Sunday, September 27, 2015

The Collecting Gene

by Leslie Budewitz

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.

9 comments:

  1. It's not exactly a collection--I will use the fabrics in my ever-growing stash. Eventually.

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  2. Ah, the fabric stash. I've seen a few of those -- all the colors and textures are so inviting!

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  3. I collect too much stuff! Hubby is the cleaner outer, but I have to watch him. The strangest collection I've seen is a little neighbor girl in MN who collected eyelashes in little cardboard cotton-lined jewelry box. I wonder how she turned out.

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    1. Eyelashes. Oh, my.

      Funny story about my parents: He was a collector. She is not. He held on to a certain worn-out jacket for ages. She'd take it from the front hall coat closet and hang it in the garage; he'd move it back. It became a game, and was quite cute. When he died, 25 years ago, she went out to the garage, got the jacket, and hung it in the coat closet, where it stayed until she moved to an apt 5 years ago. (The jacket is now in my brother's closet.)

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    2. That is a sweet, sweet story. Brought tears to my eyes.

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  4. Besides books and bookmarks, I collect teacups and saucers with rose patterns, vintage jewelry and snowbabies.

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    1. Lovely, Annette! So many beautiful china patterns -- at least as many varieties as the roses themselves!

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  5. I collect teapots and mugs and teas and books and all sorts of things. I still have a sweater that was my Mother's (she died in 2/1990), and a tshirt my friend gave me (she died in 2007). I collect people too; I have friends from 1-90+.

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    1. I've come to believe many collections embody memories, and it sounds like yours do, too. Cherish them, and thanks for sharing.

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