Episode 121: Selling Dead People’s Things

Hi everyone. Welcome back, it’s great to have you all here with us in this our 6th season of the Walking the Shadowlands podcast. A special welcome to all our new listeners. I just want to take a minute to thank you all so very much, each of you has helped to place this podcast in the top ten percent of podcasts globally, according to Listennotes.com. That’s so amazing and completely blew me away when I saw that on their website. And I have to say has given me the impetus to continue creating content you all want to listen to. I am very grateful to each and everyone of you who listens to and shares this podcast.

Duane Cerny

Have you ever wondered what it’s like for those who make a living purchasing and on selling antiques? Items that somebody once loved and treasured in their lives? Have you ever wondered what story came with that item? Why it was so loved? Everything we purchase and collect in our lives, tells a story about us, about our loves, likes, or dislikes. It informs others about what is and isn’t important to us, in terms of our physical realities. And because, of the love we have for some of these physical, tangible items, how much of our personal energy remains with that item, when it is no longer in our possession? Can non-living items have spiritual attachments? Have you ever experienced that? With something second-hand, or pre-loved that you have brought into your life?  Our next episode is all about so-called haunted items, but in this episode, we are taking a peek behind the curtains and into the life of our guest who owns the biggest multi-dealer antiques market in Chicago. But the question as always is; are you willing to walk with me into this part of the Shadowlands and see what awaits us there? Then let’s begin.

Today, on our first episode of Season Six, I have a very special guest. One who is the author of the #1 bestselling vintage-retailing book “Selling Dead People’s Things” and co-owner of The Broadway Antique Market, Chicago’s oldest and largest multi-dealer antiques store. He is the Co-Owner, Marketing Director & Copywriter for Broadway Antiques Market. Duane is the founder of the 80’s house music label, Persona Records and the artist known as Danny Alias. He is also a Comic and  blogger. A published poet, and a produced playwright… amongst other things. Also, simply a very lovely gentleman, whom I have enjoyed talking with greatly. My special guest Duane Scott Cerny.

Selling Dead People’s Things

Marianne: Thank you very much for joining us today Duane, I’ve been really looking forward to our conversation. I read your book….

Duane: Selling Dead Peoples Things,

and I laughed and could really relate to a lot of what you had to say there. So, perhaps we could start by you giving us a little bit of background on how you got into the area of dealing with second-hand – well, pre-loved items.

Sure, sure, sure. When I was thirty I had a paralegal company which is just typing, typing, typing! And I wasn’t happy. I just simply wasn’t happy. And on the side, I would go to sales and thrift stores, like a lot of people do – resale shops. And I – and that’s how I decorated my apartment. I wouldn’t buy anything new. If I could buy old food, I would – you know? So, everything was used and vintage and I would go to antique stores, but not really spend – you know? Just to look at things. I didn’t really have a whole lot of money. But, I just loved them. I would do that on the weekends. I just realized that I was just so unhappy doing what I was doing.

So I used to go to a store in a, a big antique store in Chicago, just as a customer and shop. And, the woman who was the owner’s wife was a bit of a – very sweet, but bit of a chatty Cathy, and we just kind of became friends. And she asked me what I would do, and I said, oh I’m a paralegal. And I write. And I do advertising copy for, you know, businesses. And the one time I came in and she said oh you know, would you, would you try to help us advertise and promote this store? And I though oh gee that would be kind of cool, ‘cause, it’s two things I’m interested in. And then she And then she says, I don’t have we don’t have any money, but we’ll give you a space in the store to sell your things. And again, I don’t know what I’m doing. Clueless, really. And the other end of it. So I that had stuff and then a place to sell it, but really not any knowledge of doing it, and they gave me this little booth in the basement and that’s how I actually started, you know, professionally selling to the public. So you you couldn’t start any lower level than than the bottom of the stairs at a base, right?

Right. And you –  obviously, I can see the screen behind you looks very Art Deco-ish?

Yes. I love Deco.

Oh, me too! Oh, me too. I live in a city –  the city I live in. Napier was destroyed by a massive earthquake in the 30s and they rebuilt it. Totally, well almost totally, in Art Deco style.

Wow. Wow. What’s the name of the city?

Napier, New Zealand.

Napier, New Zealand. Oh Ok, going to check that out! Napier. Yeah, there’s a brand of sterling silver is Napier as well. So I’ll remember. This is a screen, that was from a pool house. These people had an indoor pool and this is with a screen that you’d go behind to get into your bathing suit.

Oh it’s great. I loved it! I, I

It’s a little bit beat up, but so am I.

I noticed it right away

You did?

When you came up on screen. Yeah, yeah. I actually noticed it before I noticed you, to be honest.

What is it? How old is that – Right?

It’s fabulous. It’s fabulous. So you got into your –  so you started selling your pre- loved items, and it kind of went from there didn’t it?

Yeah, yeah. And it was – I mean, I was selling fifties things, fifty things. Things from the nineteen fifties. So, and this is all nineteen eighty-eight. Yeah. About nineteen eighty-eight. And then they had, the people own the store. And they had like one hundred dealers who had rented space, but this was my deal. And then, I became the basically the assistant manager there. So I was able to learn, learn a lot, like just very quickly. And then they said Oh you know, there’s a guy who wants to have a space here, but he lives up in Wisconsin, so he couldn’t take care of a booth. He’s got the merchandise, but he couldn’t he couldn’t do the retail end of it. And so they introduced us. And that was my future business partner, Jeff, which I write about in the book.

And so that was just, we were the perfect pair for this. And then we just kind of went crazy for like a couple of years, a very short amount of time, which made it meaning that whenever we had time, we would run around really most of the Midwest and Chicago, all the surrounding states of Illinois. So Indiana and Kentucky and Wisconsin, of course, and Iowa. So all the surrounding middle states. And just bring all this stuff to Chicago, down into that basement.

And then we got – and then we started actually renting space from these owners. So we just got bigger, and bigger, and bigger. So we had like a third of the basement. And then that place went out of business, which was another whole experience that I write about that in the book, what it’s like, what it’s like to fail, because, you learn more in life from the things that don’t go well than things that do.

Well actually, you do. And they’re all learning experiences aren’t they?

Yeah, I mean, when you’re in the good times you go, like, hey, that’s great, you know? Feeling lucky.  But, when you need to like, turn it all around, that’s the challenge and you really find out, like, who you are. You learn a lot about yourself. 

Actually, you do. That’s a very valid point. And I remember reading in your book that you guys like, while you were really stressed about the situation, you turned it around into a positive.

Yes, yeah, yeah, it was well, I used to use the expression at the time, was that we needed a lifeboat. and I think that question that –  oh gosh, look who I’m talking to today., right? About your situation. Pardon the metaphor, but really just in life, just to have a lifeboat, which is really just a plan. But, it’s a what if? What if this doesn’t go well? You don’t need to go crazy about it, but it’s always good to be there, ‘cause, might need it. And that’s what this turned out to be. And then. Yeah, so we were able to secure a lease on a little store across the street from the old store. So, just like fifteen hundred square feet, this very small store where the other store was, oh I don’t know, fifteen thousand square feet easily. So it’s just this little slice of the store and, and I brought like, we brought like ten dealers with us. Everybody said yes. So we quickly opened up. But we weren’t a success right off the bat because people were just used to the old place and they didn’t even realize we were there. So we also learned to. Do you think, gee, I’m just moving across the street, it’ll be the same business – oh no! Not what happened. Location, location, location! As they say.

