Memories may fade, but a six-and-a-half-pound light fixture endures. On May 14, New York Times metro copy editor Charlie DeLaFuente paid $4,000 at auction for a Times Building globe light, a relic of West 43rd Street half a yard in diameter.
More than a dozen mementos of the soon-to-be-abandoned headquarters were sold off in the building’s cafeteria, with Brandy Frazer, a manager in the human-resources department, acting as auctioneer. An internal Times memo described Ms. Frazer as bringing a “zippy Southern flavor to the proceedings.”
Mr. DeLaFuente’s globe was the priciest lot in the sale. “I’m a native New Yorker,” Mr. DeLaFuente said when reached by phone at his desk. “The globes are one of my earliest memories when taken to the theater as a kid.”
Mr. DeLaFuente has been a copy editor for nine years and, by his account, a “Times reader since seventh grade.” He said he was surprised to have won the globe, which he described as the cleaner one of a pair for sale.
The second globe, the final item up for bid, went to photo department assistant editor Mary Hardiman for $3,200.
Memento-hunters came from both sides of the editorial-business divide. The first item of the day, a framed reprint of The Times’ first edition, went for $220 to Natalie Herron, an account manager in advertising. Business Day editor David Joachim took two items: the last offset plate from the old presses—dated June 15, 1997—and a commemorative newspaper in a box autographed by Walter Cronkite.
Other items sold, according to the internal memo, included two sets of china plates ($330 and $500), an original copy of the New-York Evening Times from 1852 ($350) and two quilts—one Navajo ($2,300) and one “of unknown provenance but obvious beauty” ($1,100).
The proceeds—$16,000 in all—went to The Times’ college-scholarship program.