Ryan Lieck is looking forward to his appointment with Mark Moran at the Italy 2013 Dinner and an Appraisal Event to be held Feb. 17.
Lieck, a junior at RHS, has a historical treasure that he’s shared with teachers and classmates alike over the years. He’s hoping that Moran, editor of over 25 books on antiques and collectibles and a guest appraiser on the PBS hit show Antiques Roadshow, will be able to tell him more.
“I was cleaning out the basement at our house and came across these boxes that included a photo album,” explained Lieck of his treasure.
The treasure turns out to be a scrapbook/photo album highlighting the military career of Philip W. Derra, a sergeant in the 32nd Red Arrow Division of the Wisconsin National Guard, 121st Field Artillery Regiment during World War I. Derra once owned the home where the Lieck family lives.
The album is filled with a numerous photos chronicling Derra’s time in France, including several photos of Howitzers and a number of candid shots demonstrating the impact of the war on both the military and civilian populations.
Two photos in the collection really stand out to Lieck. The first is a candid photo of a soldier standing near a river. Beside him is a rectangular patch and a post with a helmet on top. The second photo reflects something near to Lieck’s heart-music-as it shows four men playing instruments and has “Battery D Musical 4” inscribed on it.
In his excitement about the upcoming event, Lieck has already contacted Moran regarding the scrapbook.
“He [Moran] got back to me within a day. He was friendly and willing to cooperate with me. He explained that there is a market for vintage militaria,” said Lieck.
“I’m hoping that Mr. Moran will tell me that it’s an important part of history,” commented Lieck.
Efforts to locate members of the Derra family have come up empty so far, according to Lieck. He knows that Derra was living in Milwaukee and had a wife named Edna according to the 1930 Census. “If the family sees this article, I would return the material to them. It belongs to them.”
Should no one come forward though, Lieck has plans for the artifact.
“I hope I can share it with some museum and with the world. I would love for other people to learn more about Philip.”
Anyone wanting to join Lieck at the Dinner and an Appraisal Event should register for an appraisal spot with Moran quickly as only 15 spaces remain according to Linda Goldsworthy, the group leader for the Italy 2013 group who is sponsoring this fundraiser.
People who are interested in registering an item can pick up a form at Rhinelander High School or M&I Bank in Rhinelander. They can also contact Judy Fritz at (715) 362-2921 or email@example.com to get a form via e-mail. The cost per item is $15.
The community is also welcome to watch Moran in action according to Goldsworthy. Admission will be $3 for the 3-hour long appraisal program which will begin at 6 p.m.
The evening will start at 5 p.m. with an Old Fashioned Dinner prepared by the RHS Pro-Start students.
Dinner tickets must be purchased by 3 p.m. on Monday, February 13 and are available at Rhinelander High School, M & I Bank, and from all Italy 2013 participants for $12.00. The dinner ticket also includes entrance into the appraisal event.