Let’s start at the beginning. I was a youngster when I began collecting stamps. Since my mom was a letter writer, she showed me her cancelled envelopes and how you could tear the corner off and soak stamps away from the paper. When they dried, I would put them in a binder. Then I found a company that for 10¢ they would let you consider buying stamps on approval. They would send me a small cellophane envelope filled with an assortment of stamps to look through. My mom let me keep one or two of my favorites each month and so I became a novice stamp collector.
I enjoyed collecting US stamps primarily and put them into a collector’s book for years. It was called the Harris Freedom Stamp Album of the United States. The book came complete with stories behind the stamps. I loved learning all about each stamp. I have pictures below of my actual book from childhood.
From stamps I advanced to penny collecting. Nothing too harmful about that hobby, right? I had a small magnifying glass to check the dates on them and also began putting my finds into an album. I traded with a girl down the street, but was very upset when she took one of my “silver” war pennies from the 1940’s without my knowing it. I had permission to look through my mom’s change purse everyday, but found a quicker way to access many more pennies. I traded penny rolls with the Ice Cream Man that drove through the neighborhood. It was much more satisfying inspecting fifty pennies per evening. My collection grew and grew. Here is a photo of some of my pennies.
I dabbled in other coin denominations: nickels, dimes and quarters as well as half dollars and silver dollars. I loved checking the dates on all the coins that passed through my hands everyday. It was a bucket list kind of day when as an adult I visited the US Mint in Washington DC. Like I said, you either have this type of behavior inside of you or you do not. Here is a photo of a set of mint coins from the year I was born. I purchased within the past few years on eBay, just because!
Of course as a sports fan, I collected baseball cards. Way back, it was all about the gum that was in the pack of new cards. I had all my cards sorted by teams and since I lived in LA, I loved my Dodger cards more than the rest. What ever happened to those cards I will never know. Does that sound familiar? I can’t blame it on my mother throwing them away, because she knew the pride I had in my collection. Perhaps they will turn up one day in the family home. Could those cards be worth millions now? No, but for sentimental reasons, I would love to find them again!
The stamps, coins and baseball cards are typical things for a lot of collectors, but I have more specific and unusual collections as well. Check back tomorrow and I will divulge what those collections include!
What do you collect? I’d love to hear from you!