HERMISTON - A much anticipated trip to the Antique Road Show turned out to be a bit of a fiasco for Cheryl Dyer and her fiance, Pete Patrick.
The couple are avid watchers of the Public Broadcasting series and when they learned the show was coming to Portland they immediately went online to apply for tickets.
"We were so excited, we went on line in April and didn't find out until August we were selected," Dyer said.
She was informed she could only bring two items to the show. She had no trouble deciding which two items she would take to the Portland Convention Center for appraisal. Her mother, the late Maurine Rule, was a longtime companion to the late Richard Mullen.
"After he died she inherited his antiques and memorabilia," Dyer said. "And when she died I inherited everything."
Everything includes some beautiful pieces of furniture, photos, scrap books and other memorabilia, a watch and a large painting of Jeannie Mullen Donahue Jones painted by Jay Hugo an Italian painter from the late 1800s and early 1900s.
Jeannie Jones was a sister-in-law to Mabel Wagnalls-Jones of the Funk and Wagnalls dictionaries and married into the Jones family, who were steel magnates during the 1920s, Dyer said.
"Richard was their only nephew and they used to fight over him," she added. "I really never knew what keeping up with the Jones meant until I got all this stuff."
Dyer decided to take the large portrait with a box of photographs, newspaper clippings and other supporting materials, and a pocket watch belonging to R.C. Jones, Mabel's husband.
"We stood in line for four hours with 8,000 people," Dyer said. "Then you get up to the appraisers and are sectioned off to the watch and painting lines."
Patrick carried the painting for Dyer, but rather than go through the watch line she decided to stay with him.
"I went with him in the painting line, I figured we'd go to the watch line later," Dyer said. "The whole line of people were making a big fuss. People in line were very cool and very interested. I explained who she was and Pete would say 'she is an ugly old lady.' I told him to quit or he would jinx our karma.
"We finally get up to the appraiser with his stuffy old suit and his Boston accent and he said 'Would you please lift the portrait on to the table."'
That is when disaster struck.
"Pete drops her and the appraiser said, 'Oh My Lord, you've ripped her," Dyer said. "It was the first time in my life I was speechless. Pete is behind (the portrait) saying it's OK. The appraiser said 'No you don't understand, you have ripped her.'"
After the commotion settled the appraiser did his job. He appraised the painting at $3,000 with the damage, and a value of $7,000 before the rip.
"She used to hang in my bedroom, but I really don't want her there," Dyer said. "I have no idea what to do with her. I want someone who loves her to have her - like a family member, but they are all dead."
The trip wasn't a total disaster. The couple eventually made it to the watch appraiser.
"Pete wanted to carry the watch, but I told him he'd only drop it," Dyer said.
The watch was a 17-jeweled Swiss, 24-carat gold pocket watch with an alligator case and a gold pencil.
"It appraised at $2,500," Dyer said. "I keep it in a safe deposit box at the bank. The appraiser said, 'I tell you it probably wasn't his best watch.'''