Florida man buys memorabilia in Hilton Head Habitat for Humanity auction

astice@islandpacket.comJanuary 12, 2012 

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Memorabilia from the 1956 Centennial Republican National Convention will go to a Florida man who placed the winning -- and only -- bid in a Hilton Head Regional Habitat for Humanity auction.

When he placed his bid for three items from the convention, Carl Hookstra told the organization that members of his family were staunch Beaufort County Republicans, according to Habitat executive director Pat Wirth.

For $150, Hookstra bought a program from the convention at which Dwight D. Eisenhower was nominated for a second term as president and Richard Nixon as vice president. He also will get a list of convention delegates, and the lyrics and music for "Ike for Four More Years" by Irving Berlin.

The bid was more than auction organizers expected, Wirth said.

Mark D. Evans, the director of member services for the American Political Items Collectors, estimated the three items would have fetched $25 to $50 on the collectors' market.

"We expected that someone would want it for sentimental value," Wirth said. "He said his family helped engineer the resurgence of the Republican Party in Beaufort County in the '60s, so he was very happy to have something from that era."

The items were found at Habitat's ReStore during an office clean-up.

Wirth said word of the auction brought more traffic to the store, even though there was only one bid.

The money will go toward building a new home in Habitat's Brendan Woods community in Bluffton, Wirth said.

Attempts Thursday to reach Hookstra for comment were unsuccessful.

Follow reporter Allison Stice at twitter.com/lcblotter.

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