by Rich Klein
It has been a while since our last Ramblings because as John Lennon once sang, “Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans”. I had a column planned to touch on some of the events which I consider to be major “tipping” points in hobby history but events of the past week and a previous request from our editor are why I’m swinging back to a different topic.
Rich Mueller had asked me just what it is that I collect these days. The answer is, the Klein collection has had many iterations, but the current focus in on the friends, connections and memories built up in more than 30 years in the organized hobby. A few recent events have convinced me that this is a good focus indeed.
Last Wednesday evening, while driving here in Texas, a young man in an SUV pulled out of a side street and never saw me coming. Needless to say, since his SUV was bigger than my car, he won that argument. The front end of my car is no longer part of the car plus I have some very interesting bumps and bruises. My knee has both bruising as well as a little gash that was opened, plus the bruise on my right chest makes it looks like I just had ‘boob job’. Fortunately, that was all that happened to me as both air bags deployed which probably saved me from more serious injury. I posted about the accident on Facebook that evening and as a good friend of mine responded: “Cars can be replaced, replacing you… not so much.”
I’m not the only one on the hobby’s Disabled List. I have been in phone contact with Pat Blandford, a former compatriot at Beckett. Pat recently had an Achilles tendon issue and is back at work because his current employer Kevin Savage, is now his chauffeur to and from work each and every day. I kid Pat about his ride and my constant rejoinder to Pat is I am nominating Kevin for sainthood. If you do not know Kevin Savage, he is, to be honest with you, one of the finest people you will ever meet in this hobby.
In addition, last evening, we also attended the annual Prestonwood Baptist church “A gift of Christmas” and partook of the buffet before the event. Now, of course, someone may ask, why is a Jewish boy going to that event at what has to be one of the country’s biggest churches? Well, the event is split into two parts: the first half is all secular music and the second half is religious based. We enjoy the first half which is an amazing hour and fifteen minutes of fast-paced music, dancing, and choir singing. I went to many Broadway musicals when I lived in the New York area and many of them were far inferior to this yearly event.
While sitting listening to the Christmas music, I realized that the Rich Ramblings that I had planned–the one about hobby events–was going to be delayed as the writing about my friends, my hobby experiences and the great joys I have had in the hobby for nearly 2/3 of my life now is far more important. You can replace cards. I’ve done that plenty of times. You can replace where you attend shows, how you buy or sell cards, and the other parts of the hobby. You can replace how you get your hobby information. But you can never replace the many friends you can make in the hobby.
Thus, the current and permanent focus of the Klein collection will be to keep making friends. One new way I do that is to participate in online birthday and Santa exchanges I find in hobby forums, and I’m always looking forward to more of those. I also plan to just enjoy life a little more. Tangible items are nice but are not forever. Photographs and memories are.
Happy holidays everyone!
Rich Klein can be reached at [email protected]