This is a bittersweet week of parting with a lot of family treasures for a couple from Strathmore, Alta.
Dan and Donna Specht are saying goodbye to more than 500 cool collectibles — connections with their Prairie past.
The Spechts have spent the past half-century snapping up John Deere memorabilia.
The collection includes many tractors, along with a wide variety of other items, such as dishes, decorations and small metal trucks that serve as piggy banks.
“Each doll has a tractor to go with it,” Donna Specht said. “We have John Deere teddy bears.”
The Spechts are now selling off the collection in an online auction run by Frank McInenly Auctions.
“It’s very impressive,” Frank McInenly Auctions’ Holly Kugler said.
“It’s not like you can just walk into a store and buy a collection like this.”
The Spechts are hoping selling all the items will bring in more than $50,000.
“I bought lots of these because ‘oh, that looks neat in our collection,’” Donna said. “And our basement got full.”
Dan had an advantage over many other collectors – he worked for John Deere for 61 years.
“I started in 1953,” Dan said.
“I was 13 years old – worked weekends.”
Building the collection became part of family life.
“Donna didn’t want flowers for her birthday, she wanted a John Deere watering can,” Dan said. “Donna bought me a remote-control tractor for Christmas. I had trouble operating it, but the grandkids seemed to be able to operate it very well.”
The Spechts are hoping the auction buyers will enjoy all the collectibles as much as they have.
“We’re to the point where it’s like “I’ve got a basement again,’ Donna said. “But yeah, it’s hard to get rid of them, because you go downstairs and you go ‘wow.'”