What wonderfully weird things do you collect?

jsoutherniconCollections are weird and wonderful things.

Over the years I have written stories about people with unusual collections. Among them are a girl who collected animal skeletons and a friend who collects all things Snoopy (not Peanuts, just Snoopy exclusively). I even wrote a story about a church in Amarillo with an impressive collection of historical Bibles.

When you talk about collections, most people think of the typical things like stamps, coins, comic books and trading cards. Thanks to my grandfather and father-in-law, we have a small but interesting coin collection. It’s not organized or set for display. They’re basically kept stashed in a box. I tend to collect things with more of a packrat mentality than that of a serious collector.

My biggest collection to date has been Lone Ranger memorabilia. I’ve slowly been selling off pieces of it, but some of it I will probably never let go. I also have an action figure collection, a few old magazines and some Super Bowl programs. One of my more interesting collections is the press credentials I’ve accumulated over the years. They tell an interesting story. I’ve also managed to cobble together an impressive collection of autographs. We also have a fairly nice collection of DVDs.

My collection of T-shirts got so big I had to cut them down – literally – so my wife can make a couple T-shirt quilts for me. That project has been on hold so long that I now have enough new T-shirts to make a couple more quilts and still have enough to wear every day.

Here in my office at the Fort Bend Star I have one of my newer collections on display. I have been gathering Sugar Land Skeeters keepsakes for five years and now I have a place to show them off. I still want to get my hands on bobbleheads of Swatson and my friend Deacon Jones, so if you know where I might acquire them, please let me know.

When I was a kid I had a pretty big collection of Mego action figures. I loved them and still do. My friend Mark Magnetti had a bunch and we used to play with them together. Unfortunately, Mark’s family moved to Oklahoma and my collection accidently went with him. I’ve never heard from Mark again. I’ve always remained hopeful but highly doubtful that he still has them and might return them someday. In the meantime I’ve looked at the Mego figures on eBay and have been too horrified by their current prices to buy any more. You can’t get one in decent shape for much less than $40 or $50. That won’t happen on my budget.

Another collection I lament losing is that of my original Star Wars characters. I had them all, including the mail order Boba Fett. I let them go at a garage sale for 50 cents each when in my late teens I thought I had outgrown them. I’m 50 years old now and no, I have not outgrown them. My kids have, but I haven’t.

Collections have always fascinated me. If the Boy Scouts would have had the collections merit badge when I was a boy, I not only would have earned it but I would have learned how to better take care of my stuff. By the way, Boy Scouts really can earn the collections merit badge now.

One of my reasons for writing this column on collections is to help me add to my own collection of stories about people’s unusual collections. If you have an interesting or unusual collection, please let me know. I would love to feature it in this newspaper. Feel free to contact me at jsouthern@fortbendstar.com.

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