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Inside Kirstie Alley's Estate Sale, an Eclectic Life Emerges

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Past stacks of melamine dishes, a baroque dog bed and a Lucite stand that once held a Golden Globe, there it was. Kirstie Alley's yellow bike.

I'd seen her atop it long ago, riding on the Pinellas Trail in Florida. She was tooling around alone with a certain lightness. I remember thinking, huh. The late "Cheers" alum, the comic star with the bouncing hair and raspy voice, the unwitting symbol of our culture's sick obsession with weight, was small. Petite, even. Just another person huffing around in the sun on a banana ride with the word "Townie" down the side.

Alley's yellow bike, $950, was up for grabs at an estate sale of her things Thursday that offered a surreal glimpse at the everyday ephemera of a celebrity. The prices ranged from pedestrian -- $25 for a set of summery goblets -- to jaw-dropping -- $18,000 for a peach ball gown she wore in a Jenny Craig commercial.

What to do with the trappings of the dead? Sorting the remains of anyone's life is a confusing swirl of transaction and sentiment. If you've lost someone, you've no doubt stared into a box of socks, overwhelmed with analysis paralysis. Add in a layer of fame, of glitz and glamour, of real and perceived value, and the kaleidoscope shifts again.

The task of sorting it all fell to Those Two Girls Estate Sales. The company tackles projects from hoarded houses to high-end affairs such as this. Alley, who died in 2022 at 71 after a battle with cancer, tapped Those Two Girls when she fell ill. Her associates interviewed the company and chose them to catalog and sell her belongings from three houses in Maine, California and Florida.

The sale was not at her Clearwater, Florida, home, which sold for $5.2 million in August. Those Two Girls co-owner Bill Wallace walked me through the sale inside a vacant Clearwater building. Alley's belongings were both painfully ordinary -- DVDs of "The Office" and sets of cocktail napkins -- and fantastically ornate -- hand-painted panels from famed interior designer Sister Parish.

 

Wallace shared anecdotes about Italian pottery from Positano and a dress Alley wore on "Dancing with the Stars." Assembling the sale and learning the lore took Wallace and co-owner Magge Barber nine months.

"Exciting, arduous, to say the least," said Wallace. "Lots of phone calls back and forth understanding her life. Because why does someone have 15 vintage doors?"

Indeed, he pointed to an array of doors I had somehow failed to process amid the sensory overload.

"It wasn't because she was a hoarder or a collector. She had actually purchased the house that she was retiring to, and she wanted it to be authentic."

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