A legacy of giving

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 7, 2000

The late David Calcote was a well-known antiques dealer and scholar in Natchez. His shop, The Antiquarian specialized in 18th and 19th century American and British antiques.

But there was another side to Calcote, a private side, that only his closest friends knew. It was a side that benefitted and touched lives all over the Miss-Lou.

&uot;David had a heart of gold,&uot; said antiques dealer Brad Simonton. &uot;A lot of people did not know him that well. But he was very generous and very religious.

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&uot;Being active in his church and the Natchez Children’s Home were very important to him, and I know that he considered them to be priorities in his life.&uot;

Calcote attended The Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Vidalia, La., with Dr. Bob Barnes and his wife, Bettina.

&uot;David was an integral part of our church family,&uot; said Barnes. &uot;He advised on the construction and design of our sanctuary. There are numerous items in the church that he provided, such as the 18th century altar candles, the handmade silver chalices and the black Mexican onyx for our altar.

&uot;And he was very generous to the church, our outreach programs and to our community as a whole.&uot;

Calcote’s spirit of generosity lives on in other ways, such as the provision he made for The Natchez Children’s Home in his will. Calcote who passed away in January of 1999 left his estate to several beneficiaries, including the Children’s Home.

&uot;While we (The Children’s Home) are always pleased and grateful when someone remembers us in their will, I am not surprised that David did,&uot; said Nancy Hungerford, executive director for the Children’s Home. &uot;He was a devoted donor and friend to us. I have many great memories of him and his dog &uot;Horace&uot; coming to visit us.&uot;

Many of Calcote’s personal effects and items from the store were cataloged and sent to New Orleans for auctions.

&uot;There were several items that came back from the New Orleans auctions and also there were many things here that were not sent to New Orleans,&uot; said Kathy Blankenstein.

Blankentstein who is a member of the board of directors for the Children’s Home and also serves as chairman of the marketing committee, said the decision was made to catalog these items and hold a sale here in Natchez.

The sale will be Saturday, Aug. 26, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Sunday, Aug. 27, from 1 to 5 p.m.

&uot;Preparing for the sale has been a long process. Local dealers stepped in and helped us with the prices, board members and friends of the Home have helped with cleaning and adding price tags,&uot; Blankenstein said.

&uot;But people will find some wonderful items at the sale. There are clocks, parts and whole ones; antique glassware; a linen press; a George III desk; beds; mantels; tables; lots of antique wood; and many more items.&uot;

The Children’s Home will receive a percentage of the proceeds of the sales and then the remainder will go into the estate to be divided among all the beneficiaries.

And while that may not sound like much at first, Hungerford is quick to point out how every little bit helps.

&uot;We do not receive federal funds at the Natchez Children’s Home, so private donations are critical to our success,&uot; said Hungerford. &uot;Operating on private funds allows us to have a home for our children that has a Christian atmosphere.&uot;

There is rarely an empty bed at the Natchez Children’s Home and at times the budget is strained, she said.

&uot;We are licensed to have 16 children for 24 hour, 7 day a week care. At the present we have those, four children in foster care, eight who are with their guardians but we are charged with supervisory care and we recently completed two adoptions,&uot; said Hungerford. &uot;We are responsible for getting the children any counseling they need, and we also have programs for the parents – hopefully, programs that will help them reunite their families. David knew that at times our budget was very tight. His bequest to us is above and beyond that budget, a little ‘lagniappe’ for the kids.&uot;

The David Calcote Estate Sale

The sale will be held at Calcote warehouse on the 100 block of North Union Street.

Saturday, Aug. 26 – From 9 a.m. to noon for a $100 donation to The Children’s Home you can have first choice of the available merchandise. From 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. for $10 donation to The Children’s Home you can shop.

Sunday, Aug. 27 – From 1 to 5 p.m. for a $10 donation to The Children’s Home you will be admitted to the final half-price sale.

Inventory list are available for viewing in the lobby of the Historic Natchez Foundation at 108 Commerce Street.