Edgar "Al" Jarvis took a lifetime to collect the knickknacks and odds and ends. He filled his house. His backyard. Garages.Storage units.
Every nook and cranny. Every wall contained the things he loved.
Where most collectors might stop at a dozen or two of the same thing, Jarvis did not.
He collected hundreds, if not thousands, of variations on the same item.
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Hundreds of snowmen and Santas.
Hundreds of dice, some ivory, some plastic.
A thousand letter openers.
Roughly 2,500 elephants made of bronze, ivory, even plastic bags — plus at least two dozen donkey cups and figurines. And throw in a few statues of pink flamingos.
Jarvis sought out walking sticks. Six hundred of them. Some have walrus ivory handles; others are gold presentation sticks; still others are wrapped in snakeskin or made from deer antlers. One opened into a violin.
Jarvis grew up on a farm near Ulysses and was passionate about his alma mater, the University of Kansas in Lawrence.
He loved working for Southwestern Bell, where he became a division manager, and being involved in the community.
During the 1960s and 1970s, Jarvis began his collecting.
"It started mostly as gifts," said his friend and cousin, Mike Eves when interviewed by The Eagle in 2006. "Someone gave him an elephant or he bought one. He showed an interest. His friends became aware it was something to give him."
As Jarvis traveled the state for Southwestern Bell, he'd stop in at antique shops, asking dealers if they might have an elephant or a walking stick.
When he died in 2006, his collections were vast.
Question: What became of Al Jarvis’ collections?
Answer to Monday’s question: Bernard "Poco" Frazier’s largest artwork in Wichita is the swirling, 24-by-70-foot mosaic "Be Still and Know That I Am God," on the front of the First United Methodist Church, 330 N. Broadway. The piece contains more than 70,000 homemade tiles.
Check Kansas.com on Wednesday for the answer to today’s question.