Sunday, September 27, 2015
The Collecting Gene
It’s winter in the village of Jewel Bay—you remember winter, don’t you?—and Erin and her pal Christine are getting ready for the First Annual Food Lovers’ Film Festival, converting the Jewel Bay Playhouse into an old-time movie theater, complete with a sign re-christening it “The Bijou.” Erin’s sister Chiara convinced retired movie lighting director Larry Abrams—advisor to the high school Film Club—to put his collection of 1950s movie posters on display in the lobby. And that prompts a discussion among the younger set.
“Seriously, old man. You kept the posters from when you were a kid?” Zayda’s boyfriend Dylan Washington said. A lanky kid with summer highlights in his dark blond hair and a flashing grin to match the teasing manner, he—like Zayda—was a star student and a Man with a Plan.
“Later,” Larry said. “Took me years to build that collection.”
“What’s the deal about collecting?” Rory something, a tall boy whose dark hair was cut short on the sides and spiked on top. A future heart throb, when he outgrew the awkward stage. “I don’t get it.”
“Think of Barbies or Legos you’re too old for, but you still love,” a girl with shades of red from strawberry blond to cranberry in her hair replied. I couldn’t help but notice the kids’ hair, another canvas for their creativity. Her parents ran the pizza joint. “Your grandmother’s jewelry you got when she died, or tickets from a show she took you to. You keep them to remind you how you felt.”
“Zayda’s got her number bibs from every race,” Dylan said. “Plus all her ribbons. They cover the back of her bedroom door.”
“’Cause she always wins,” the redhead said.
“Yeah, but buying stuff just to hang on to it ...” Clearly, Rory was not in possession of the collector gene.
Erin, like me, is convinced she lacks the collector gene. But she does have that window sill full of hearts – just like I do – and those eight denim jackets (I have one, but it’s a doozy – a gold and blue brocade featuring smiling cherubs!).
Are you in possession of the collector gene? Share your favorite collection—or the strangest one you’ve ever encountered!
Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers' Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries, and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. She lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model and avid bird-watcher. She collects those hearts, Fostoria Americana glassware, and a few other odds and ends she never thought amounted to a collection until her characters showed her otherwise
Connect with her on her website, or on Facebook.