Bob Palazzo RIP 2019

  • January 26, 2019
  • News

palazzo fam


My friend of 40 years Bob Palazzo died on Thursday. Cancer grabbed him from behind.

Bobby was a monster of a friend. As a lawyer and CPA, he had terrific insight and knowledge that helped me and this company over the years.

I met Bob about 1980 at the Long Beach Coin show. He and his friend Bob Varlotta would pal around at all the southern California shows looking for additions to their collections.

Bob was an inveterate collector of Inyo County material, especially Darwin, where he owned a small house. I had worked the Darwin district in detail over several years at that point, leading to acquiring an option on the Anaconda property and doing extensive exploration and development work. Darwin was near and dear to both of us. Coincidentally, my great great uncle was the first District Recorder at Darwin in the 1870’s, and the family had retained some papers from that period, which Bob (and the County Recorder) said were the only things known from that period. A few years ago, I gave my family’s Darwin papers to Bob. That’s how close we were.

The two Bobs, particularly Palazzo, were instrumental in starting the Inyo collecting craze. They branched into Mono County, which was also heavily collected by Mammoth resident Chris Martin. Bob’s collections spanned many genres. He was also president of the Manuscript Society and authored several books about Death Valley and Darwin.

It didn’t stop there. Palazzo was a studied Egyptologist, studying the ancient cultures and languages for years. He taught classes in Southern California on a variety of professional subjects. We shared many a story on both Egypt and teaching, as well as Italy, especially after we visited his namesake’s town.

But all Bobby ever wanted was a happy family life. He found it with Vivienne, and the couple have a son Joey. He loved taking drives up through California and the desert on adventures that led them to unknown conclusions.

RIP Bobby!

RON LERCH (1938-2018)

  • April 17, 2018
  • News

ron lerch

My good friend Ron Lerch passed away last night at the age of 80 years young. When I spoke to him last week, he was happy as a lark and full of life.

Ron and I met at Wendall Hammon’s new shop in Old Sacramento in 1974 or 1975, about the time I also met Ken Prag and Bob Greenwood in the same shop. Back then I was a budding young collector, mostly of stuff from my hometown area of Pasadena. It wasn’t until I moved to Nevada for my new job as an exploration geologist in 1976 that I started collecting Nevada.

Over the first few years of the mid-1970’s, Ron and I would see each other at various events around Sacramento. The paper collecting hobby was really just in its infancy, fed by John Howell, Bob Greenwood and Wendall. Wendall seized on the opportunity and created a book and paper show in Sacramento. This is where the world got to meet Ron Lerch and friends and experience his deep knowledge in western collecting. At the show, instead of splitting up the four paper guys – Ron, myself, friends Ken Harrison and Bob Greenwood, Wendall put us all together. It was a masterful move which kept us all close as friends and colleagues. As I recall, Ken Prag was also nearby, as were old friends Bill Berger and Jim Smalldon.

Ron was a staple at all the great western bottle shows since the 1970’s, setting up to trade, buy and sell tokens. He loved the collecting and the commraderie of the diverse interests of the collectors.

Ron and I became fast friends way back then, which continued forever. Whenever one of us needed info, we’d call. It was interesting that our two giant directory libraries were a compliment to each other – what I didn’t have, he did, and vice versa. We made great research friends.

Ron’s collecting passions crossed many, many collecting fields. I considered him an expert in a huge number of fields, especially western trade tokens.

He was a champion of men, a true gentleman, and a champion collector.


-Fred Holabird-

Holabird January Auction Press Releases

Holabird Western Americana collections is looking forward to our first auction of 2018  to be held on Saturday and Sunday January 20-21st.  Below are some press releases discussing the upcoming sale.

Come see us in Reno, NV for this highly anticipated event!


PR Log Holabird Auction Press Release

The Scoop

PR News

Artfix Daily

PR for us

Elko Daily

EIN Presswire

Art Daily

Auction Publicity