Jerry's toilet is back
Garcia's items head online for auction
The auction of Jerry Garcia's toilets and other household furnishings is set to get under way again after being clogged up in a legal dispute with the late Marin rock star's estate.
The online charitable auction was abruptly halted in December when family members of the Grateful Dead icon - offended by published remarks they considered in poor taste - sent letters demanding that the sale "cease and desist."
They took issue with comments attributed to former Tiburon resident Henry Koltys, who was auctioning items on eBay from the home the guitarist once owned in Nicasio. Koltys says he was misquoted.
"Mr. Koltys didn't mean to offend anybody, but it came off as disrespectful to Jerry's memory," said Brooke Oliver, attorney for the Garcia estate. "We were concerned about a comment that he had a piece of Jerry to sell. Nobody has a piece of him to sell."
Under a settlement reached with the estate, Koltys agreed to make clear the Garcia Estate and the Grateful Dead are in no way affiliated with the auction or the charity it benefits, the Sophia Foundation, an organization that supports children of divorce. Koltys is the foundation's chairman.
Koltys sent the Garcia family a letter of apology, expressing regret "for any confusion that may have occurred."
The auction is scheduled to resume on eBay today through Feb. 27. According to Koltys, the Garcia estate will get a portion of the proceeds, but details were not disclosed.
"The focus of this auction has always been about helping to raise money for families and children," he said. "The emphasis is for the Grateful Dead community to get behind this. I think the real spirit ought to be positive."
Koltys, a lawyer living in Sonoma, is chairman and general counsel for InCap Corp., a software firm.
Garcia died in 1995. In 1997, Koltys and his then-wife bought the 7,500-square-foot Nicasio home the Grateful Dead founder owned. He sold it two years later but kept fixtures and furnishings, including a bidet, stereo speakers and cabinets, a Jacuzzi, even a kitchen sink, to be auctioned for charity.
"The auction had a lot of momentum, and I'm hopeful it will take off again," Koltys said
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