Former mayor Charlie Wheeler’s possessions on sale in Midtown

A Westport High School helmet is among mementos belonging to former Kansas City mayor Charlie Wheeler, on sale today and tomorrow in Westport.Need an autographed hard hat, a legacy of some ground-breaking ceremony?

When a former two-term Kansas City mayor and state senator downsizes, there are unusual bargains to be had.

Charlie Wheeler, 87, has decades of possessions on sale today and Saturday at a store at 1004 Westport Road in the Old Westport Shopping Center.

He served as mayor from 1971 to 1979, and “Many regard this as the last golden age of Kansas City,” Ingram’s Magazine reported in 2002.

The Truman Sports Complex opened in 1972 and so did the KCI airport, replacing the downtown airport now named for Wheeler. He oversaw financing and construction of Kemper Arena and the Bartle Hall Convention Center, allowing the city to host the 1976 Republican National Convention, Wikipedia reports.

Wheeler was also a doctor and pathologist with a keen interest in history, a man of many hats.

And many of his hats are on sale, from a straw boater to baseball caps. So are rows of books, including “The Poisoners Handbook” and the “Oxford Book of Villains.”

There are many books on Harry Truman, including a 16-volume set of Truman’s public papers. A thick copy of David McCullough’s Truman biography includes an unusual bookmark – a picture of former mayors Emanuel Cleaver and Richard Berkley.

There are mystery books and a boxed set of the Sopranos CDs, tables of plagues and awards, oil paintings, an elaborate carved chess set, a four-poster bed and more furniture.

It is not an auction. There are price tags on the items in the sale that lasts today until 6 p.m. and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Wheeler is not on the premises. He and his wife are moving from their longtime home in the Loose Park area, lost to foreclosure, to a smaller home on Ward Parkway.

He told the Kansas City Star on Thursday, “It was time to clear the decks; I didn’t want to be called a hoarder.”

These hardhats represent the mayor’s many groundbreaking ceremonies during his tenure at the helm of the city.


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