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Collectors and their obsessions

 
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cdj1122
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Joined: 08 Jul 2007
Posts: 969
Location: Houston, Texas pending eye surgery

PostPosted: Wed Nov 24, 2010 3:33 am    Post subject: Collectors and their obsessions Reply with quote

When a new member joins a stamp club, and this forum is at its core, a cyber stamp club, we love to get him or her to open up a bit and have them explain what they collect. In a general stamp club there are those who collect the world, (A dying breed, I suppose) a particular nation or group of nations, a topic or series of topics, and some who narrow things down to a limited number or years or reigns.

Then, of course, we subdivide the hobby into those who are smitten by covers, or mint sheetlets, booklets, prestiege packs, whole sheets, postally used or used in a certain region or city. That is what we wonder about of new members, as we are often looking for kindred spirits to share knowledge or questions about our version of the "Hobby of Kings".
But stamping is not what I am wondering about today. I think collectors collect things and stamps are likely to be just one of our obsessions. So I pose this question; "What else do you simply have to accumulate and take pleasure in possessing." Numerous grandchildren while interesting specimens to accumulate can not be said to be actually possessed so for this purpose do not count. And factually, it might be said that they possess you, not you them anyway !!!

Some years ago one of my children had one of those Matchbox cars that are so ubiquitous in homes where young rug-rats grow. It was a black 1934 Packard, the style of vehicle that filled the streets during my youth, populated all the machine gun blasting movies of the day and is required in any modern period film if it is to retain any semblence of historical accuracy. Looking at the car, I remembered having a similar toy car when I was very young and so, when I was in a store some time later and saw an additional one, I bought it and set it on the shelf above the bedboard for myself.

Over time I would stumble over other toy cars of the same general scale that the kids had left in the damdest places and picking them up from where they lay, I then began to have a small fleet of cars on that shelf. Sometimes there were occasions when I would return some cars to them to play with, but over several years and, I have to brag, several children, the line of model cars grew and had to be put elsewhere.

I found a very nice representation of the 1963 VW transporter, deluxe version, that I had bought in '63 when I left the military and later the "56 Ford Custom that had been my first car. Oh yes, they brought back some interesting memories.

In the 1970s I had acquired a candy apple red Cadillac convertable from a retired customer, the 1961 model with the large rear tail fins which we used around town for a year or so, and then one day a few years ago came across a similar Matchbox version to add to the accumulation, which by then had to be given the sobriquet "Dad's Car Collection". Today there are close to two hundred of the little models sorted and arranged in two plastic display cases that shortly will be remounted on the wall of my new, and bigger, stamp room.

I have quite a few made by Lesney in England, having sought them out at flea markets here and there as well as some made by "Dinky Toy". There are some Citroens and Peugeots made by Majorette in France or probably Thailand. And a while ago I found a green Trabent, which as every antique auto enthusiast knows should one day become the pride of real full sized classic car collectors.

There are a series of Corvettes and Mercedes that I could never afford even one of, in full size, and a 1920s Duesenberg, all the elements of childhood fantasies.

So that is one of the things that I have managed to promote from a random accumulation to an interesting collection.

Every so often I take them out and let one of the grandkids play with them for a short time. Carefully, under reasonably close supervision, trying not to hover, they are just toy cars after all. We can arrange Ford Thunderbirds year by year, from the '50s to the '1980s with only one or two gaps, across the dining room table like a car dealership's yard. There are Chevrolet Nomad station wagons and Buick Specials also. And the children are usually amazed at the vehicles from the twenties and thirties, what is now the classic car era. But when we are done looking they get put away, again, carefully, for another day and sometimes another grandchild.

There are times when I realize that the toy cars are far more interesting to them than the pages of Machins that I sometimes bore them with. Usually they will spend no more than ten minutes looking at an album, even a topical one full of Birds, or Ships or Lighthouses, but a table full of little cars can occupy us for an entire rainy afternoon or evening.

I think that collecting things, which may have started several million years ago when one of our ancestors lined a group of colored pebbles up on a convenient rock shelf in her cave, is wired into our genes and if you collect stamps, you probably collect other things so if you want to share some other passion it might be interesting to read about it.
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cdj1122
Machin Man


Joined: 08 Jul 2007
Posts: 969
Location: Houston, Texas pending eye surgery

PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2011 6:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I wrote the first post several months ago I intended to contuinue with a question to the member ship but for some reason when I copied the remarks left the last paragraph on the wordpad where I had written it. Stumbling around the old articles in this forum I discovered what had happened and of course, being a packrat or, whatever the electronic equivalent is, I found the file where my original scribblings were saved.

I think that there is an emotional attachment to the first car or perhaps a parents car that becomes stronger as we age. I was wondering how many of our members have a fond memory of their first auto and have managed to acquire a small model to keep on a mantle or knickknack shelf ?
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Lecanto, Florida
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Gooner
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Joined: 25 May 2007
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Location: England, UK

PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 1:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Because of where I grew up there was no real need for a car - virtually everyone travelled everywhere by bicycle up to the early seventies at least - I started driving relatively late so my first car was a Cortina Mark IV ... I then joined a company that had a company car policy so I moved over to their biggest rivals at the time (Vauxhall - GM to the rest of the English speaking world).

Because of the way the policy worked and also because of my job at the time I was changing these at six month intervals and so didn't really get a chance to have an affinity to them.

As the policy changed and we reverted to having money instead of a car I started to go through the BMW range (and have stuck with them).

No - I don't have models of all the cars I have owned - what I have collected though are a set of keys from each one - so in theory I guess if I ever came across any of them again I could gain entry .... intriguing thought.

