The Cobblestone Event Center in Mason was to be hosting an auction featuring klan robes, literature and the estate of the deceased klan leader Robert Miles Sunday morning. It was already controversial, but Saturday, some residents in Mason woke up to hate propaganda fliers.
That's what prompted the antiques dealer to cancel the auction. He says they won't be host to anything that helps springboard Klan activity in their community.
The story really began this winter when Gary Gray of the Ole Gray Nash Auction house in Howell held the first of what he calls memorabilia auctions. He'd scheduled another larger auction in Flint, then Saginaw, then Handy township. Each was cancelled. He'd finally found a location to host him Friday in Mason.
In a press conference this afternoon, the facility owner, David Feintuch, says he believes the antiques to be historical and that they are valid for auction. But, he says, the backlash and the risk of Klan activity is not worth holding the auction.
Robin Naeyaert, city mayor, and Martin Colburn, city administrator, say they're pleased with the business decision.
Late Friday night and early Saturday morning, Mason officials say a flier that says its from the Mystic Knights of the KKK was distributed on at least 3 streets in Mason. It asks for money, and urged white power to unite.
"It came to our driveway in the back here," Lois Whipple says.
"It's ridiculous...I wouldn't give 'em my attention. I wouldn't give 'em 5 cents," her husband Myron adds.
As for his auction, Gray says he believes it should have been cancelled. He says he's worn out--this was his 4th attempt at finding a venue to sell his goods, after all, but he doesn't know if he'll try to find another.