Marc Delman's home and office are his castle — possibly even a medieval-like castle with a dash of vaudeville humor, old movies and a hint of rock 'n' roll.
A deputy Sarpy County attorney, Delman has spent years collecting, selling, trading and displaying what may best be described as strikingly odd, mysterious, extreme and sometimes grotesque collectibles. The items are displayed in his home in midtown Omaha, as well as in his office at the Sarpy County Courthouse.
Among the oddities: partial skeletons, stuffed animals, bones, antiques, black-and-white photos of everything from devil-like creatures to human skulls, old medical equipment and medicine bottles, and eerie paintings.
“I'm interested in morbidity,'' said the ex-private practice attorney who also is an uncle to local Bright Eyes rocker Conor Oberst.
Sprinkled among his office collectibles: a small alligator head purchased at a Lincoln Cajun restaurant; an antique casket found in Iowa with a woman's mannequin head on top; a stuffed lizard, boar's head, capuchin monkey, armadillo, hedgehog and peacock in full plumage, courtesy of an antique shop in Brownville, Neb.; a mummified cat; and one portrait done in an artist's blood.
A prized possession is on its way to Omaha: A real human skeleton that the Creighton University Law School graduate won at an auction in Chicago.
Delman said some people are scared to go into his office.
“And there are some scary things in here,” he said. “But it's a very nice, quiet office to be in, especially on the weekends.”
Loraine Bonham, who also works in the Sarpy County Attorney's Office, said of Delman: “He's a fabulous man.''
“Everyone who comes into his office is amazed,'' she said.
Sarpy County Attorney Lee Polikov spoke highly of Delman as a professional who handles a great deal of responsibility in his job. But, he said, Delman's office can be too much.
“Is it overdone for a small office? Probably,'' he said. “But I respect it from a collector's standpoint.”
Delman said he has been collecting for 55 of his 59 years. His home may be just as bad — or as good — as his office, with rooms dedicated to particular collections. There's an autograph room, a political room, a rock 'n' roll bedroom and a dining room honoring 1960s protests.
The basement landing has a Wall of Shame,' with photos and memorabilia of Al Capone, Richard Nixon, Charles Manson and Adolf Hitler, among other notorious figures.
He said his wife, Mary Larsen, 63, director of program services with the Nebraska chapter of the March of Dimes, once asked him to take some of his collectibles to his office.
“My wife is a good gal, a good sport. She humors me,'' Delman said. “But she loves that most of my stuff is here at the office.''
Delman said he and his wife shop for antiques on vacations and weekends.
She called his collection “very interesting. They may not always be what I'd collect, but it's interesting what he's able to find.”
Their three adult sons have not shown much interest, Delman said. “My kids can't stand any of this stuff,'' he said. “They'd like to sell it all.”
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