wanted that so badly. It went high...I got it for $175. LOL. The very next item up was her lab coat, the non-bloody one. I had looked at it earlier and there was a small pink stain on it but it had her name on it so I so wanted it. The auctioneer even looked back at me and asked who had won the photo I.D. and said I could pin it on there. And then, instead of asking for the normal $20 opening bid, he saw me raise my card and asked for a $500 one. But he was joking. I bid against someone again on the net, I think it was probably the same person, because they went just as high as before. They got it for $150. I decided to let it go because I had just paid $175 for her I.D. and I knew a pair of scrubs were coming that I had wanted too and I could pin the I.D. on there. Granted, they didn't have her name on them though. What I didn't realize then was there was another lab coat with scrub bottoms too that went at the tail end of the sale for $60, after I left. Ugh, ugh, ugh. I wish I had done a phone in bid or something for it.
I won Tracey's scrubs later on for $20, I think. That was great! Mom and I left the auction room soon after that. They were only about halfway through, and it was already 3:30. I figure it lasted till 8:30, probably. There were other things I wish I could have gotten, like Tabitha's game table, but I didn't really want to fool with the shipping. If I would have lived out there, I so would have gotten it. I am just glad I took my large suitcase so I had room for everything I bought.
Mom checked out first and then I went back and joined her to get my stuff. I ended up spending more than I had planned, but awww well, as the guy said, prop items hold their value. And anyway, these are priceless to me! When I went back to get the items, one of the men there asked another, "Is she still here?" when he got out my coroner's certificate. I knew he meant Tracey. The other guy said no, and he said awww, you could have had her sign this for you. And I said she's already gone. Someday, if I ever see her again, I may have her sign her little photo I.D. because the back has a place for that. And then I can put it in a plastic protector or get it laminated even. They gave me a garment bag for all of my clothing, which was very nice. And they had certificates of authenticity for each thing we bought. We left the auction place very happy. I knew I'd have the best chance to acquire things in person and I wanted to see everything with my own eyes too, one last time, and be at Passions' final event. But it was seeing Tracey there that made my day so extra special. I am so glad I got to see her again!!
Mom and I then went and ate dinner at the Chart House, which is my favorite restaurant out there. We both had salmon. And then we headed up the coast to the Santa Monica Pier. She loved the pier. She had looked at it online and learned about the carousel there. We rode it and I went out on the beach for a moment. We saw the sunset, which was beautiful, and rode the Ferris wheel in the dark then. That was neat. She bought herself a souvenir Santa Monica shirt too. Then we headed back to the hotel. We left early the next morning. What a wonderful trip it was!
I showed Mike my items as soon as I got home. He hung the garment bag up on a hook outside our closet for now so I could see what I won. That was sweet. I plan to wear the scrubs sometime we have dress-up day at school. They should fit if I pull up and fold the waistband down a few times, I figure. But most of the stuff I will keep as souvenirs only, I am sure. Though I can see myself trying on that robe of hers. Maybe I should try on some of the items I won and have Mike take pictures.