So, no, it was it was just a trial by fire there. But then, every basically year to six months, we’d get another store, and another store. And then we took the lower level and we became almost as big as the place that we had left, except now when we were renting. But we still we own the business, though, right? Yeah, we were just just people renting space. One was renting all this space for a lot for like ten grand a month by the time we left. Would you get this?

That’s a lot of money.

 And which is like in, so by 1998 –  So 10 years in doing it rough and tough at that time. But and this was like the ballpark. If you’re familiar with American Baseball, by Wrigley Field and Cubs Park. So that’s where the store was located. And the store then was called Wrigleyville.. So we kind of cashed in on the whole baseball crowd, which helped a little, but not a lot. And that was actually our first store. And then in 98, we actually bought a building, which I write about in the in the book as well. I think is interesting, if I may, because, the book to me is just as much about would just business would like to be in business and be self-employed. And I, I’ve certainly tried to bring in as many of the odd true stories and circumstances, and people, and things that we had over the years. But to me kind of is at its core, it’s still very much a business book. People don’t really view it that way, but. . .

Yeah, yeah. No, well reading it, it is a journey.  I saw it as a journey, and I actually found it really interesting. It actually ties in with with my podcast type, because, of some of the experiences that you had later on. Or actually, one was fairly early on, wasn’t it? But yeah, I see. It is the growth, your business growth certainly, but also your personal growth.  And to a degree, your spiritual growth as well, because, you perhaps became more aware of the realities of being,

Yes. Right!

then the one you would have been otherwise. So, it’s an overall thing really. And I can see why most people don’t see it as a business book. Because, it’s your personal journey.

Yes. Yes. And those those I mean, again, you mentioned there’s, what, four or five? Well, paranormal type stories that are in the book. But then these are things that actually happen. And I think in a way that even for those that don’t believe in these things, I think the book gives it a lot of credence and credibility, because these are my experiences. And again. There’s a few things that happen to me, and this is over thirty something years, people people look at this and think these things happen every day and they do not. They do happen to other people every day.

And I write about that and other people telling me their experiences, which I’m like, well, I’m not I can’t explain what happened. But, I will tell their story. That’s and that’s the other thing, which to your point, I learned about that and just being. I’m not an empath, but I am empathic. And I feel I’m a good listener. And I’m not a sensitive, but I am sensitive, so I feel like there. So I think it’s kind of putting the toe in the water, which was never my intent. But these are just the experiences, these are just things that happen to me. And, and then it’s, you know, it’s what’s twenty- five some chapters in all different topics.

Yeah, all different topics. I really like the way you actually laid it out actually. Now, I remember the first experience that you talked about in your book was with your friend’s father’s death.

Yes. Right.

Maybe for our listeners, would you mind telling that story? Because it’s absolutely fascinating.

So, yeah. And that that was that, that was many years ago. So I was, this is my friend from college and I was close with this family and they were very sweet to me. And so I knew his dad well. And we’re both Pisces, and he would tease me about that. But he had many he had many health problems. And he was. he was diabetic. And the poor man, it was he was it was just Job. It was just he lost a leg and he went blind. But a beautiful human being and funny, funny guy. And when he passed, they had a Shiva. The family was Jewish and I was a Catholic boy. I didn’t really know much about that at all. And my friend had said, well, you know, my mom’s going to have to downsize. And he had his past.

And would you come to Chicago and just kind of look at her stuff and just see with, you know, I don’t really want to do that. I’m just kind of uncomfortable with that. And he said, no, no, you don’t have to have to tell anybody you’re doing it. Just look the things she has there, she wants to see you anyway. And, there’s food. Well, that’s all she, he had to say, and I was there. So…. And basically, I don’t want to give the whole thing away. But there was just a number of different circumstances occurred there. And what started was, that during the middle of shiva, and again, this was a very jovial, almost a party. It was a festive event. It wasn’t a sad thing at all.

I mean, so it was very the whole experience was very positive, almost like a party. And then at one point, his mother lets out the scream. And my friend and I ran into the bedroom where she was. And here the bed that they had was in the room, was had been with everyone’s coats and jackets, and hats, and purses, and all that go to somebody else. They were at a party. Somebody just lays their stuff on a bed. Right? Except we go in there and everything is on the floor. Everything! So it’s just a big mess, and his mother screaming, saying that Myron did it again, Myron.  And he’s here. He’s here. I told you. I told you he’s been doing this all day.

And we’re like, what?  And my friend just thought his mother, is kind of having a breakdown. And but, that’s not that’s not what happened. So we ran around and just put everything back on the bed and thought, well, she’s just having a really tough time. And she calmed down a little bit and then maybe an hour or so into this function, I had to go to the bathroom. Ate too much chocolate kugel. And and I went into the into the room and the TV was on, which seemed kind of strange. And it wasn’t on any station. It was just that static snow you see on televisions. And, at some point, the TV was pretty much going –  it was really going like on and off, and his mother had said that, that Myron was doing that, which I just didn’t believe that.  Although, the coat experience was a little strange. And the volume getting louder and louder on the TV, with the static. So just kind of. Yeah. So I pulled the plug out of the out of the wall of the television going, OK, enough of that, Dwayne’s taking care of it. We’re all good, right? And then the TV went back on!

And it wasn’t plugged in?

And I tell you this, that I still get goose bumps telling it and the TV went back on.  And she said, see, see! Well, yeah, I, I saw. And her, and her son came in and saw. And we went, wow, he’s like, really here. He wanted – he was a bit of a joker and I left shortly after that.  And other things happened. But, that was…. And even after, from what I understand, a couple of weeks and months had passed and things would still happen to her from Myron. Which kind of would just annoy her more than anything else, like, hey, you know, you’re just freaking me out. Stop it. You and –  she actually she just recently passed a few years ago. So she lived many, many years. Never parted with anything. So much for downsizing, but, that was actually – I would say one of the few personal experiences. I was there. I witnessed. Again, inexplicable. I don’t know what that was about, but. . .

That would have been pretty scary to see the TV go on. And it’s not even plugged into any power.

Yeah, a very a very poltergeist kind of moment. Yeah. And then the volume of the TV too, because, it just got louder and louder. And that was just so unnerving for –  I mean there’s no –  That is a thing though. I mean, as I’ve talked to other people messing with lights and electrical fields, I mean this is where they they, they get energy to make things happen to.

Yeah, it’s very common for spirit to use digital and electrical devices because we’re – at our base, we’re all energy. And when you leave this physical body, you’re energy. So it’s easy for them to manipulate stuff like that. That’s absolutely common.

I think you’ll appreciate this is I mean, it’s taken me many years to go and like, what was he? What was that even about? And I’ve come up with a question, because, when I’ve been interviewed before –  and even people who are –  it’s great to talk to somebody who believes in this, as opposed to –  I’m not trying to convince anybody. I’m just going this is what happened. But when I’ve been interviewed and people have truly questioned it, I ask the question. Can the paranormal be defined as nature showing off?

Oh, that’s a good question.

And to me, because it normalizes it. It is something we don’t understand, and nature, shows off all the time. Nature is showing off, apparently out your window right now.

Yeah, it is.

Doing crazy things. And I think the paranormal really falls into that. And it’s just when I when I say showing off, it’s saying that I’m here! Just pay attention to me, that I’m trying to communicate as best I can. So, yeah, but it’s taken me a long, many years to come up with it.

Yeah. Yeah. And that’s a good way of looking at it. And I look at it like this. I look at it from a scientific perspective, OK. The first law of physics is the energy never dies. It simply changes form.

