Hopeless Collector and Hoarding

photo by steve newvine

photo by steve newvine

I'm in deep

I am what you might call a hopeless collector.  I’m not one of those hoarders you see on cable television, although people who know me well might dispute that statement.  But I do acquire things that have meaning for me.

To paraphrase a popular commercial on television, “I’m in deep.”

Just how deep I am into saving stuff became apparent as we were looking for holiday items during this Christmas season.  I had to scour a closet looking for one small box.  I eventually found it, but not before uncovering several items that have been stored away for safe keeping.

I have dozens of small picture frames that have been occupying space in that closet.  Before you say “why not put those pictures out where you and others can see them” let me say that our house already has dozens of photographs on display.  In my den right now, I count approximately fifty pictures either hanging on the wall, or sitting on a shelf.

On the walls of my den, there are many pictures of my two daughters, my dad, brother, sister, old black and white shots from my home town, some pen and ink drawings from a family friend, and a montage of photos of my friends and me.  For our anniversary, my wife gave me a beautiful collage of photos from our wedding and honeymoon.  That’s on the wall too.

The pictures share space with a golf ball shelf that is filled with mementoes from courses I played, or balls with logos I like.  Also on the wall is a poster from the cowboy band Riders in the Sky when they played at the Gallo Center in Modesto a few years ago.  

Stumbling upon stuff you put away for another day can be a lot of fun.  I found a letter dated 1974 from a radio station news director inviting me to audition for an unpaid school news reporter job when I was in high school.  I did the audition, got the job, and started a career in communications that took me all over the country.  That’s why I saved that letter nearly forty years ago; that single piece of paper launched me into my chosen profession.

Stuff and more stuff

I seems as though I just can’t stop acquiring things from my past.  Whether its mugs from places I worked, a coffee maker just like the one in my dad’s house some three-thousand miles away, or the old camera my mother would use to document the early years of my childhood.  All had a place in my life at one time.  Now each occupies a spot in my home.

But there’s no way I could be called a hoarder.  My stuff is confined mostly to a closet in my den.  I display a relatively small portion of it, and try to rotate things so that everything gets out from time to time.  If you’re a fan of old time radio shows (and I am a fan by the way, in fact I have a collection of shows, but I digress), you may recall Fibber McGee retrieving something from the family closet.  Thanks to radio magic and an excellent sound effects man, listeners would hear a pile of items falling from the closet onto the hallway floor.  

 I’m not quite there yet, but give me time.

Steve Newvine lives in Merced.