• Last modified 484 days ago (Feb. 23, 2023)


Rock-chalk one up to estate sale

Staff writer

Clifford Carlson loved KU basketball.

He bought a 13-by-13-inch piece of floor from the University of Kansas’ storied Allen Fieldhouse many years ago as part of his vast collection of KU memorabilia. A Hillsboro resident, he died in 2021.

Michael Hinton also had purchased a piece of the floor used by the Jayhawks from 1979 to 1992.

Thirty years ago, he and his wife, Tonya, were young and working jobs that didn’t pay well. A baby came along, and Hinton sold his piece of floor to help make ends meet.

When his in-laws saw that another piece of the same floor was part of an estate sale at Carlson’s wife’s home earlier this month, they called Hinton immediately.

It was 5 p.m. the first day of the sale, Feb. 10, and Hinton was worried he might miss out. He lives in Hutchinson.

He called Kaylene Mueller, Carlson’s daughter. Mueller agreed to hold the piece of Jayhawk history for him.

He showed up early the next day — before Mueller, a Tampa resident, made it to her mother’s home the morning of the sale’s second day.

“When I got there at 7:45, they were sitting out front,” Mueller said of the Hintons.

Mueller and Hinton have exchanged a lot of messages since then about the collectible item.

“My dad was a huge KU fan,” Mueller said. “My dad passed away in August of ’21, so it had been kind of just sitting around since then. He had a lot of KU memorabilia. Some of it he acquired, and some of it was gifts.

“My dad would be so thrilled to know that his floor is being loved. My mom has told me about them selling things to get by.”

Mueller was happy to pass the item on to Hinton.

“It kind of came full circle — someone who understands the love and the meaning behind it,” she said, tearing up a bit.

Hinton paid $25 for the section of floor. It’s in a display cabinet at his home.

“I have a home office, and that home office is pretty much dedicated to two things — the University of Kansas and tractors,” Hinton said.

He wrote to KU after the Jayhawks won the NCAA championship in 2022. The university sent him a piece of the floor from the final game, but it’s much smaller.

Jayhawks who played under coaches Ted Owens, Larry Brown, and Roy Williams ran on the floor he and Carlson bought.

Hinton watches KU games religiously, but Carlson wouldn’t watch them live.

“He’d tape them, and then if they won, he’d watch them,” Mueller said. “My mom would have to go in the other room so she could watch the game when it was on.”

Mueller kept one bit of information from Hinton: “Actually, I’m a Wildcat fan. But I loved my daddy, and he was a KU fan.”

Carlson’s collection included a Jayhawk bobblehead that his grandsons always would hide when they visited.

“When dad passed away, the boys insisted that the bobblehead be buried with grandpa,” she said.

Last modified Feb. 23, 2023