Yes. Yes.

And we, in our core, are just energy. And this body that we use is just a vehicle –  like a car we use for a specific purpose. And then when it’s no longer necessary, we discard it and move on.

It makes sense to me.  

That’s how I see it. So, over the years, and I meant to ask you before, was your market –  was it just a weekend only market, or was it open during the week as well?

Oh, open every day.

Every day?

Every day. Yeah.

Wow, so you would have seen a lot of items pass through. And and I remember reading in your book, I could tell by the way you were talking about your interaction with people, that you brought stuff off, that you have this really deep compassion.  And, and you’re not just out there to make a buck. You actually care about the people that you’re dealing with. And that came through very clearly to me. I could feel that very clearly from, from the words that you wrote in your book.

Yeah. Thank you. Yeah, I do. I do. I, I mean, I even in my, in my store now and sometimes I’ll, if I feel comfortable enough to say something to somebody I will. I don’t always, always say this. But what I truly believe that in so many ways that. The items pick the person. That you always think, oh, I’m going out, I’m going to go shopping or I’m going to pick up [inaudible]. But that’s not really how –  I don’t think antiques always work that way. I think a lot of times the item, the item picks you, equally. And, I’ve had people shop at the store and buy something and say, I don’t even know why I’m buying this? But it speaks to me! Right? And people say it speaks to me.

Well, a cocktail shaker didn’t speak to you, a set of mixed signals, did you, or did they? In a way it was just, I think, they decided who they’re going to go home with. It’s almost like a kitten or a puppy going like, yes, I’m comfortable with this person. Yes. There’s just more to the retail of it. Being here now I just decided –  I have a very big store and we sell hundreds of items, certainly over a weekend. And so – and I’m not saying this in every transaction, not at all. Because, there are some people I don’t think are empathic to anybody but themselves, right? And also, I think when when, when money is more the object, in other words, somebody buying something just to resell it, I think that equation is out. I don’t think that’s it at all. I think an item might not even want to be purchased by that person, but it’s still happening. I think the heart of it, makes a big a big difference. I will tell you this, because it kind of segues into it and it’s not in the book, but it’s, it’s –  I have a very good friend and he’s such a good soul, really an old soul. Just a lovely person. And I’ve seen this happen countless times with him, is that we would be at a store or maybe an antique show or flea market or something. And he runs to some item that just again speaks to him. And, you know, we’ll just pick this up. And I just love this. I just love this.

And he doesn’t, he’s not buying it. It’s just something about that. Right? And then he said, sit down. And I’ve seen this happen more times than I can count. If you stand there long enough, somebody will come along and sometimes not all that long at all, and they’ll pick it up and they’ll buy it. And I’ve seen him do it in the store. And I think because there’s this genuine energy which he expands into the item. Right? And it’s there. It’s like the light bulb that went on. Right? And then the next person who comes along – and really I seen it sometimes within just a couple minutes. Then why, why that thing? And it can be something in my store that has sat there for months and nobody’s looked at, at all, but he touches it. And I think there are other people like that. Now, again, I think because it’s genuine, why it happens. If this was like, oh, I can make a dollar on this, I could sell this for twice that amount, right? No, that that’s not his intent. That’s not it. It’s because, it’s just he just has this passion for that item. And again, it spoke to him for whatever reason. And then it’s kind of energized and. . .


I just, and it’s lovely. It’s just lovely when that happens. And I mean a little, you know, a little freaky. And again, people could not believe it. That’s fine. But I do think there are just people who well they’re, they’re special. I don’t, again, I don’t have that talent at all, but I observe it. And it happened with other people, too. And I think, that’s what it’s about.  There’s just a lot of things that are happening around us, but we’re not paying attention. The world is in chaos, now more than ever. So these little details can just kind of slip past. But they’re still going on, we’re just not observing them.

Yeah, yeah. Absolutely! Now, I want to go back. Back to what you said, about it coming from his heart and his intent, because, that’s something that I talk about a lot on this podcast, is intent and coming from your heart. There’s a saying that I really love, and that’s what comes from the heart, touches the heart. And whenever we touch anything, we leave our energy on it. No matter what it is, we leave energy behind. And so you’re quite right in saying that people pick up on your friend’s energy, and he’s drawn to these items because of the energy on them, to begin with.

Yes, right.

Yes, I guess. And the impression that I get is that he acts like an amplifier.

Yes. Yes. Yeah. That’s a good way to look at it. Yeah. And then it’s then it’s amplified and magnified.  And the next sensitive person who comes along is drawn to it.

Yes. And, and generally this is an unconscious thing. It’s not something that they’re consciously aware of, but they feel it in the body, which is you know why you say, oh it calls to me, I don’t even know why I’m buying this.

And I’ve heard I’ve heard that countless times. Right. I don’t even need this. And I was like, but that’s how strong that intent is. And that energy, that amplification is.  That, that people are just –  maybe when they have their guard down, too, then they can really hear. You know hear, here, with their heart.

Yeah, yeah. I have –  I talk about this a lot. A very beloved friend once said to me, whenever you do anything, you must do it from your heart. And this is not a human that I’m talking about. You must do it from your heart when you when you speak, speak from your heart, when you, when you listen. Listen from your heart. And, and you just have given a very good example of that effect.

Yeah. Yes. And it’s a, it’s a thing, it’s it’s reality. It’s, it’s very it’s actually very human.

Very human.

And I don’t think there’s anything scary about that at all. I think it’s I think it’s lovely actually

Yes. Very lovely. Your friend sounds like he’s really an awesome person.

Oh yes, he’s the best. I hope he hears this someday.

Oh, so and so over your years now –  you’ve been doing dealing with antiques for decades now.

I have yeah. Thirty years.

Thirty years. That’s a long time. And you would have heard –  have you had many of your clients or people that you’re purchasing from, tell you about things that may be attached to their items? Apart from what you’ve written in your book? And I don’t want to go into all the experiences in your book because obviously we want people to go out and…

And give away the some of the good parts. Yes, yes. Certainly the book is brought that out, that people I know have to tell me their, their stories. And it can often be the most curious of items, too. It’s not. I know people always often gravitate to that there’s energy put into it. I can – let’s say dolls and things like that. Of course there are. That’s that’s that’s certainly a thing. But I’ve heard people talk about pieces of jewellery, vintage clothing. To me, it almost seems to be a stronger connection with things that are actually touch the body, as opposed to something that you would use. But then, I can see why that, why that would happen with dolls and things like that.

And then people relate stories about things that they’ve inherited. It’s – I’ll mention another thing that’s kind of occurred to me, is these, as I’ve heard some of these stories. You know, there’s, there’s always the old adage. It’s like, if there was a fire, what item would you save? And I’ve kind of turned it around again, especially to disbelievers. And I’ll say, if there was a fire, what item would save you?

And I think it’s a way to get kind of very introspective about, with your own possessions and what they mean to you? And I think, that’s really one of the one of the themes of the book too.  Is, I’m trying to make people look at things. The objects in their life. Just to kind of open their eyes about all this stuff. That was – we have all this stuff in our life, but nothing got there by, by a coincidence. Everything –  I’m looking at in the room behind you, you know, there’s there’s, there’s a story. And certainly that piece of art I’m looking at, I’m sure there’s a story and there’s a reason and what it is, and what it means to you. And then that’s also that’s a piece of the puzzle of you, Marianne. And that’s what makes you, you. And that’s the screen. It’s part of me, obviously, you know, it just reflects it. And more than just even having an interest in something, I think, I think it goes well beyond that. So what we were talking about earlier, but I think this energy that’s expended, you know, into objects is resilient. And to talk about in the book to an object, to a piece of jewellery or a toy. Time means nothing. Time is a very human element that we understandably plug into the equation, but to an object time. . .

