JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Two people who were long time business rivals found a way to eventually become friends.
So close, in fact, that one entrusted the other with a very important and solemn promise in carrying out his last wish.
Tasabha Malone got into the auctioneering game 20 years ago. It was on her first or second auction that she met the man who'd become her greatest competition, Clifford Toney.
"He'd compliment you, but then he'd give you a negative feedback right after the compliment," Malone said. "I thought he'd been in the business forever because he had a lot of advice for me but he'd only been in it a year longer than me!"
Malone said Toney always found something to give her a hard time about.
"He would tell me what I did wrong, tell me that he bought a piece that he was going to sell for a million dollars because I sold it so cheap," Malone said.
Malone said it didn't take long for the two to take to each other.
"We just...I don't know, we kind of developed a friendship," Malone said. "It was a love, hate friendship."
Last July, Toney called Malone with a request you'd make of a friend, not a competitor.
"He said that he wanted to let me know that he set it up in his will that he wanted me to do his auction," Malone said.
Two weeks later, Toney passed away.
"You know he was an auctioneer so he had collected things forever," Malone. "He had Rolexes and sterling and all kinds of things."
After 20 years of competition, his most prized possessions were placed in the hands of his favorite competitor.
"It's an honor, it really is," Malone said.
Toney's estates, including a high traffic plot of land at the corner of Highland Drive and Red Wolf Boulevard, were sold along with his possessions.
The estates were sold Thursday night at an auction at Central Baptist Church.
Proceeds from the auction will go to Central Baptist Church and his alma mater Williams Baptist College.
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