Last week, we had the pleasure of having lunch at Hilton Head Island’s newest restaurant with a collecting couple we’ll refer to  Jack and Jill.

This couple splits their time between their Hilton Head home and New Jersey. They now have what can be best described as two mini-museums filled with ultra high-quality artifacts.

When asked why and how did you get started in collecting, the answer was very much like most collectors. Jack said, “As a young man, I loved the New York Yankees and wanted a signed baseball. It mattered not who signed, just as long as it was a Yankee. When I got the Andy Carey ball, I wanted another – and another!”

Jack said he now has 30-plus signed Yankee baseballs.

That is just the beginning, as along the way he found out about painted baseballs by Charles Fazzino.

Jill appreciates artistic items and encouraged Jack to expand his Fazzino baseball collection. Jack and Jill now have on display more than 100 of these beautiful pieces of art.

During the past 30 years, Jack and Jill have enjoyed the search for popular sports uniforms, bats, footballs – you name it.

Unrelated to the aforesaid, Jack has a collection of many thousands of matchbooks and boxes collected while on business trips around the world. He does not know exactly what to do with them, and smiles as he asked, “Any ideas?”

It’s always interesting to hear stories of what and why one collects. Jill turned the tables on this writer and asked “What was the genesis of YOUR collecting habit?”

That happened in 1965 in Saugatuck, Mich., in an antique book shop that sold magazines. While leafing through a copy of Delineator, we found a decorative ad for a soap that bore our surname. We thought we should get it and frame it for our bathroom.

That’s all it took to get us to look for interesting old ads. We ended up like Jack and Jill, not having space to add to our collection of posters, ads, and old country store items. The end result was that we opened the Cinnamon Bear Country store on Hilton Head Island in 1988.

In closing, here’s some collecting news:

1. Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA, the largest sports card authentication and grading company in the world) has ceased accepting items until further notice, as they are 11 months backlogged.

2. Many coin dealers are 4 to 6 weeks behind in shipments because of orders.

3. Kovels’ antiques experts advise that the market for Hummels, those charming figurines, is still down because of ample availability, but early editions are up substantially and selling for thousands. If your collection has the “full bee” (without Goebel) mark, you may rejoice.

During these unsettling times, put some joy into those drab days and enjoy your collections with your partner.

Jerry Glenn, former owner of Legends and Reminisce gift shop, currently is appraising trading card collections.