Yeah, there’s no such thing as time. Right.

Yeah, they just go on and on. You know? This will go on.  Somebody else will have this.  Sometimes people don’t like thinking about that, because, they might be morbid about it. I’m just saying, I think it’s kind of great that these things, certainly things that if you loved in your life, that they go on and whether it’s relatives or even total strangers, I, I think that’s fantastic.

It is. And it’s no surprise that sometimes there are spiritual attachments to objects that people loved, and need meant a lot to them,. Because, the love for that, that object, that necklace, that hat, that whatever – Is the energy is attached to that, because, they love that, and so they put their energy into the item. It’s no surprise that even after they’ve moved on from this reality, that they might still perhaps come back and visit.  Because, it meant something to them.

Yes. Yes. And if that I mean, how could that energy I mean, for the most part, we’re talking about good energy. How can that not be love? Which is really one of the most, almost impossible thing to measure. So when people go in and question the paranormal, how do you measure that? How do you measure love?

Yeah. Yeah, exactly.

So I yeah, I totally believe that. That the –  I may, I may visit the screen 40 or 50 years from now, hoping it’s having a good time. Yeah, and check in on things.

Yeah and that’s the….

Why not?

And why not? And so in your years, what’s the scariest thing that’s ever happened to you?

So good question. It was, it was – this was, this is the most  scary, scariest thing, and also the most beautiful thing. So in. 2,000, my sister and mother passed five, five years apart,

Oh, I am sorry.

and I moved home. I wanted to be with my mom. And then, my sister passed while while I was taking care of my mom. It’s a very difficult couple of years there. And, and when it was all done – and I inherited my sister’s poodle. For this important part of the story, I inherited my sister’s poodle. And as time went on, I kept like hoping there would be some message, something would happen, and nothing happened. I was kind of annoyed about it honestly, just ‘cause I wanted something. I just wanted something.  And on the fifth anniversary, and it was a Christmas. I’m alone in the apartment and all I have – and I’m there with the dog. And I got to admit, I was absolutely feeling sorry for myself. I just don’t like the holidays. I never have. Just kind of bummed. And I walked into my kitchen and I’m in a big apartment building. And generally I don’t you never smell anything from another unit, like even cooking and things like that, the big apartments.

But I go into the kitchen and it was like you had stuck your head into the biggest bouquet of flowers you could imagine. Oh, I couldn’t see it, but it was huge. And for hours it was there. And I kept telling myself –  I didn’t understand what it was at first. And to be honest with you Marianne this is what I did, because, I couldn’t think of what else to do. I picked up the poodle and I would hold it into the flower scent that was just like a bowl of aroma. And of course, the dog would be like, yeah, going like [sniffing]. OK, it was a validation of me, I’m not going crazy here. And then for a couple hours I just stayed in the kitchen and it was again, this is not an optical thing. It was totally sensory, but it was like the bowl of aroma got smaller, and smaller, and smaller, and smaller, you know? And afterwards I thought about it. I mean even through it I was going; this must be them!  This has to be them. This has to be a message of some sort.

And it being in the kitchen, my mother loved to cook. My sister loved to bake. It was right around the stove. And again, there are no flowers in my apartment. There’s no nothing!  I don’t cook for …. there’s no sense coming from me. But the fact that that little dog would just go crazy over what that was. And that evening I called the gentleman whose story I first told about his father who passed. I couldn’t think of who else to call. I couldn’t think of who else to call that I could explain this, and they wouldn’t think that I’m crazy. And he was like, oh, it’s them. It’s them. Yeah. So it was it was scary. Because, I just couldn’t explain it.. And again, I’d had a couple of experiences, but nothing there that emotional either. I mean it was, I was, a mess. It was still one of the most really lovely things I think that’s ever happened.

And I can see that. I can feel that. And, and that is a very, very common way that spirit lets their loved one know that they’re around, through the sense of smell. Ah, your mum and sister obviously liked flowers, smelly flowers.

Oh, they would they would plant flowers –  afterwards it all kind of all made sense.

There you go, yeah.

And so it was on my father’s grave, I mean, planting some things. And that was a thing they would do every year, every year because he had died seven years prior. They were at the cemetery. All the flowers were a big part of it. But again, at the time, I wasn’t, I wasn’t making the connection. You know, I just wasn’t. . .

Well, you wouldn’t, because it’s out of your normal paradigm of reality. So you had to step out of your normal way of thinking to understand that. And I believe that they came at that point in time to give you the comfort that you needed.

Yeah. And then. I’ve never told this story before, but nobody’s here. . . 

Aw,  so that’s a beautiful story and certainly I brought tears to my eyes because I knew straight away. . .

And again, following that and of course, Googling it, that that’s the thing. You know, I didn’t, I didn’t really know that, that was that. And that’s a huge thing. Yeah. But I’m so glad that I still had, because, had that little dog meant everything. Because, it was the connection into my whole family. You know? That’s what, that’s all I had. And, but just the picture of the two of us both sticking our heads into this invisible cloud of aroma you know? And pulling it back, and to do that for an hour or two, is crazy.

That’s pretty amazing, because, generally they don’t last around that long.

Of course.

Generally, it’s only like a couple of minutes. Or, just long enough for you to be aware of it and then it will dissipate.

Right. Right. And of course, now I’m always –  I still live in the same apartment. It’s never happened again.

Oh wow. Now, it’s really lovely, it’s really lovely that that happened to you, that’s ah …. and, and while it was scary at the time. In the general scheme of things, it’s not really scary.

No, no.

It was comforting.

Yes. Yeah. Once I. accepted it. Yeah, yeah. And again, chapter in the book, be careful what you wish for, you know? Because, life is like that, too. You really want something really hard, it will come. But, not on your timetable.

And perhaps not entirely as you expect it either.

No, no, exactly. True.

Yeah. I really like the way you labelled the – chapters in your book. It was quite interesting, because, it then followed the chapter then followed on from that sort of heading. You know, it was a good Segway into the chapters, so that was really cool. One of the things and one of the other paranormal experiences in your book that jumped out at me –  and I don’t want to go too much detail into it, because, people can read it for themselves, but it was the hospital visit, when you…. Yes.

Yes, yes.  So that’s the Edgewater Hospital, correct? That’s the one you’re referring to? Yeah, so. This is something where it was a, it was some, somewhat near our present location, so it was a giant old hospital that they were getting rid of all the, furniture in there, and its mostly office chairs and desks. But this had been a hospital, it had been actually built as a hotel, which I didn’t know until we met with the guy who took us through the place.

And it was a fairly well-known hotel at the time. And then it had fallen in disrepair. And this doctor bought it as his own private hospital. And it had a Hollywood connection that people from Hollywood, they came in, they needed the stars to dry out, so that they would have their like, own private room. And then you’re in Chicago, which is like where? A great place to go to get lost, is Chicago. And so it had all these different incarnations.

And this was that was Dr. Maurice Mazel. If anyone wants to Google it? It’s Edgewater Hospital in Chicago, I don’t know of any paranormal teams that have ever gone through there. I always kind of hope somebody would. I don’t want to give too much away. But, part of it was when we went through it and again, it’s, it’s half a million square feet. I mean, it’s enormous!  Eight stories tall and the top floor had these swimming pools, because, again, it had been a very lavish hotel at one point.