---------
As a postscript to the first paragraph (and totally off post subject - sorry Charlie) - I recently had reason to visit the street where I bought my first house in 1974. In those days - car ownership in that particular residential area was almost zero ... I remember an old couple who lived next door had one but apart from that the street was ours (or at least our children's to play whatever games they wanted without fear of worrying about traffic too much).

What a difference 35 years makes ... it was difficult to get down the road without bashing wing mirrors with cars parked on both sides from end to end of the road. Virtually every street in the vicinity was exactly the same.

You have to picture a residential area of back to back Victorian terraces built way before cars were invented and not created in a style to cater for multiple car ownership. Damn solid houses though.
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cdj1122
Machin Man


Joined: 08 Jul 2007
Posts: 969
Location: Houston, Texas pending eye surgery

PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I moved the family from Long Island, New York almost twenty five years ago so the opportunity to revist childhood homes is limited these days and with age has become quite unlikely. But I do rememeber the open streets where we could ride our bicycles or play some kind of ball game in the street.
My parents had bought a house in 1949 that was built on what had been a potato field in what became known as Levittown. The streets were all laidout in curved segments so that any vehicles could not really speed by but for the first years there were no trees at all.
Just before we loaded everything up for the 1300 mile trip to Florida I took the kids past that house for a last sentimentsl look for me and to give them some idea about where I grew up. One of the most striking differences was the shade trees all throughout the neighbothood and one small red maple in the front yard that I had rescued after being partially broken during a hurricane in the early 1950s. It had been split with one limb hanging by a sliver on the ground.The tree still stands and looked very healthy.
It is funny how such things flashed back to the memory as soon as I saw the tree full of leaves.
As for autos, I can understand the difference between cities that were laid out long before the automobile age and towns and cities designed more recently. In the US getting a driving license and the right to drive a family car is a rite of passage for both young boys as well as young girls. Graduating from a bicycle to having your own set of car keys marked a change of status for my classmates and by age fifteen or sixteen we were all clamoring for the chance to drive a little even if it was not exactly legal and by eighteen or so owning a car was important. The only exception might have been the inner city youths where parking a vehicle safey made car ownership prohibitive.
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jaycraft21
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Joined: 24 Jun 2011
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've collected many things over the years, from model cars of which I have only about 30 now as I gave them away when we moved from London to the Kent coast.

I have a nice collection of coins dating back mainly to around the 1700's but have two welsh coins from an earlier period (can't remember when now) which are sorted into several albums, coin boxes and bisquit tins.

Having been a Carpenter by trade, for a long time I collected old tools which I would use on a daily basis as I would craft everything by hand and very rarely used machinery.

got a reasonable collection of old computers and gaming platforms from old DOS and windows 3.1 systems to spectrum's and even an old Pong machine right up to more modern playstaion 2's and PC's.

I also collect military vehicle memrobilia having bought my ex-military landrover a couple of years ago which sparked an intrest, unfortunately it's not a large collection as some of the stuff is just to expensive.

Also have 4 stationairy engines dating back to 1912 upto 1934 which I used to show on weekends (free camping) and enjoy working on when I get bored (not very often these days with the internet and stamps to keep me busy)

Between my dad and me we have around 10,000+ vynils (records) both LP's and singles which dad has been collecting since the 60's and we've been adding to over the years with people selling their collections at bootsales and the odd nice find in charity shops.

I also have about 150 money boxes going back over the years which I've collected since I was about 5 when I recieved one as a christmas present from my Nan.

Having read the above back through I find myself getting the answer as to why we can't move around the house without falling over something, must appear like a right hoarder of random junk Rolling Eyes

(Or maybe it's just time for a clear out)
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freesay
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Joined: 18 Aug 2011
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 6:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I was a kid, the first car that I remembered being into was a 1970 red Volkswagen. Sadly, we do not own the car anymore. I keep thinking that I should have kept though...
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cdj1122
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Location: Houston, Texas pending eye surgery

PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Over the years I owned four VW Transporters, the first being the '63 which I regret selling to a kid who was going off to college. Three months later I happened past his house and saw what had been my pride and joy parked in his driveway. I had gotten the VW so that I could take selected friends out to the local (then quite desolate) Long Island beaches where we could camp and cook out on weekends in our own little wonderland. In half a semester he had driven it cross country to New Mexico and back, and somehow managed to roll it over in what he described as a dry river bed. What a mess!

Then there were two almost indentical red beauties, a new '68 at the beginning of '69 and a used '69 about six years later..

My wife and I drove it off on weekends all over the East Coast camping as we travelled where ever weather and whimsey took us.
After a few years and several babies we still used it and made the 1,200 mile trip to visit relatives in Florida all packed up like Gypsys seeking a friendly place to camp. Once we even took two close friends and their child along for the ride to Florida living in a tent which we carried strapped to the roof.
The fourth was an olive green early '60s semi pick-up that came my way which my brother and I cleaned and repaired. I converted it to 12vdc system and installed a larger rebuilt engine to replace the original low horsepower engine. After using it for several months as a utility vehicle at my repair shop we sold it to a fellow who delivered newspapers during the wee hours of the morning. He kept it going for quite a few years as it enabled his sons to ride in the crew seats and toss the rolled up papers on lawns from either side. Most VW transporters only had the door to the rear on the right side in the US and I read on the left side in certain other countries. This gem had doors that opened mounted on either side to facilitate delivery services.
I also had a regular black '67 Beetle that I got in payment of a bill that carried me all over New England for a couple of years. The amazing thing is that I could drive several hundred miles and upon arriving would have no back problems, something that several bigger and more expensive vehicles could not match.
Today I have matchbox models of just about all the VWs in what I suppose is a collection that only has significance to me.
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