Saturday, February 27, 2016

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: What Did You Collect as a Youth?

This week's installment of Randy Seaver's Saturday Night Genealogy Fun asks us to reminisce about our youthful collecting habits:

1)   Most of us collect dead ancestors and relatives now What did you collect when you were a child or teenager, or adult?

2)  Tell us about your collections in a blog post of your own, in a comment to this blog post, or in a Facebook or Google+ post.


The only thing I remember collecting before my family moved to Australia is dolls.  While most of the dolls I had were Barbie and other Mattel models, I also had a few vintage dolls.  I dragged them from California to Australia and then to Florida and back to California.  I used to make clothes for them, both sewn and knitted.  And yes, I still have them all.

I think I started collecting stamps while we were living in Australia, though I'm not entirely sure.  I might have started in California.  My grandfather used to own a stamp and coin store, and as I recall he started me off with several common stamps and a collecting book.  I remember having the stamps in Australia, and I brought them back to the States with me also.  One of my "themes" for collecting was trying to get stamps from as many different countries as possible.  I continued to collect stamps even into my first couple of years of college.  I finally sold my collection when I moved to the San Francisco area.

I believe I started my playing card collection while I lived in Australia, because one of the decks I have from there is an old game called Chook Chook, which is a resource game based on making as much money as possible from the eggs your hens lay.  (And I am stunned to learn that there is actually an entry for Chook Chook on Board Game Geek. I didn't know the game dated back to the 1920's.  I don't think my deck is that old.)  I still collect playing cards, and that's the most common gift I receive from my father and brother for my birthday and Christmas.  I must have several hundred decks.  Most are advertising for airlines or casinos.

In Florida, I began my collection of dice.  That started when I was playing Dungeons & Dragons and became fascinated with the different polyhedral dice used in the game.  Along with several different colors and sizes of polyedral dice, I also have lots of regular six-sided dice, including many from casinos.  Some of my dice are . . . unusual, to say the least, such as the "2-sided die" (essentially a coin) and a 7-sided die that Uncle Lou swore was balanced, but I don't know anyone who believed him.  I even have a 16-sided die that was made custom for a specific game and a 34-sided die that was created so people could randomly choose numbers for the Danish lottery.

I love maps and have always kept many relevant modern ones in the house, but when I began working at Chaosium, a small company that publishes the game Call of Cthulhu, set primarily in the 1920's, I began accumulating vintage maps.  Coincidentally, they're helpful with genealogy, also!  Nowadays I also download lots of images of vintage maps to keep for reference.

And while I did not collect baseball cards, my brother did, and I used to help him sort cards when he bought a big batch from someone.  The Topps 1972 cards had a distinctive design I can still picture in my mind.  My brother used to memorize players' statistics, and I would quiz him from the information on the backs of the cards.

I began collecting my dead relatives at the age of 13.  Like Randy, I have several thousand of those now.  I still have my original notes from when I interviewed family members.  And I also collect lots of documents, photographs, and ephemera related to my family.

I suspect collecting things is a common pastime among genealogists, as both hobbies tend to attract people with slightly (only slightly, mind you!) obsessive-compulsive personalities.

No comments:

Post a Comment

All comments on this blog will be previewed by the author to prevent spammers and unkind visitors to the site. The blog is open to everyone, particularly those interested in family history and genealogy.