But then they turned in some of the rooms over there into operating rooms. And when we were there, I would I heard this dog barking, dogs whimpering, which is weird because I’m seven stories up in this abandoned hospital. And the dog seemed right there. It seemed very nearby. And so when one of any number of things that happened to myself, and other people that have been there. But then when we were dealing with the, the gentleman who was the manager and was trying to get rid of all this furniture, and then I asked him about what’s with the dog?

It’s the security guards, the dogs here? Because, that was my guess. Maybe the security dogs. That maybe they keep them upstairs or something? And the guy said, no, no, we everybody talks about that. Everybody hears that. I was like why? Well, what is it? And then he said that this doctor Mazel would have experimented with, with just disgusting. But still that’s what happened? Medical experiments with animals and replacing of limbs, severed arms and legs and that. And they used animals, and essentially used dogs. And so people would often hear dogs that had been there at the hospital. Yeah.

And that’s actually not uncommon to hear animals. I have a paranormal investigation team here in New Zealand, and we did an investigation one time in a hotel. And there were five of us in this particular room. And we all had our microphones, our recorders going. And only one member of the team picked up this cat, meow. And we all had our recorders going, but it only recorded on his recorder. And I was listening to it back and I thought it was my cat and I was looking around for him. And then, II realized –  this is clear as, like your dog bark. So it’s just, it’s actually pretty good for people to know who have animals that they love that actually, they do continue on is just as we do.

Yeah, well, why not? Yeah, it’s a, it’s a, it’s a life form. Yeah. The I do have a I’m not a paranormal update to it, but as far as anybody who wants to Google it, because, they’ve since they tore down half the place. aAnd the other half is still there. So to make the main part, that was the hotel has been remodelled And because of Covid they haven’t – Everything’s a mess. But they’re opening up it up, I think as a kind of a high end rental apartment complex.

Oh, that’s going to be interesting.

That’s going to be very interesting, very interesting. Because, there are any number of things that happen there. I make reference to the painting in the lobby of Doctor Mazel

Right! That’s what I was thinking.

Who’s very much there. Yeah, very much there. And not always happy. And any number of people have had run ins with him, but not necessarily knowing that he’s a spirit. I didn’t. I didn’t see him, but a number of people have it and I write about that. So that that’s going to be an interesting development.

That will be very interesting, because, I was thinking about him specifically, when you said that they’d turned it into high end apartments. And thinking, ohh –  he’s not going to be very happy with that and he’s going to make himself known to people.

 Oh, yeah.

Not happy. And he doesn’t like smoking anyway.


And he was a bit of a control freak is what I get the impression of.

Oh yeah. Even to do that, I mean the whole idea of even now, I mean for somebody to like, buy a huge building and make it your own private hospital, I mean. Yeah, it’s that big personality right there. And to make it work and be successful at it still he wasn’t till things changed, his business model changed. You needed a lifeboat. We’ll go back to that. Right. I drive past that maybe twice a week now. They haven’t they haven’t opened it up yet and it looks lovely. You know what they’ve, what they’ve done with it since they retain so much of the original structure. But, oh, boy, I can’t believe there wouldn’t be activity there.

Yeah, no I can’t either.

The developer doesn’t want to talk about that but. . .

 No, of course not. I’m sure the men that were working on it had heaps of experiences. I bet they had trouble keeping staff as they were building it.

Good point. Yes.

Yeah. Because, you know, you’d just down tools and leave. You wouldn’t stay when you know, someone suddenly appears in front of you!

Right, see ya!

Very cool. So it’s you, you –  the second business. Well, when you got your business going and you closed that. And you brought your new building, which is an Art Deco building also, isn’t it?

1939, yes.

1939, and what’s that?

That’s the Broadway antique market. Yeah.

And that’s still going today. Open on the weekends?

Open on the weekends. Yeah.

Yeah. I actually checked out your website, and I wish I was living there, ‘cause, I’d love to go through and have a look. I just love, I love, ah, recycling items.  That’s something that’s a big thing here in New Zealand. You know, we do, we do that a lot here and I guess it’s the waste not want not adage, you know?

Well, and what’s great, too, is that this is a whole new market. Because, younger people and by that I mean, let’s just say people under 30, only green.  Are all about green and having a smaller footprint and they’re recyclers. And so these are people who buy used goods. You want to buy something at IKEA or something was made with, God forbid, child labour or things like that. So you get a vintage market is just perfect.

So and I’m not –  even I was a little surprised. Because, I kept thinking, you know, this is kind of an aging demographic of collectors. So there’s lots of things which you do not sell anymore, because, older people used to buy it, I don’t know, Milk glass, depression where I can sort things out, who cares? Just categories that just don’t sell anymore. But oh my gosh, like vintage vinyl. Young people are all over that vintage clothing. It’s all about style and fashion. The vintage business is all about fashion. I mean, it is the fashion. So they were also very interested in in cooking and cooking at home. Well, there you go. So talk about the selling, mixing bowls or dinnerware, anything, anything related to cooking. Kitchen, ah kitchen ware. We sell so much of that. So it’s just changed. What sells, changed and the market, changed. And you go with that.

And you adapt, right.

Right. I have to explain to people like how to use a rotary phone, because if you go this way, what’s a what? I put my finger where? I do what?

I crack up every time I hear that. You know a lot of kids these days don’t even know what it is. They’re just used to their push button.

 No, no. Yes. Or even ‘cause, we sell a lot of typewriters. And they only exist because they just want a typewriter. They just want to typewriter. They’re not even going to use it! They’ll say say, well, how do I? I say, well you have a keyboard, you know how to type. But they look at it like they’re going to break it, which is very much more like just kind of we call those like a shelf sitter. Right. Saying that because they wanted. It evokes all kinds of things. People say they love the feel of it when they type the sound. And it makes a lot of things that are just kind of, you know?

Yes, very sensory.

Yeah, exactly, and it’s not all about this. Yeah, it’s, it’s a it’s a different, it’s a different experience. And the other thing I have to point out is that when you’re for all the thousands of photos that we use this to take our photos, how many do we print up? Yeah, we in, we sell images, photography, black and white snapshots, people’s travels or, oh my gosh, cameras and photography. But, but, but images are objects. Photographs are objects. They become an object. I mean, when people took a camera and then they had print and film, the film developed and you had a print of it, it became an object. We don’t have that any more. That’s like lost. Yeah, you’re posting it on Instagram or whatever.

But it’s not the same.

It’s not the same. And young people get that. Young people totally get that! When they don’t, I explain it to them. Because, I was doing this for a long time going, no, this is going to be a thing. These prints, because, people from oh my gosh, you know what’s certainly everythings very formal with photography before the turn of the century. And then by like the teens and the 20s, they were fun. This was all about having fun and dressing up and being goofy. And so things the images you find of people doing crazy things is very common and they just haven’t enjoyed it. It was a new technology and they played with it. They had fun with it. And, and then they created an object which we still a hundred years later. Here it is. Which being funny, but I don’t think there’s anything societally I’m going to be creating –  maybe another book, which somebody is going to have one hundred years from now that reflects me. So they used to call them. Yeah. So they used to call them like lost, lost relatives. Why do people buy these photographs? But no, they’re very much with us, in these objects, so. . .

And again, excuse me. And again, it’s the energy.


