Metro man builds unique JFK memorial in basement

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February 07 2021 05:30 pm
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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- An Overland Park man with a life-long obsession with John F. Kennedy has turned his basement into a shrine. He claims to have the largest collection of JFK political memorabilia and he invited FOX 4's Matt Stewart to take a closer look at it.

"It’s really hard for me to believe it’s 50 years and he has remained in the limelight for the last 50 years," Rick Kaplan, JFK collector, said.

Kaplan of Overland Park admits he's obsessed with JFK. He's been collecting memorabilia since 1960. His parents took him to JFK's headquarters in St. Louis when he was 10, and he fell in love with the young, vibrant president. Since then, he's collected thousands of items and created a shrine in his basement.

The walls are lined with JFK posters, pictures and newspaper headlines. He has five glass cases filled with unique items like JFK's wedding invitation to Jackie Onassis, pictures of the Kennedy's the morning he was killed and bobblehead dolls. And every week, Rick goes online to see what else he can buy.

"Some might say this is on the verge of being obsessive," he said. "I would say so. I would say I am an obsessive JFK political memorabilia collector."

Rick has displayed some of these items at public events in the past, but today they remain in his basement where he enjoys hosting political fundraisers so he can show off everything he's collected.

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