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Dinosaurs, Medieval Weapons, and Cuneiform - All in a Day's Work for Legacy List

Legacy List Foreman
Matt Paxton checks out Annemarie Forman's radio collection left to her by her father.

“He knew there was going to be a time when we’d have to do this,” says Annemarie Forman of Morristown, NJ, about how her father walked through his personal collections with her, preparing for the inevitability of his death two years ago. “He made a point of telling me where everything was, what was important, what not to worry about so much.”

Legacy List with Matt Paxton specializes in helping people like Forman, caught in the “sandwich generation.” That is, adults responsible for bringing up their children while at the same time caring for aging parents. 

“Annemarie was right in the middle,” said Paxton. “She had her college kids at home when her mom had to move in with them because her dad died. She had mom in one room, her adult aged daughter in the next room, and three generations of stuff in the basement with NO space for her and her husband to retire. A classic situation as boomers and their parent's age together.”

But Forman’s “classic” situation was not as run-of-the-mill as it first appeared. In fact, what Matt and his team found in their basement was way beyond a collector’s dream.

Forman’s father, Frank Scaglione, was an avid, eclectic collector - a “renaissance man,” as they liked to call him. A former electrical engineer, Scaglione had a natural love for all things electronic, especially old radios. But he also had a passionate curiosity for the world around him and a driving desire to learn all he could about different eras, cultures, and disciplines. 

Which is how Matt’s team found a fifty-million year old fossil in Forman’s basement.

While Matt may have been surprised at the find, Scaglione’s family was not. Frank collected ancient indigenous pottery, bronze artifacts, archaic medical equipment, geodes, and celebrity hair, among other things. Finding bits of dinosaurs was par for the course.

But the legacy Scaglione left his family is much bigger than his artifacts. By example, he left his family a real thirst for knowledge and an open mind to explore their world. The items on their Legacy List preserve personal memories of Frank - touchstones to the tremendous husband and father he was to them.

“Matt and his team understood what we needed organizationally and more importantly,  emotionally,” said Forman. “Because of them, we were able to honor my father’s legacy. What a wonderful gift they have given us, and we are forever grateful.”

Tune in to Legacy List with Matt Paxton this Monday at 9:00 p.m. on VPM to discover more amazing finds in Scaglioni’s collection, or stream it from the VPM website or through your PBS Passport.


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