Thursday, August 27, 2009


I used to think I was a collector. People do amass wonderful collections of great interest be it art, antiques, stamps, tools, shoes, or Mickey Mouse stuff...the list is endless.
My husband used to remind me once in awhile that most people collect things OF VALUE!
I collect things I like, or things I have more than one of, or things I think may have value in the future.
My undoing came when a friend from Holland wanted to see my greeting card collection. He looked at me and said, "You aren't a collector, you are an accumulator. You don't throw anything away."
It was true, I had kept every greeting card I had ever received, more cookbooks than anyone could reasonably use, 5000 pounds of magazines...
A week later he showed up at my door with several of his accumulations and gave them to me.
One packet was 3X5 cards with razor blade covers glued to them. For those of you who have never seen one, a razor blade used to be purchased with a little paper cover folded over each individual blade. My dad used to buy Gillette Blue Blades in a blue cover.
A second packet contained pictures of German Coats of Arms glued to 3X5 cards. There were several others. He explained that people collected worthless things to occupy themselves when they had no money for other entertainments. You should collect the best cards of a given year, or of a theme, or from a particular company, and toss the rest. The trouble is, I'm not a good tosser.
Razor blade covers are not something I would have chosen but I was fascinated at how an ordinary object took on some cache simply because it was arranged nicely with other ordinary objects of the same kind.
I was off and running. Now I looked at every magazine picture I saw in an entirely different light. I put together collections of chairs, interesting ads, graphic letters, famous beaches, t-pots, cats, dogs, shoes, lips, musical instruments, on and on and on ...impossible. I was waaaay ahead of the scrapbook craze. Now that I'm an RVer, I take pictures of stuff I like and save them on my computer.
If I wasn't having fun and enjoying the whole dang thing, I would have thought myself deeply disturbed. Curse you Peter Kooey, I'm now a much more avid accumulator. I still don't toss. My accumulations have expanded. My friends call me a collectiholic. Its an addiction.

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