There are –  I know there are some Native American tribes, who won’t allow the photographs to be taken. They won’t let the photographs to be taken because of the energy. Sorry, because, of the energy attached to the photograph.

Right. That it’s taking a piece of them?

Yes, correct.

Yeah. Yeah, I’ve I’ve heard that.

And I can understand. I can understand actually where that comes from, because, you do imprint your energy. And, and quite often actually, spirit can also imprint their energy onto photos. Have you ever come across any photos in your travels that have spirit spirt images in some of them?


There you go!

Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. I’ll, I’ll send you a, I’ll send you a few. There’s one of my favourites, is there’s a guy who’s standing with that’s probably like from the 50s. A black and white snapshots of somebody and it would have been it’s just like violin collection right there, laid out next to him. And he’s very proud of his violins, except, you can see the kind of music coming out of each violin. Yeah. There’s like. Yeah, and it’s yeah. It’s, it’s not a photo error either. You could just see how would you even do this?

Right, right. And back in the fifties they didn’t have them the manipulation we have today

No photo shop or anything like that. No. No. Yeah, yeah. And then, or a spirit image, something behind them, you know? Or at the forefront of the image. Yeah. I love when I stumble onto that. Yeah.

I’d love to see them if you could send me some of them? I’ll actually put them on your, on this episode’s page on the podcast website www.walkingtheshadowlands.com , so people can see them for themselves.

Yeah. I’ll dig around and see where I have those.

That’ll be, that’ll be awesome. I actually wondered, because, in all you’re going through these images, you had to come across some that you could not explain? And, and back in those days they just didn’t have I mean, I’m sure they could do double exposures, but, you know, you can sort of tell double exposures.

Right. Right. And also, it’s just from what – How it was made and where it was found. No, they weren’t they weren’t thinking we’re going to we’re going to pull a hoax on people 50 years into the future. You know, nobody –  there’s nothing to be gained by that you know?

Yeah absolutely. Oh, that’s really exciting. And it must have been quite an interest for you, when you discover these particular photos?

Yes, I did. A couple of years back, I did a Facebook post on a whole bunch of them, that I put together. That’s why I have to dig around and see where where I still have those. But that’s happened even before I bought the book was more like, hey, if you you know, if you had anything like to see anything like this ,and then some other people shared some of their pictures with me, some of which were legitimate and others I kind of questioned, you know? Just to kind of create a dialogue there.

OK, how cool is that? Very cool. Ok. So, so you have you you market web site, would you like to give your social media details from my listeners?

Sure. Well, you can if you’re interested in the book, which is Selling Dead People’s Things, you can just go to Selling Dead Peoples Things and order a copy there. You can also get it on Amazon and you can order it.

The store is Broadway Antique Market and so on Facebook it’s up Broadway, antique market, Chicago on Instagram, it’s BAMN, Chicago, that’s BAMN, Chicago. And there’s some great stuff that we’ve been we’re a little late to Instagram, but we’ve been catching up. And, and also to this is representative of the whole store. It’s not just my interests. It represents –  I have seventy-five some dealers. So it’s kind of I would say it’s it’s the best of our best that we put out. There is kind of representative examples of some of the things that we carry. And it’s all types of things. It’s I mean, we sell a lot of furniture and art, but it can be, it can be like almost anything that kind of strikes our fancy.

Last week we just put up a picture of a painting, which we couldn’t figure out what it was. And then we realized that it was a painting of a demolition of the Edgewater Beach Hotel in Chicago. And that was another very famous place, Edgewater Beach Hotel. If people want to Google that. And there was a hotel and it was apartment complex, big pink buildings. And so we just put that up, because, someone actually did a painting of the building as they were tearing it down. And that’s what is unusual subject matter. You know, that’s I like odd things, obviously, and unusual things. So, I always think if speaks to me. It’s going to speak to somebody else.

True. True. And Instagram is quite a good platform, but it’s hard doing social media. I admit I struggle with my social media for the podcast.

Hashtags, Hashtags. It’s just awful

I know. Maybe it’s an, our era thing or something but. . .

But also, contact me on FaceBook. So that’s Duane Scott Cerny. That’s probably the best way, if somebody wants to get a hold of me.

Cool. I was going to, I was going to ask, do you have a specific way people can get a hold of you? Because I’m – 50 percent of my listeners are in the U.S. So I’m sure that you will get some people contact you after this. Now, there was another question I had for you? Oh yes. Now in your market that you currently have. Have you, have you had any unexplained happenings in your market?

OK, good question. So, so there’s a building that was built in 1939 as a furniture store. And they actually made the furniture there and then sold it there. And that was the Pakan’s, P A K A N.  So this was a family. And then they sold it to Mr. Man and then Mr. Man sold the building to my partner and I. And the second floor, were all showroom’s. So, when we got at, the showrooms had been shuttered for like 20 years, which was very cool, because, everything’s falling apart. But it was still very cool to open up doors that nobody had been in for all that, all that time. So, and initially nothing had happened to me, or my staff. But, customers would comment about upstairs. And, it’s always one area upstairs.  And it would be –  the questions would be, is there someone else working upstairs? And then we would say no, but, do you need some help? And they said, no, but I just thought, somebody is watching me or following me. It tended to be younger women who would say this.


And that probably happened a dozen times, if it happened once. And then one of my employees, who didn’t believe in this at all, at all. And even said, I don’t believe in this at all., But he was closing up one night and he said someone called out his name. And he said, oh, I thought, I thought maybe that I was still downstairs, and I was calling for him. But, I had already left. He told me about it the next day and it was like, that’s interesting. And he said it was, and it felt it was like right in my ear or like, OK. And now other people have mentioned that too.  That somehow. It’s obviously seems to be an intelligent haunting.

My one thing, which I would say that is kind of the same thing, when I’m closing up for the night, closing up the night, and it’s, it sounded as if like a giant mirror had fallen off the wall, like right next to me. And I mean, I thought something fell off the wall. Stuff falls off all the time, and something broke. And I’m so I’m looking around, looking around. And there is there is nothing. There’s nothing. And when it happened again, it did happen again. It was the same thing. But at that time it sounded like if you had a big handful of keys, like your house and you dropped them on the concrete, it would make that sound right? Except, it’s carpeting. It shouldn’t make that sound? And again, it sounded like it was right there. And people have talked about that, of hearing this was like, little crash. So there’s definitely something there. What I’ve learned is that particular part of the building was turned into an apartment during the war. So people lived there. And that makes that makes sense.

It does.

What people ask about with all this, these objects and items of furniture, lighting, everything. Going in and out, going in and out. That there wouldn’t be, like this residual energy of that, you know? Because, I can never say in this store there was any one particular thing which, where that, where that’s happened. But, I think it might be a trigger. So, yeah. Yeah. We’ve never really gone any further in, like, exploring it. We’ve we’ve talked about it. What, what is that? but again. Perfectly harmless. 

Yeah. I think, I think I feel that you would feel if it was malevolent in any way. You would feel that.  And, you don’t get that feeling at all.

No, no. It’s more the I’m trying to get your attention.

Absolutely. Absolutely.

And, and I did have the one time where I thought somebody had called my name, and then I just assumed it was somebody from downstairs. What do you want? They go, what do you mean, what do I want? Some one called for me. So that seems to be a thing. So, yeah, it’s actually it’s, it just makes –  it kind of makes sense to with the history of building. And it was built as a furniture store and now it’s a vintage furniture store. So this is, this is the property. That it’s come full circle.

