Thursday, August 27, 2009

Collectors and the Junk They Love

Magnet # 21: Moroccan Shoe

Material:  Clay

Purchased By:  Mom & Dad

Couldn't decide which view best represented this one my folks picked up on their Moroccan vacation back in 2005, so I decided to go with both.  Of course, the seams from where I glued it back together are a bit more visible in the side view.  Oh well.  These are my magnets and I'm proud of them.  I present them Photoshop-free, cracks and all!

As I've mentioned, I watch the Travel Channel quite a bit.  One of their series, Extreme, has recently aired a new episode:  Extreme Collections.

Wow - my little collection and I have nothing on the folks on this show.  Unfortunately, Louise Greenfarb, the world record holder for most magnets, is not amongst them.  However there is a lady who collects shoes and has all sorts of shoe magnets on her fridge.  Wonder if she has this one?

The collections on this show are incredible!  There's a man who has built a house to hold his collection of over 75,000 beer bottles that is larger than his own home.  The aforementioned shoe collector has amassed over 11,000 in only 9 years.  A teenager has almost 200 vacuum cleaners that he uses around 7 times a day.  A woman in Germany has over 6,000 Barbie dolls and has begun a career restoring other collector's dolls to support her hobby. Cornell University has 70 human brains (eww!) that are over 100 years old.  One man has over 10,000 hot sauce bottles - so many that he's opened a mega store called Pepper's to house some and sell others.  There's another man with about 120 classic cars that has built a 1960s style town in a warehouse to store them.  And, finally, a woman in Scotland has over 6,500 piercings all over her body.  Her face looks almost like a mask.

It's interesting to get a feel for what makes these folks tick.  Some have had a lifelong obsession with these items.  Others just started when they saw someone with a similar collection and were inspired.  And some want to make the Guinness Book of World Records.  Most of them have.  Some will fly around the world - occasionally at a moment's notice - to add to their collections.  And with some, these are not their only collection.  It makes me consider my own motivation for collecting magnets.

Magnets make a great gift for travelers to keep or pass onto others.  They're inexpensive, easy to find, and easy to carry back.  I mean, I really couldn't ask someone to bring me back an antique vacuum cleaner from Hawaii, could I?  And for quite some time, pretty much all of my travel magnets came from my parents.  I wasn't traveling that much.  But I did want to fill up my fridge.  And they enjoy bringing me back souvenirs.  So it worked out great for both of us.  Of the items I collect, magnets are the only ones of which I haven't purchased the majority.  And that makes them special.

One uniting thread between all of us collectors?  Somewhere out there, there's someone who firmly believes that the items we treasure so much are just junk!

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