I thought I should post at least one thing this week that didn't have to do with ebay. The auctions haven't closed yet, but I will say an early "Mahalo" to all those who bid and hope you enjoy your Magnum items.
I just scanned these photos and they reminded me of the week I just had--ending with food poisoning and having to cancel a party for a good friend who is visiting. Anyway, a recurring theme seems to be what happened to all the Magnum items after the show? As I have said, the State Film Office bought the remains for their set dressing "stock" of items that could be used by another resident company at the studio or even rented by an outside group doing a commercial or other TV / film project locally. The set dressing crew (leadman, swing gang) occupied the area that also housed the storage for all of these items used by other past shows - Hawaii 5-0, Magnum, Hawaiian Heat, Byrds of Paradise, One West Waikiki, Jake and the Fatman, etc. No distinction was made as to which show the items came from. Kitchen items went into the kitchen storage area, tables with tables, pictures with pictures, etc. We more or less remembered where some of the items had come from, but it was not designated as being very important--more of a "Hey, remember this from Jack Lord's desk?" When you're around it all day, it loses any real importance of its origins.
When a resident TV show occupied the studio, the set dressing crew inherited the duty of maintaining the resident stock of dressing as well as those of the current production. The next biggest show after Magnum was "Jake and the Fatman." We made a vague attempt to label "Viacom" dressing but we were so short on storage space that ultimately everything was co-mingled. When I went with the show to L.A., things were left to my crew to close up where they sat for another 3 years before the next show came in.
When there was no resident company using the film studio, the burden of renting the set dressing out fell on the film studio resident manager. The renting of these items was / is very sporadic, but until a few years ago, this facility was the only place you could rent crates, a silver lame curtain, a marble topped desk, gym lockers, or the old 5-0 phone booth. It was more of an "honor" system that everything would be returned and put back where it came from. As you can imagine when a project is over, it is more of a dump and run than a careful return and replacement. The duties of the studio manager are more than enough maintaining this large facility without playing rental agent. Periodically it would be suggested that the State just get rid of "all that old stuff" and then I would write letters and try and explain the importance of maintaining a stock of items and it stayed.
I took these pictures prior to the demolition of the set dressing storage building (one end of it was construction and one end set dressing). As we used to say, if the termites quit holding hands, it would have all caved in. I don't have any photos of the interior, but suffice to say it was not unlike this exterior collection. Roof leaks, rats, bugs, dirt were pretty much everywhere in this building affectionately called "The Hole." The other two photos were after the items had been cleared away prior to demolition. The new building is basically in the same location. I tried to have some say in what was saved vs. what was thrown out which was done by the demolition contractor. In the end, I had to be happy that anything at all was saved. Those items now occupy 1/3 of the old 5-0 soundstage in a much improved environment. In some ways, the quantity held by the less quality old storage building was preferable but sooner or later those termites would have won and all would have been lost.
So this is the real story of what happened to all the set dressing 20+ years later. The importance we attach to the past is often better preserved in our memories than in objects.