hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA


January 31, 2013

When collecting becomes a necessary evil


The shots I took with that Kodak Optima became everlasting keepsakes in my photo album. Only once did I entertain a thought of parting company. It looked me in the eye with its lens and said, “Is this the thanks I’m getting for the joy I provided you?”

I wound up giving it a permanent home in my inner sanctum, along with the Yashica cameras and Mamiyas that enhanced my arsenal. The Hasselblad still holds court over the kingdom and rightfully so, having shot countless weddings without fail and bringing happiness to many couples.

Yes, I’ve gone digital like the rest of society and these cameras are all enjoying their hallowed ground in my basement with their record companions. I have a photographer friend in a similar predicament. He took all his old cameras down to the friendly camera outlet and parted company with his treasures for the paltry sum of $50. Talk to him now and he laments over his stupidity.

I’d rather leave them at the door of a homeless shelter. You can still buy film and let them enjoy the benefit of these good cameras.

I’ve been collecting stamps and coins since childhood. Included in my collection are all the United States commemoratives in mint condition. I’ve kept them all updated, too, right to the present. I have a problem, however.

With three children and two collections, to whom do I bequest this inheritance? I could draw lots. Or I could pass them along to my sons and give our daughter my wife’s jewelry. Now there’s a thought.

Would they maintain the tradition in the here and now? I rather doubt it. So I’ve maintained some semblance of order to both these hobbies and gotten my entertainment to boot.

My mom was a terrific housekeeper. She hated chaos and disorder. Anything that didn’t belong got thrown out with the trash. That included my comic books, an entire set of Classics Illustrated and — gulp! — my baseball card collection with Mickey Mantle’s rookie card that could draw a bundle in today’s market.

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