Osborne personal item auction begins

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NORTH LITTLE ROCK, AR – More than 1100 items belonging to late philanthropist Jennings Osborne are up for auction in a North Little Rock warehouse. For every somewhat typical item on the block, there are about a dozen others, like ventriloquist dolls, that are anything but.

“I don’t think anybody really knew that he was a ventriloquist or that he was into magic,” said Osborne’s widow, Mitzi. “He even had one done of himself. If you were at the funeral you might’ve seen it. We called it little J.O.”

The auction is bittersweet though, especially for the Osborne’s.

Said Mitzi, “we tried to give back and, you know, you just keep giving until the Good Lord stops giving to you.”

Similar sentiments could be heard from the bidders, all of whom know Jennings Osborne.

“Hopefully it will go for whatever cause the family needs it,” said Melissa Meziere.

Echoed Buddy Powers, “it’s a shame but that’s kind of the nature of the business, the auction business.”

Similarly, Robert Knighten said of Osborne, “he’s known all over, you know, worldwide. It’s a shame that this had to go down like this.”

But in true Osborne fashion, you just can’t escape the fun in bidding on a one-of-a-kind telescope, a book full of signed Britney Spears pictures, or Garth Brooks’ guitar.

“It’s kinda wild,” said Knighten. “This is one of the largest ones I’ve been to.”

Day two of the personal items auction starts Saturday morning at nine. The warehouse, located at 4545 W. Bethany Rd. in North Little Rock, opens at seven.

View the full the Osborne Auction gallery

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