A long-time Sioux City collector has decided to retire from his hobby after decades of collecting postcards. Darold Sea has collected well over 100,000 in his lifetime.The retired educator is in his 80s now and he’s decided to sell his collection.

“At the auction there’ll be more than 800 Sioux City pictures on sale, but they come from all over the world,” Sea says, “…including items that are the first picture postcards in America, back from 1893.”

Sea got started collecting years ago when he attended an auction in Cherokee, Iowa.

“I saw bidders from all around and there were some postcards for sale,” Sea says. “They actually didn’t get into a physical fight, but they did get into kind of a verbal bidding war and the price went up, up, up and I thought: “Well, gee, I’ll check in it.’ And I’ve checking every since.”

Sea’s favorite postcard, though, is one sent his father sent to a high school sweetheart.

“I have one that my dad, when he was at Central High School — a Valentine, a postcard that he sent to his girlfriend,” Sea says. “My mother’s name was Ester and I think he sent this to a Mary Beth.”

Sea’s 100,000 card collection will be auctioned off today in the Augustana Church auditorium in Sioux City. The collection is divided in 687 lots, ranging from a single postcard, to a thousand postcards per lot. The sale starts at 10 a.m. and organizers expect it to run until six p.m. Saturday. Bids will only be accepted on-site, but you can find out more information about the collection online on the auctioneer’s website.

By Woody Gottburg, KSCJ, Sioux City