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On the auction block: Roosevelt memorabilia

August 7, 1997

KINGSTON, N.Y. (AP) _ A book of poems Eleanor Roosevelt had on her nightstand the day she died. The words of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt scribbled on the margins of a book of his early accomplishments in office.

A collection of memorabilia from the former president and first lady were to be auctioned today as part of the estate of the photographer of the Roosevelt Library.

The collection _ the bulk of which are old books, prints and photos _ belongs to William Stickle, 79. He went to work for the library after FDR’s death, amassing the mementos over 30 years.

``Very intriguing, absolutely!″ said Anne Jordan, curator of FDR’s homestead.

``Now that the parks service has recognized the importance of Eleanor, it’s trying to put everything back together,″ she said. Her staff was deciding which items the National Parks Service might bid on during the two-day auction.

Dozens of calls have come in about the auction, said Jay Werbalowsky, who runs the JMW auction house. ``The feeling I’m getting is not this much stuff comes out at once.″

Stickle suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. The sale will help pay for Stickle’s expenses at an assisted-living home, said Lisa Fisher, his lawyer.

The collection includes a half-dozen books signed by Mrs. Roosevelt and a book of Robert Browning poems purported to have been on her nightstand the day she died in 1962. A letter she wrote in 1926 seeking funds for the New York state Democratic committee’s Women’s Division also is included.

With corrections written in the margins, FDR sent ``On Our Way,″ a book of his early accomplishments, to ``my very dear Uncle Frederick Adrian Delano.″

Among the photos is a shot of an elderly and stooped first lady greeting Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev.

Other photos include one Stickle took of President John F. Kennedy giving a speech to mark the 25th anniversary of Social Security, and a photo of a young, gangly congressman named Lyndon Johnson signed, ``For my chief, From one who loves him and all he stands for.″

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