Wednesday, April 15, 2020


Do people collect things anymore? And by people, I mean the younger generations.

Collecting things were a huge part of my generation’s childhood and early adulthood. We had some things that were more for play such as collecting Star Wars figures after the original movie came out. We also were very adept at collecting both Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars. Every Friday when my mom would go to town to shop for groceries and such, if I was a good boy, I could pick out a new car or Star Wars figure.

My dad had a large collection of marbles. And as any parent would do when their child reached certain ages, the marbles became mine for me to add even more marbles to. We had two one-gallon jugs where we kept the marbles, and when I would play with friends, I always made sure to pick out the ugly ones to play with just in case I lost.

But we had collections for show and not play as well. One of my best friends when I was growing up had a massive collection of beer cans. Don’t worry, the cans were empty of course. One Christmas his parents gave him special hangers to display the cans in his room.

While we all collected baseball and football cards (basketball cards weren’t really a big thing back then), and we would willingly trade to help each other collect the entire sets.

But one of the unusual things I collected, I guess you could say it was unusual, were rocks from each state. My grandfather traveled on hunting trips throughout the country and the world, and would make sure to return with rocks from each state he was in. My grandparents on the other side of the family also traveled, mostly east of the Mississippi River, but they too knew how fascinated I was with my rock collection, and they each kept list of states I did not have yet.

My step-grandmother also collected things. She actually had two very large collections. One collection consisted of a large number of dolls. Some were mass produced. Some were very rare. Some had eyes that would open and shut; some were just painted on the face. She even had some action figure dolls such as the Lee Majors Six Million Dollar Man figurine.

Her other collection was pressed butterflies and moths. She had caught them for years and would press them in a book. Afterwards, they would go side by side in a case for display. I have seen many museum displays over the years that were not much different than her butterfly collection.

One collection that fascinated everyone that saw it was my grandfather’s trophy room. Of course, a proper trophy room is considered a collection, as it has numbers of wild beasts on display representing the best and strongest of their species.

And Papa had just that. There were over 90 trophy animals on display, and it was better than a zoo. You didn’t have to wonder if the creature was napping or behind the scenes in a cage. They were right there, in arm’s length, and you could see every minor detail of the magnificence of the creature.

And that brings me back to my original question. Does the younger generation have collections they focus large amounts of time and research on in order to build it? Not video game collections, but actual display and show type?

Maybe this extra time we have right now would be a good time to get the family together and start one.

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