It’s come full circle, exactly.  What you could do with your gift in your, in your house, is you could go up to that area and acknowledge him.  Say, I know you’re here and, and, you know, we can coexist as we have been. But, we just want you to be aware that we know that you’re here.

Yeah, that’s a good, that’s a good idea because I’ve never done that. I’m always just trying to settle all the fires around me.

Well of course you would be. It’s a big place.

I should. I should take time to acknowledge this entity.

Yeah. Well it’s like. It’s like I, I and I often have people who have spirit trying to get their attention. And I say to them, well look, it’s like if somebody’s standing in the room. If you were standing in the room and somebody is in front of you, and you’re doing everything you can to get your attention, and they’re totally ignoring you, how would you feel. And spirit is just human without the body, so you know? And all he wants, I feel, is just to be acknowledged. And I bet you’ll find that if you do that, things will settle down. Not that, not that. It’s obviously not that you have a lot of issues with it, but I and also, you know, you can set boundaries with spirit? You can set boundaries with them like, you know, obviously it’s his home and he doesn’t want to leave. And I get the feeling that it’s male. That you can say to him, look, just don’t scare the ladies. Don’t make them feel creeped out!

Yeah, that is that’s a really good point, because, that is what I would say. When people feel comfortable there. They’re you know, and people have just come out and ask, oh, is that if anyone. Has anyone else experienced this? Oh yeah.

Yeah. And I don’t feel that it’s his intention to make woman feel uncomfortable, or to make anybody feel uncomfortable. It’s just he wants to be acknowledged.

Yeah, right. And you’re right. How human is that? Yeah.

Human. Yeah, yeah. So that’s really, oh that’s really awesome. So. Now, there was one other story in your book, and I’m only going to touch on really briefly. And it’s again about your haunted objects. It’s the desk with the lights.

Yes, right. Right. So, so this was back in Wrigglyville, and this is the Reader’s Digest version of this. is that I always call it the this is the story of the someone who’s, who’s not returning something. And, and also how I tell the story, as I think kind of different than most and all the different ways to tell a story. That’s what I’ve learned through the book, too, is when I was when I was writing it. And this is really about a woman who – that’s how I know the story. The woman who contacted me, and she had brought it. She had brought a desk from us and didn’t want to return it. But she was having, she wanted to know more about it. And what I knew about it was that I’d sold it before and it had been returned before. And that person didn’t want to talk about why they were returning it. And it was just you need to take this back. And that when I bought it, the older man I bought it from couldn’t wait to get rid of it.

And it was a really good deal, which is just should be worth a lot more money wise, selling it so cheap because he just wanted it to go. So the last person who purchased it, this couple and when they got it home. Well, the other thing about the desk, we want to give too much away, but was so great. So it’s behind all the doors and the bottom were all these weird marks and it was like burnt into the wood and it would be really cool. It was like as it was old English hieroglyphics. It was nothing like any language I’d ever seen. I didn’t know what it meant. But when you put the drawers in a certain way, you could see from the back. But it seemed to tell a story, I mean a thing for a paragraph and the next line would start. So it’s a very interesting desk. It was a partner’s desk. So that means there’s drawers on both sides, and when this couple bought it, they had some paranormal things happen to them, which is why they were calling.

So that was the. – Yeah, the drawers, the drawers opening on them by themselves.  At one time, one door completely coming out, like on its own. Not that they ever saw it happen. They would just come into the room and there it would be. So, so that was why they were contacting us. And then, I’m not going to give the whole stor , but part of it was that the other thing that  I knew about it was that when we had it –  again, I didn’t see this. I had employees and this when it was in the basement of our store, and they had seen the doors open and little orbs of light showed up all over the room again. Again, there’s no windows. This was where I’m going. And at the time, I didn’t believe them.  I didn’t understand it. And I, I like both of them a lot, and they were really good employees. So, it seemed odd for –  it was an odd thing, and also because the only thing they agreed upon was this. Because, they didn’t really get along themselves. That made me think that there was something to it. So, I’m telling this out of order, sorry.

That’s alright.

But the woman wanted an explanation of what I knew about it. I’m going this is what I know about. I don’t have all the answers. I’m just telling you what I know. And, she wasn’t calling to return it and never did return it. But I go back to what we started with, the objects decide who’s going to, who was going to buy them. And this woman had searched for this type of desk because her grandmother had this desk when she was growing up and she wanted it. This is what she wanted.  This was where it was supposed to go, not to the other people who owned it and didn’t want it. This is, this was wanted. Again, like somebody wants this kitten or puppy, you know, it’s this love thing. And so she was thrilled with it. Not so thrilled that, you know, it was apparently haunted in some respect. But then they just kind of it just became a part of the house. It was, is a part of their life and kind of an exciting part, actually.

I would say so.

So, yeah, it meant, it meant no harm. It was just a very entertaining desk and I got a story out of it, so, it’s a win, win, win OK?

It’s a win/win/win. But I was just going to say, did you ever find out what the writing’s, what the markings were? You never did?

No, no, no. I’ve showed any number of dealers that came in and no. Yeah, , I should have taken, I should have taken pictures at the time. You know, when you’re doing these things, there’s so much stuff. There’s stuff coming everyday, every day. Now, that was particularly unusual, but it could certainly have been. You know, people there are people out there that create their own languages. That people do that, very creative people. So it very well could have been that.

Or it could have been some esoteric, ah, sort of thing?

It could have been some folk arty exercise, because, it was certainly a desk from the turn of the century. Clearly, it had been there forever. But what was cool about it was that when you looked at the desk, you didn’t see it. It’s only when you took it all apart. It’s behind all the drawers and the bottom of each drawer. And again, and then even like she had said, it seemed like if you didn’t put the drawers in the right way, the story would be different.

That’s interesting, Very interesting.

Right? So it might be also why there was activity. If it wasn’t, they weren’t, need to be aligned.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Very interesting. What made you decide to write your book?

I, I’ve written all types of things with no success, for most of my life. And, I was in a writing class in New York, which I was really lucky to get into. And I wrote an article, I wrote a story. You had to do the writing right there in the class, right there in the class. So there’s no preparation. And they all had to be true stories. This is not a fiction class. It’s all non, nonfiction stories. So, every week we would come to this woman’s house, and there’s a dozen, of us. And we would do this. And every week, I would usually be like in the top three. I mean, she’d tell you if you write out topics and then she’d pick one. Right. And I was kind of rocking it. And there were some amazing people, extremely talented people in this group.

And then this one week, I wrote this story. Because, I’d never written about what I do. But I thought, oh, you know what? This is the time, I’m going to do this. And people said, bull shit!  you can’t write fiction. This that’s, this didn’t happen. I go, no, no, no, it happened. And everybody called me out on it, that I just made this up. And here I’ve been there with other people. t wasn’t a paranormal story, but it turned out to be a rather prescient story. And I afterwards, it was great class and I still did well with it. And I came away and I thought I screwed up. I didn’t tell it right. I didn’t write it well, is what I said to myself. I need to write this well enough, so that when people read it, they go, yes, and they get it. And I did that and I’m just a fluke. I sent it into The New York Times, who then published it! All traces of the man who disappeared. And you can Google that. It’s free out there on the Internet,  All traces of a man who disappeared. It’s a little political. Does it mean to be? It just had to be, given the time and the topic. It’s, and that was it. Then I went, I said, I’m on to something here, I need to write more about what I do. Sorry, long answer.

No, that’s great. Then . . .

That’s the opening chapter of the book.

Yeah. And then you got this awesome book which is doing quite well for you. I understand?

