I admire collectors. It takes a lot of desire, determination, passion, and perseverance to search out and keep collectors items. Some are better than others…
When I was a kid I’d collect aluminum can tabs. That was back in the day when the tab would lift and peel all the way off of the can. We’d use the end opposite the ring, the end that looked like an aluminum tongue, and wrap it around the ring of another top. In time, we’d have an aluminum semi-flexible chain as long as our driveway.
I was also like a slew of other all-American kids that played Little League baseball and chewing bubble gum came with the territory. While Bazooka Joe was the preferred bubble gum of choice, notin any small part due to the cartoon strips folded up inside each block of bubble gum, but we connoisseurs would sacrifice the good stuff for the brick thin sticks of bubble gum with the baseball cards stacked next to them in the wrapper like a deck of cards.
With time, my passion waned for those stacks of baseball cards, which included Johnny Bench and Hank Aaron long before he broke the Babe’s home run record. I either gave them away or lined the bottom of a trash can with them when I was retiring my youth and everything that was remotely associated with it.
Like most of us, I’ve had a few hobbies and or collections as an adult. I’ve bought and sold a herd of pinball machines and some muscle cars. Lost my passion again… and always usually right before the market ran the prices up that would have given me braggin’ rights.
I resigned myself over time to the fact that I’m just not the collectors item type-uh-hoss. It never dawned on me that I have more than my fair share of books, some printed in the 1800’s. Maybe we’re more of the collector’s items kinda folks than we realize?
I organize my home office three or four times a year. It takes more than a wee-bit-uh-time to sort through business documents as well as the personal papers, not to mention the thousands of papers with my notes and scribbles associated with writing.
After about an hour of sorting and shuffling, my office looking more like something from that hoarder show on TV, I stumbled upon a certain stack of papers I’d temporarily forgotten about. I’m not fixated with this growing stack of papers like I once was, but I’m not about to toss them out with the rest of the trash either.
Sitting at my desk I skimmed through my collector’s items. I read details I’d forgotten, but remembered them exactly and the feeling I had the day I collected each piece and added to my growing collection.
Collecting items for the right reasons and with a proper perspective isn’t a bad thing, as long as our collections don’t define us and become idols and or obsessions.
I smiled at my collector’s items, tapped the page edges on two sides against my desk to align all the papers neatly. Then I stacked my rejection letters from literary agents gently and neatly back into my desk drawer.