The Gleason Estate, An Appraisal to Remember

I don’t recall the room looking too different than it does in this photograph from 1974.

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In 1987, 30 years ago when I did the appraisal it was before the age of digital photography so you either had to take Polaroid or 35mm pictures (the golden era of 1-hour photo developing). Since so much time has passed, those original photographs are long gone. 

When I knocked on the front door I was quite surprised because I was expecting Marilyn Gleason (Marilyn Ann Veronica Taylor, June Taylor's sister) to answer the door. Instead the door opened, and I was greeted by June Taylor (1917-2004) choreographer for the June Taylor dancers of the Jackie Gleason Show, and in 1978, she began choreographing the Miami Dolphins Cheerleading Squad, the Starbrites and served in that capacity until 1990. 

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June said Marilyn isn’t home, but will be here soon, and invited me in to begin the appraisal. Naturally, knowing Gleason was an avid pool player and shared star billing with Paul Newman in the 1961 movie The Hustler playing the role of Minnesota Fats and Newman playing the role of “Fast” Eddie Felson, I began in the Pool Room. Stepping into the room you expected to see pool hustlers. 

Over the years I appraised Gleason's Brunswick pool table two additional times as it changed ownership. 

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Moving from the Pool Room to the Library, WOW! was the only way to describe it. Gleason had a huge book collection, which Mrs. Gleason donated to the University of Miami in 1988. In addition to the books was a framed first paycheck and much more. 

The other fabulous piece was the original Salvador Dali watercolor pen and ink created for Jackie Gleason’s 1955 album Lonesome Echo.