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Paul Brockmann collected 55,000 dresses over 50 years. Now he's selling them.

by John Rabe | Off-Ramp®

Paul Brockmann among just a few of the 55,000 dresses he's collected over 50 years. He loves the sound of taffeta. John Rabe

Saturday, Paul Brockmann will continue to dismantle his obsession. That's when the 78-year old builder from Lomita will sell off, with luck, a few thousand of the dresses he's collected over 50 years.

He started collecting them in the 1940s, when he lived in post-war Bremen, Germany. It was love at first sight, he says, with Margot, the woman who'd become his wife. They met on the dance floor, where the swish of taffeta conjures up an old-fashioned era, a more elegant time.

Paul and Margot married and continued dancing every chance they got, and, he says, he never wanted her to have to wear the same dress twice, so he started buying them. But now, with 55,000 dresses in her closet, Margot would have to live 150 years before she'd be in danger of repeating herself.

Paul readily admits it's an obsession, and he agrees with his daughter that it makes sense to sell them. They're holding periodic sales, including one this Saturday at his warehouse in Gardena. By the way, this weekend's event is the last free sale. In the future, they'll be charging $10 to get in.

The sale is Saturday, July 27, from 10a-3p, at 13208 Estrella Avenue Suite C, Gardena, CA 90248. There's more info on the family's website.

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