Upon receiving the latest copy of the Saturday Evening Post, a feature really hit home. Researchers at Southampton University found that nostalgia helps strengthen our sense of identity and makes us feel more optimistic and inspired.

Happy memories let us take a break from negativity. And, goodness knows, today’s atmosphere is quite somber.

At breakfast last week during a discussion, the subject of collecting was mentioned and my guest, John, told me of his interests in miniature cameras, mechanical watches and microscopes.

He told stories of “spy” cameras during World War II and the various methods used. I could see how excited he became discussing his collection. John later went home and revisited his array of collectibles. Happy times!

Remember the yo-yo? Back in the 1930s, yo-yos were a delight for all of us. And you had to have a Duncan.

Duncan held tournaments after school, with the winner of tricks receiving a “tourney” yo-yo. Honest, a customer recently showed me on his phone a collection of more than 100 yo-yos. Happy times!

The pace of life today seems to eliminate time to enjoy the simple things we so enjoyed.

One way to relive those moments is to collect objects of the past. For example: Tin containers with names of famous brands and attractive graphics. Artwork was prevalent on common objects during the early 1900s, and now collectors search for the “extinct.”

During the ’70s and ’80s, a club called the TCCA (Tin Containers Club of America) had an avid membership of 200-plus. A collector of tobacco tins actually hyperventilated in our show booth when he saw a rare Green Goose Tobacco tin. Happy times!

We opened this column quoting the Saturday Evening Post. It is difficult to imagine, but the SEP is 200 years old this year. And guess what? The Post has many collectors of Norman Rockwell covers.

The nostalgia of waiting each week to see another Rockwell piece of Americana was exciting for a whole family to enjoy. Happy times!

In closing, the great inventor Charles Kettering said, “You can’t have a better tomorrow if you are thinking about yesterday all the time.” Obviously, Mr. Kettering did not foresee COVID-19. A regular glimpse to the past is healthy. Happy times!

Jerry Glenn, former owner of Reminisce gift shop, currently is an appraiser of certain collectibles.