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Riverside Red X owner explains why he's auctioning off his father's antiques

Zeke Young, owner of Riverside Red X
Posted at 9:40 PM, Sep 09, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-11 09:02:23-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It's the end of an era for one Kansas City shop. The Riverside Red X was a grocery and liquor store, but it also served as a tourist attraction for its massive collection of antiques.

The owner of the Riverside Red X and son of Ed Young, the original collector, has decided to auction off his father's collection on two days this week, Sept. 9 and 10.

"It’s to the point where it’s just so much," Zeke Young said.

In February, they opened a new Red X across the street from its original location. Young decided to continue displaying a few special antiques at the new location, but the rest has got to go.

"The way his collecting started, he got mom an anniversary gift of a bell, and then it just expanded from there," Zeke Young said.

At one point, the store held 10,000 bells. They're auctioning off most of those, along with bronze statues, crystal and unique pieces of Kansas City history, like the top of a trash can shaped like a clown's head from Kansas City's old Fairyland Park.

Clown head trashcan from Kansas City's old Fairyland Park, up for auction at Riverside Red X.

Zeke Young also pointed to a dining set that once resided in the former R.A. Long Mansion. But his favorite? Taxidermy.

Mongoose fighting a cobra, up for auction from Riverside Red X.

"One of my favorite pieces back here is a mongoose fighting a cobra," Zeke Young said. "You don’t see that everywhere."

Rick Pence is the auctioneer. He helped Zeke Young sell some of his father's belongings when he died not long ago.

Rick Pence, auctioneer

"I knew Mr. Young," Pence said. "He would go to the Kansas City flea market back when they had it down at the old airport ... and he would buy a car full. He wouldn’t leave until his car was full."

Pence is certain that everything up for auction will sell.

"People have come in and looked at this stuff for years, and it hadn’t been for sale," Pence said. "It attracts a lot of people who maybe wouldn’t be interested in it, but it was part of Kansas City and Riverside history, so they wanted a piece of it."

Going through with this auction doesn't mean that it's not hard for Zeke Young. It was a huge part of his childhood.

"We’ve been here 75 years and a lot of people, it’s hard for them even, too," Zeke said. "And just to think what will happen to the store later on, too."

Right now, they don't know what will happen with the space. Zeke Young is taking it one step at a time, but he believes he has his father's approval to sell the collection.

"I could see on one hand him thinking, 'What are you doing?'" Zeke Young said. "But on the other hand, I could see him saying, 'Hey, those people are enjoying it."

The Sunday, Sept. 10 auction begins at 11 a.m. at the location of the old Riverside Red X, 2401 N. Platte Road, Riverside, Missouri.