BALTIMORE (WZ)– Baltimore businessman Steve Geppi has made his fortune buying and selling comic books.
Camden Station has been home to the world’s finest private collection of comics and memorabilia.
For nearly 12 years, Geppi has put some of it on display at a museum in the old Camden Yards train station next to the stadium.
The museum is closing but Geppi’s collection will soon reach a much larger audience.
“Well, this weekend is the last for Geppi Entertainment Museum, albeit nearly 12 years ago that it opened,” Geppi said.
Mixed in will be tears of joy because the self-made millionaire, with an eighth grade education, will donate his collection to the Library of Congress.
“So now, the crowning jewel, the Library of Congress, where the Gutenberg Bible sits, the Declaration of Independence, in this fabulous building we are going to have an absolute permanent exhibit for all eternity,” he added. “So generations from now, other people can come and see it and say, ‘Man, I’m really glad somebody did that.'”
It’s easy to see why he’s successful, a regular guy from Little Italy with infectious enthusiasm.
As a young man, comics reminded him of his childhood.
“As a kid growing up I loved comic books.”
As an adult, working as a mailman, he bought a small collection from a woman on his route.
He kept some, sold others, bought more, and soon was making more dealing dreams than lifting letters.
Now, the best pieces will be donated to the United States.
Including the first sketch ever made of Mickey Mouse for a cartoon called Plane Crazy.
“So Plane Crazy is Mickey’s origin… that is what I’m donating, it’s the centerpiece, the Mona Lisa so to speak.”
He’s sad that the items will no longer be on display in Baltimore, but he knows that ultimately, Charm City supports the move.
“When you are successful, and I’ve been blessed to be, people pull for you. “He’s one of ours. Hey, way to go Steve! Congratulations on the Library of Congress.'”
The museum’s final day is Sunday, June 3. Geppi will host a closing party at 6 p.m. that is open to the public.
The permanent exhibition should open in D.C. in a year and a half or so.