I finally cleared my TiVo of all the season finales and officially launched my summer movie/TV season.
What are you most looking forward to? For me, it's the final episodes of "The Closer" on TNT, the feature film "Dark Knight Rises" (July 20) and my summer TV indulgence, "So You Think You Can Dance" (airing Wednesdays on Fox).
Thank goodness we have some blockbuster films to pick up the slack during these hot-as-Hades months. There's nothing like slipping into a cold, dark theater with 300 or so other folks and escaping reality for a couple of hours.
I kicked off my movie season with — what else? — "The Avengers." It got me to thinking: If I could have a super power, which one would I want?
Recently, I met up with antiques appraiser extraordinaire Lori Verderame, or Dr. Lori, as she is known to her fans. She has a super power of sorts: She can look at pretty much any item and tell you exactly what it's worth. (OK, maybe that has more to do with her Ph.D. and years of experience, than accidental exposure to gamma radiation.)
Dr. Lori is the appraiser for the wildly popular "Auction Kings" on Discovery. I can say I knew her, and to a certain extent, so can you.
Here in Southwest Florida, Dr. Lori has been a fixture on Fox 4's "Morning Blend," which airs at 8 a.m., weekdays. Numerous other TV guest appearances include "Anderson Cooper," "The Tonight Show," and "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart."
Her column also is featured in numerous newspapers throughout the country, including the Marco (Island) Eagle.
Dr. Lori's latest gig, "Auction Kings," airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. The reality show premiered in 2010 and features the Gallery 63 in Sandy Springs, Georgia, just north of Atlanta.
The auction house employees rely on experts like Dr. Lori to appraise items before they are put before the public.
As with any super power, one must decide if it's going to be used for good or for evil. Knowing exactly what an item is worth can put you in a very advantageous spot. Dr. Lori could easily travel the countryside, buying items for less than a third of their value and turning a hefty profit. Instead, she travels the countryside, holding seminars where she appraises people's items. But that's where it ends. She doesn't offer to buy them. Further, as part of her lecture — and like any good superhero — she warns folks about the evildoers who would take advantage of them.
"Don't let it go until you know what it's worth," warns Dr. Lori. "And make sure the person telling you what it's worth isn't making money off the item," she adds.
Dr. Lori readily admits that collecting is a gateway drug to hoarding. "I've been in the houses of both the collector and the hoarder," says Dr. Lori. "It's a very emotional hobby. Items collect memories."
With over 150 appearances a year, appraising more than 20,000 objects a year, Dr. Lori is considered one of the foremost authorities on collectibles, including sports memorabilia.
"My father played for both the New York Yankees and Philadelphia Phillies organizations as a left-handed pitcher in the 1940s," she says. "My dad struck out Mickey Mantle in the minors — Mickey was a mere teenager at the time —
and regularly exchanged pitching tips with Satchel Paige. I grew up learning sports history and I enjoy evaluating sports memorabilia now."
Dr. Lori's next appearance on "The Morning Blend," will be June 26 and 27. "Auction Kings" airs at 9 p.m., every Thursday. Dr. Lori was a featured speaker at last year's Naples Daily News Women's Expo. Visit Dr.LoriV.com to find a speaking engagement near you.
I have received quite a few good reader questions and comments. I didn't have a chance to get to any of them this week, but keep them coming and I'll devote next week's columns to your questions and comments. Send to <a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com</a>.
What are you most looking forward to this summer? The coming fall? I'm taking any and all comments — as long as they're about TV (there's always a catch).
Until next time, stay tuned.
Bill Green is a Naples Daily News/naplesnews.com journalist and a professional couch potato. Contact him at <a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org">email@example.com</a>. Connect with him at facebook.com/billdgreen.