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North Hollywood man pays $250 for president-elect Nixon's hatYorba Linda Star November 20 1968 page 1
When President-Elect Richard M. Nixon threw his “hat in the ring,” the hat kept sailing and landed in the Yorba Linda's Clubhouse where it was auctioned off last Saturday evening. The chapeau, a brown business hat, was given to the club by the President-Elect and is one that he has actually worn.
The high bid of $250 was made by George H. Simpson of Simpson Manufacturing Corp. of North Hollywood. Simpson saw the publicity on the Woman's Club auction on KNXT Channel 2 news programs, Thursday, Nov. 14.
Simpson is not sure yet what future the Nixon hat will have, however, he did say that he is a strong supporter of the Boy's Optimist Club of East Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley Child Guidance Center and he hopes to use his prize to benefit one of these organizations.
Simpson stated, “I was surprised Yorba Lindans allowed the Nixon gift to leave Yorba Linda. If this had taken place in N. Hollywood you'd be sure it would stay there.”
He seemed very concerned that the hat was leaving Yorba Linda and went on to say, “Yorba Linda is where it really belongs and maybe someday it will end up there.”
Simpson also expressed a deep interest in the future of Richard Nixon's birthplace and in the museum the town will eventually have in his honor.
Before the auction Mr. Simpson had an opportunity to walk through Yorba Linda and to visit the stores on Main Street. He said it reminded him of the small Texas town where he lived for many years.
“I felt warm and at home in Yorba Linda,” Simpson said. “I was delighted with your town and even more delighted with the President-Elect's hat.”
After returning home with his prize Simpson said he took movies of the hat as well as all the other items had bought at the auction. He plans on returning to Yorba Linda and showing the films to one of the service clubs.
Mayor Bill Ross was on hand for the auction Saturday night and invited George Simpson to be a guest at the Rotary Club in the near future. Simpson said he would be delighted and remarked to Ross on what a lovely town Yorba Linda is and that some day he might like to live here. He then asked the question, “Do you have any smog in Yorba Linda?”
Mayor Ross quickly responded, “Absolutely not. There's a city ordinance against it!”
Tension was in the air at the Yorba Linda Woman's Clubhouse during the auction. The “mystery gift” of Nixon's remained a mystery until the bidding was over and Simpson opened the box.
Bidding started immediately with $50 and in general the pace was fast. There was an occasional lull in the bidding but this only added to the electricity in the air. As the price got higher with each bid, the oh's and ah's and applause became louder.
Mrs. Robert Folk, president of the Yorba Linda's Woman's Club said, “I am sorry that President-Elect Nixon's hat is no longer in Yorba Linda, however, it could not have gone to a nicer man than George Simpson and I feel that Yorba Linda has a new friend.”
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