Today: The Sad Demise of David R. Spivey Books, Maps & Fine Arts in Westport

Chalk one up for Father Time and the Internet

In a matter of days, a 33 year-old Westport institution – David R. Spivey Books, Maps & Fine Art will take it’s place in the history books.

"I’m alright, I’m just retiring," says Spivey. "I’m in the process of selling everything."

Spivey sold the building at 825 Westport Road to neighbor Joe Zwillenberg of the Westport Flea Market.

Spivey’s Web site says, "David R. Spivey has been buying, selling and appraising old maps, rare books and fine art since 1978. Over the years, Spivey’s has grown to be the largest old map, print and book dealer in the Midwest…We have five floors of maps, prints, fine art and books. Our building dates to 1910 and sits on the old Santa Fe trail in historic Westport."

The liquidation is being held in the form of an online auction ending January 4th and 5th.

"It’s sad," Spivey says. "But I can’t do anything anymore, I’m confined to my bedroom. I’m 75 but I feel like I’m old."

Spivey’s favorite item?

"Actually my favorite thing was a document concerning the Territory of Kansas from 1853," he says. "But I donated that to the library."

Memories? Spivey has plenty.

"It was a fun business," he says. "It was a lot of fun, but like a lot of businesses, the Internet changed things. And people who didn’t know very much and had very little experience could go online and learn and see everything. They didn’t have to come to my store anymore."

From a health standpoint, "I have Alzheimers, I’m afraid," Spivey says. "It’s hard for me to remember."

Prior to breaking into the map and doc racket, Spivey spent 30 years working with the juvenile court here.

Any famous celebrtity customers?

"Yeah, remember that woman that sang, ‘a brand new pair of rollerskates’- Melanie? She came in. And there was another guy who was a writer for Richard Nixon and his name began with an ‘S’ – oh, Safire – William Safire. He was in a couple times."

The love of Spivey’s life "ran off with somebody right after my cancer operation 15 years ago," he says. "Her name was Patty."

Spivey’s high point: "Oh gee, I don’t know. My memory’s shot."

The low: "Probably now, closing it down."

Next up:  "I’m becoming a movie expert," Spivey quips. "I’m watching movies every night – all day and all night."
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4 Responses to Today: The Sad Demise of David R. Spivey Books, Maps & Fine Arts in Westport

  1. Craig Glazer says:

    So Sad A Tale
    I knew him in Westport, when i was a teen ager, decent guy. Sorry to see it all end like this, not fair….it reminds us of “LIVE LIFE WHILE YOU CAN” it doesn’t end with a bang…usually…

  2. d says:

    What a great store
    I’ve only been in a few times, but always had fun looking around. Will miss it.

  3. smartman says:

    Bon Voyage!
    Sounds to me like Mr. Spivey had a pretty damn good run. To survive as long as he did in the internet age is impressive. He also seems to have had the good fortune of doing something he loved for over 30 years. Sad demise seems a bit dramatic. We should all be so fortunate.

    Good luck and God Bless Mr. Spivey. I wish you good health and the love of a good woman. And if indeed you do have Alzheimer’s it’ll be like banging a new chick every time you hook up. When life gives you lemons, make love, then lemon-ade.

  4. Charlene Powell says:

    Antique book appraisels
    Does anyone know where I can go to get antique books and art appraised? I have quite a few antique/rare books that I am needing more information and an appraisel on. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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