Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Tell me your story and I’ll tell you mine: Introducing Heritage Collector’s Corner

May 6, 2009
Posted by Noah

It finally feels as if we can surface for a breath around here. As Jim noted yesterday, when it rains it pours and Heritage has seen its share of the rising tide in the last few days. Super rare coins, a controversial early formula for a tonic that bears the name Dr Pepper, and way more than I can write here and now about what’s coming up. It’s a whirlwind most days on the Good Ship Heritage, and I wouldn’t want to have it any other way. It’s hard work, but mighty good if you can get it.

Rather than take today’s blog post – and the coveted half hour I have to write it – and talk about any of the myriad amazing things currently readying for auction, or having just been there, I wanted to talk about a way in which we’ve all agreed upon here to get some of the great stories and brilliant minds of our collectors out to the general public. It’s a little experiment that we’re calling the Heritage Collector’s Corner, and we want you in it!

The basic ground rules are as follows:

Heritage Collector’s Corner: Why, and what, do you collect?

We’re well aware here at Heritage that our clientele are some of the most interesting, influential people around, and all of you come with a story. Now we want you to tell us just what that story is. Maybe it’s a remembrance of why you started collecting, or a survey of how far your collection has come. We’re looking for stories that can wow, make us laugh or cry, or otherwise remind us why we collect what we do. We would like to share these stories with the rest of the Heritage community, so this is an open call and a chance for you to tell your story.

Submission Guidelines:

1. Send submissions to (You can also send ideas for other topics.)

2. Submissions should be less than 2,000 words

3. Select submissions will be published anonymously by Heritage on the Heritage Blog, in company e-mails and in web promotion. All submissions are subject to editing and proofing. The author’s name will remain confidential.

How does this strike you? I’ll share a bit myself in the hopes of getting this thing started:

My own roots as a collector of sorts goes back to my childhood. My folks were ardent antiquers, yes, but I was bit by the collecting bug very early on myself, when I used to make the long drive from Dallas down to Round Top for the annual antiques fair there as a kid. My mom would give me and my brothers each $10 or so - $20 in the good years before the early 1980s recession here in Texas – and bid us do our own things for the next five or six hours.

I know it sounds anathema to today’s prevailing childcare mores to let your kid just disappear in a vast crowd, hours from home, with no way to check in – simply, “be back here at 3 p.m.” – but that’s the way it was. I knew enough to take care of myself, could run fast and bite and kick if necessary, though no situation ever arose. And for me it was simply Nirvana. I had a clear stretch of hours and hours to wander about, talk to people, get a couple burgers in The Rifle Hall – I can still taste them now! – and, most important of all, a full day of complete freedom from my constantly bossy, poking and punching older brothers. It’s where I got my first taste of, and fondness for being a loner.

I have to laugh at that now, married and with a toddler as I am, and knowing that I am lucky if I get even five minutes in any given day that’s not dedicated to my family or work. In fact, those infrequent days are the stuff of great nostalgia to me, as are the trinkets that I would pick up with the few dollars I didn’t spend on hamburgers, cokes or candy bars. Usually it would be an old, rusty toy of indiscriminate age, or a tin star that may or may not have actually been used by a lawman – most likely not – but I treasured those things, showed them off at school and kept them hidden from my fast-fingered brothers for years and years until they ended up in the trash with so many other trinkets from my childhood.

No, I don’t have the time to do much collecting anymore, and I certainly don’t have the money to get the things I would really want, but the bug has stayed with me. It ultimately led me into the business of writing about antiques and art, then editing magazines about them, and finally to my current happy perch at Heritage. It’s funny how the little things add up in the end to a great big important whole I would never have seen coming. Yet here I am.

Send your stories to

Click on the title of this post to leave a comment.

- Noah Fleisher

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