Yeah. It’s in its third printing. It sells very well around Halloween, go figure.

Not surprisingly

It was. Yeah it was, it was the number one vintage book on the USA and Canada, which is crazy for a vintage book to do. First podcast I was on, it was in Australia. And I did. And then it was on the charts in Australia. So and now it’s been out for two years or so, and it’s still and it’s, it’s still selling and people still contact me. And it’s been a, it’s been a lovely experience.

That’s awesome. And I really love the way your sense of humour comes through the book, the whole way. Honestly, there were times when I was just reading, and I was just chuckling the whole time. And I could see, like, you have a very dry, witty sense of humour that I absolutely love. Almost verging on the sarcastic. And I really like that. I really like that sort of humour.

And I’m writing about sometimes things that are difficult. You know, this is very much the vintage business, is a business of endings. And, but, I’ve heard that people say it’s I – it’s like being with me. It’s like, it’s like we went out for drinks and I told you a story. Exactly.

Exactly. That’s exactly what it feels like. It feels like when I was reading, it felt like I was sitting opposite you and you were telling me these stories. That’s exactly how it felt. I agree with that. I agree with that entirely.

And I think that, yeah, I think I’m I’m not too transparent. It’s just, here it is.

No, it’s awesome. And I do believe you actually haven’t finished your writing, journey. Do believe that you’ve got more to come.

Oh yeah I’ve been knocking things around, you know, it’s been a tough time for everybody, you know, as of late.  Just keeping everything safe, and everybody going. So, and yeah, I’ve been, I’ve been working on another book. I don’t –  I’m not really one for repeating myself. So it’s, I think it’s going to be similar, but different. But I do think in a way, I stumbled on to something, because, people do like hearing these stories.

Oh absolutely!

And so I think it’s going to be just like this was a bit of a hybrid, you know? Of a memoir. It’s an odd,  it’s absolutely an odd book. You know, when when I finished it and was pitching it around and people said, well, you know, 99 percent of all the books on our antiques are about like identifying what something is, and what it’s worth. And, you know, now having read it, that’s not this book like that now.

No, absolutely not

So but I can still talk about the business. I don’t talk about money. Really not much, that’s not what, that’s not what it’s about.

Right. Yeah, I know. It’s not what it’s about. It’s about your journey and your growth, and your development as a person in this business. That’s what it’s about. And your personal experiences along the way. It’s really fascinating reading.  And I encourage all my listeners to check this out and go and get it for themselves. That’s a really good read. It will have you laughing. There are bits that will make you feel emotional as you feel for the people in the book. But, it’s really, really a good read and I absolutely loved it! I did.

Marianne, thank you so very much.

When I first got it, I thought ohhh antiques! I don’t know. I mean, I’m all into second hand things, and recycling, but actually it wasn’t at all dry. It was humorous. It was funny, it was touching. It was in parts a little bit scary. Some might find some of the experiences is a wee bit scary. The ones that you went into, not for me, but some might find it that way. But it’s a really, overall, a great read. And and you are so interesting to talk to. And I can’t wait to hear what you do next.

Thank you. I will let you know.

Yeah, yeah, please do. ’Cause, I’ll really, really be interested in reading your next book. And I know things are very, very difficult for you. Life in the States at the moment with the comfort. And I know things are very, very difficult for you all over in the states at the moment with the Covid. And, I know that you’re in Chicago, which is not where you generally live, but you can’t get home because . . .

No flying.

No flying, yeah. It’s a bit difficult for you guys. And I want to acknowledge that I know how difficult it is for you out there. Here in New Zealand, we are very fortunate. We’re just going about our lives like normal, like we’re having parties.  We’re having funerals. We’re having –  you know, we can go to the beach and not worry, but even people in Australia can’t, you know. So we’re very lucky here. And, and because we are so isolated and insulated from the rest of the world, I forget how difficult it is for you all out there. And, I just want to acknowledge that!

Did I just see a dog go by? I just saw a tail in the corner, I think.

You did?


No, dog!

No dog?

I don’t have a dog.

You don’t have a dog?

I don’t have a dog.

Did you have a dog?

Yeah. I used to have a dog.

But was it kind of a tannish colour?

Yeah. Really? That would be Snookums, oh my eyes.

Seriously? I just saw a dog’s tail go by. A tan coloured dog’s tail. Fluffy.

Wow. Oh, no. Nope, wow.

Holey moley! Wow. I was going to say, can you bring him in so I can look at him.

OMG! We were talking about her. No, she’s been gone for years

Oh wow, so there you go! So she’s still around you, there you go! Holey moley, I didn’t expect that. Oh, I’m so sorry. I mean, I’m not sorry.

Oh, no. That’s lovely. Wow, wow, I haven’t talked about her in years, and . . .

You know what, I bet it’s in the video. I’ll have a look in the video and if I can find it, I’ll clip it and send it to you.

Yeah. If you can get a screenshot, oh my gosh.

Oh, on that wonderful note,

Ha! There’s a first!

Thank you. Thank you so much for your time today. Duane, I’ve really enjoyed our conversation.

Thank you Marianne, this has been so much fun.

And I knew I was going to enjoy it. When I read your book, I knew that you were going to be very easy to talk to,

As are you. This has been just joyous. Thank you so much.

Your welcome. Thank you.

A Dog’s Tail Clip Video Clip

Duane specifically asked me to leave in the content about me seeing his wee dog. When we were talking on Zoom, I could see on the video that he had this beautiful Art Deco screen behind him, but at the left hand bottom of that screen was a small gap that showed part of the floor of the room behind him. It was in that gap that I clearly and unmistakably saw the fluffy, fast wagging tail, of a tan-coloured dog walking past the screen.

As we had pretty much concluded our interview I was going to ask him to call the dog in so I could get a good look at it. So I was absolutely shocked when that conversation ensued. I’m not actually much on putting videos of me up on the net, but I will consider putting this part of our conversation that Zoom videoed on this episode’s page on the podcast website. www.walkingtheshadowlands.com, so you can see our physical reactions.

It’s not often that I see spirit of any description, human or animal as clearly as I saw this Snookums. Incredibly touching and a wonderful validation for Duane that his beloved, and his sister’s beloved dog continued to be around him in spirit. And a great way to end our conversation and this episode. I really enjoyed my conversation with Duane and I am grateful to him for his time and that I was able to give back to him in that way that meant so much to both of us.

Be sure and join us in two weeks when I have a follow-on episode on Haunted items. Some very well know, and others not so well known. It’ll be a very interesting episode. So, if you are not subscribed to our podcast what are you waiting for? Subscribe now so you don’t miss out at all.

This episodes music was called ‘Strange Things’ from Jay Urban.

Before I close this episode, I want to give a shout out to these patrons of our show, for their wonderful financial support of Walking the Shadowlands: The Reverend Mary, Michelle, Duncan, Kylie, Kelly, Helen, and Misch. If you want to become a patron of the show, then head over to to patreon.com/Mcc15 and sign up now. As a patron you get access to a special members only page on the podcast website www.walkingtheshadowlands.com from which you can download full transcripts of each episode, you also have access to some interview bits that may not make the episodes and little extras as I have time to create and add them for you. You also get early access to the shows, before everyone else gets to hear them. Also you have my absolute gratitude and appreciation. So what are you waiting for? Go to treon.com/Mcc15 and sign up now. The continued support of my patrons, makes it possible for me to financially cover part of the costs of producing this show for you all. So thank you all so much.

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