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Open "letter" from Christina Olds to Linn Barringer

From: Christina Olds [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Saturday, August 01, 2009 4:35 PM
Subject: August 1st Update on Estate of Robin Olds - IMPORTANT

To all,

Much has happened in the past few months surrounding the probate challenges with my dadís estate. As most of you know, Iíve been ordered by the Routt County Probate Court to sell all of Robinís military memorabilia (deemed his only assets) to pay probate debts to the IRS and two other creditors, plus the attorney fees. Iíd like everyone to know that I have NOT brought any executrix fees into the probate line-up, although as personal representative Iím entitled to administrative fees. Despite hundreds hours spent over the past year, it makes no sense for me to be paid PR fees that legally come in line before the IRS and the other creditors, when stepping out of the line-up brings the end of probate closer to being paid.

While sad at first about having to sell the collection, I soon realized this was an opportunity to get my fatherís enormous collection of memorabilia (he kept EVERYTHING) into museums, out to pilots, aviation enthusiasts, Robinís admirers and serious collectors of important memorabilia, where it all belongs.

The River Rats (Red River Valley Association, founded back in ĎNam by Scrappy Johnson, Robin Olds and Larry Pickett) leapt into action like knights in shining armor and quickly formed the ďRobin Olds FundĒ within the RRVA 501(c)3 to collect tax-deductible donations to purchase the important memorabilia for donation to museums.

Two, independent appraisers with 30 years each of militaria collectibles experience traveled to Colorado in mid-June and spent three days with me in the storage area. Talk about kids in a candy shop! They were stunned at the extent of the collection and carefully examined each piece, assigning a range of value from low to high if sold in the collectorís market. We noted several dozen items as Ďmuseum-worthyí and those have been set aside for later dispensation to museums. This includes the collection of Robinís papers and military documents he intended to go to the Air Force Academy, which I will donate to USAFA in the name of the River Rats as thanks to their outstanding organization.

My heartfelt admiration and gratitude goes to the RRVA! Donations have rolled in by mail and online from around the globe and we are now working on a fantastic display of Robinís important memorabilia next to his F-4 SCAT XXVII at the National Air Force Museum in Dayton. This is tremendously exciting and my sister and my daughter are thrilled at the thought of Robinís personal items going home to rest beside his beloved Phantom.

The RRVA donation drive will end August 15th, so I encourage any of you who have not already done so to contribute to the RRVA fund by mail or online. Your tax-deductible donation will help get more of the museum-worthy items into the AF Museum display so the pieces donít have to be sold at public auction. Please make any checks out to RRVA and put ďRobin Olds FundĒ or ROF on the memo line. Mail to:

RRVA
PO Box 1553
Front Royal, VA 22630-0033

Donations can also be made by credit card on-line at The River Rats website - http://river-rats.org, by clicking on the "Give Direct" logo and specifying "Robin Olds Fund" in the comments box.

POC John "Shadow" Hope at National HQ (540) 636-9798 or (866) 401-RATS (7287)

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ALSO COMMENCING RIGHT NOW!! is the auction of Robinís Ďlesserí (non museum-worthy) memorabilia through Manionís International Auction House at www.manons.com . Manionís has been terrific to work with and I donít think I could have found a better group of people or a more professional organization to handle this auction. There will be three separate auctions over the next three months, with deadlines of the last Sunday in each month, August 23, September 27 and October 25.

Collectors from around the world are going to jump into the fray on this Manionís auction and itís my first desire that pilots and fans of Robinís be able to have a piece of his personal memorabilia. If it werenít for the probate debts, Iíd be giving all of these things away over the next many years, but this is what has to be done now.

Please know that Manionís is NOT like EBay. Itís very important to read the Bidder instructions carefully. You must register to bid with a credit card but Manionís does not share information with anyone for any reason and all transactions are absolutely confidential. If you are interested in owning a piece of Robin Olds history, please go to www.manions.com and register. Youíll see the first grouping of Robinís items right on the home page. New items will appear in an ongoing basis through October. Stay tuned!

ALSO Ė currently there are four autographed items listed on www.RRauction.com , with a deadline date of midnight, August 12th. Under the military section at left in www.rrauction.com you'll find item #361, Joe Foss book, signed on the first free page in pencil and ink by Shorty Rankin, inscribing the book to Robin Olds, and signed by Joe Foss, Bob Galer, Jim Swett, Ken Walsh, and Gunther Rall. Under the Space and Aviation Section there are three items: #403, #448 and #449 which are all stunning Gathering of Eagles lithographs accompanied by the commemorative book and 2 side lithograph panels signed by groups of top aviators (including Robin). These are from Robinís personal Gathering of Eagles collection.

Thereís a good chance that the value of all of these pieces of my dadís memorabilia will increase after the debut of ďFighter Pilot; Memoirs of Legendary Ace Robin OldsĒ. Ed Rasimus and I spent a long and challenging 16 months pulling together Robinís memoirs and researching the history behind each segment of his military service. Weíre excited to have this book published by St. Martinís Press/MacMillan near Memorial Day weekend, 2010. Can the movie be far behind?

Please send this out through your email chain. As usual, many people will receive this two, three or even ten times. Sorry about that! Several people outside the U.S. have requested the ability to contribute through PayPal. Anyone interested in this method can log onto www.paypal.com and send funds through [email protected]

My thanks to all of you for bearing with me through this endeavor. The handling of my dadís estate has been overwhelming, to say the least, but it has also been heartwarming and profoundly moving to see how much he was loved by people from around the world. When all is said and done, Robinís memorabilia will end up exactly where it is all meant to be, and his legacy will rest in peace in its place in history.

Best regards and thanks to all,
Christina