Being a proprietor of a gift and collectibles shop gives us firsthand information as to what people collect or if, in fact, they collect at all. Today's generation has so many diversions, plus their helter-skelter lifestyle has reduced the time or desire to collect.
There are, according to Kovels antiques books, a wide range of avid collectors that are passionate in their quest for certain categories.
This past week, a regular customer who is a music devotee came in and requested a specific Brooklyn Dodgers item for his 80-year-old father.
It seems that his dad lived close to Ebbets Field and as a boy he idolized "his Dodgers." We searched for the item and were successful in acquiring it. When we asked why this was so important, the reply was that Dad had devoted one room to "Dos Bums" and this was the missing piece to the 1955 team.
While being a dealer-collector in New York City, we had a regular customer who wanted anything with a parrot image. When asked why, she said her last name was Polly and she had decorated her city apartment in colorful parrot items.
Collections, when they have a personal connection, are a little more exciting than amassing coins, Hummels, comic books and the many other categories.
A friend and former business associate has gone the extra mile in collecting to the point that he, his wife, and his son devote much of their lives to their subject collectible.
How avid? He has formed a 100-member club, writes a 30- to 40-page newsletter, and has plans to open a museum in Louisville, Kentucky, to house the world's largest collection of early artifacts from his former employer.
He is in his 70s and looks forward to every day to add to his dream.
The message highlighted throughout this column is that collecting can be healthful to a passionate collector with a reason, not just a quantity of "something."
This writer and his wife collect French posters because of our love for Paris and French artists. We enjoy them every day as we live among our very modest collection of 16 colorful accent pieces.
The hobby of collecting is still alive and well, even though today's youth seem caught up in the electronic world. We feel this too will pass, as with almost any activity. Things are cyclical.
If you are not yet a collector, find your personal passion and start having fun!
Jerry Glenn is co-owner of Reminisce in Bluffton, where sports collectibles are bought and sold.