The other day at work, my boss mentioned that a co-worker has got every press pass he's ever been issued over the years.
Then I picked up a copy of Entertainment Weekly today, and there's an article in the TV section on a show called "Hoarders" -- all about people who can't bear to throw out practically anything. I wonder how many DVD's of the shows the subjects will save down the line.
Yup, we all save something. But what? And to what degree?
I've actually become pretty ruthless on making sure my house doesn't fill up with clutter. I used to save sports programs and sports cards in large numbers. It was a nice reminder of sporting events that I either attended in person or, when they were available through mail order or collectors' shows, watched on television. Then I moved in the mid-1980's -- only a couple of apartment buildings down, so no movers were involved. I had to carry boxes of programs down two flights of stairs, around a building to the next one, and then up two flights of stairs to my new home. Over and over and over.
At some point I said, "I need a lighter hobby." Therefore, I've sold almost all of that stuff -- Super Bowl programs, Final Four programs, World Series programs, Red Sox yearbooks. One time I opted to choose between saving pieces of cardboard with baseball players' pictures on them, or new golf clubs. Hmmm. Guess which won? Fore!
Most of the stuff I have now in the publication department is kept for reference (local media guides and books), and the proceeds of the sales of the other stuff on eBay has paid for some good trips. Boy, where was eBay in the 1980's?
What else do I save? Let's see. I've got most of the ticket stubs from concerts I've attended over the years. We're talking late 1970's for the earliest of them, even if that Doobie Brothers/Outlaws stub from the Niagara Falls Convention Center didn't exactly increase in value.
And somewhere along the way, I decided to take any sort of ticket stub collected along the way from events, trips, etc., then add press passes and other similar items, and make collages out of them. It really works well. A 16 x 20 frame holds two or three years of material, depending on the amount of traveling. It's a great way to remember that trip to the Rutherford B. Hayes burial site in Ohio. (Yes, I've been there.)
Then there are articles that have appeared in print. I've got notebooks and notebooks of bylined stories from my time in the business. In fact, I still have some junior high newspapers. Somehow I was picked as the editor in ninth grade, which was junior high then, and I still have some of the papers. In fact, when I went back to a high school reunion in Elmira (I moved from there after ninth grade), the papers were a big hit because no one had seen them since 1970. Then I've still got articles from high school and college. As my coworker Jerry Sullivan once said, if you don't get a bit of a thrill seeing your name in print, you probably are in the wrong business.
I do have some autographed books, which can be broken into two categories for the most part. There are authors I actually know, so owning a copy is a must. Then there are the big stars, with many of the autographs obtained in person or through some sort of special arrangement (Jeremy Schaap, Clarence Clemons, Terry Anderson, Bob Woodward, etc.). (Think those names have ever been together in a Google search?)
I'm not sure I'd call it a "collection," but I have plenty of compact disks covering a variety of musical types. The holiday stuff is starting to grab some space as the annual search for tunes for my mix CD continues. Then there's a cabinet that has some videos in it. There are a few movies and other documentaries there. For example, whenever I'm a little down about the baseball season, I can get out a disk and play it. Suddenly, it's 2004, and the Yankees are leading the Red Sox, three games to none ... and then Dave Roberts steals second.
So, dear reader, what do you save?