I personally have never been much of a collector. I also have moved quite frequently in my life and the old saying “two moves is as good as a fire” really is true. My loving partner from 1980-1995, David Woodyard, was however a great collector. Despite his AIDS related death in 1995, now some 24 years ago, I am still giving away stuff of his though much less so than in the years shortly after his death. Lest you think I am a thoughtless slob lacking in emotion and empathy there are few mementos of his that are very dear to me and their dispersal will fall to whoever liquidates my things after my death. Prized the most are photos of him scattered throughout my home.
I guess it could be said that I am a collector of photos and the walls of my condo are plastered with many people pictures. I must say though that collecting and framing pictures kind of stopped when the only camera I went to was the digital one on my various phones over the past decade. I realize I could still be making these images into “real” photos to hang on my walls but for some reason I haven’t done that. I have though moved quite a few to my web site though so I haven’t given it up entirely.
There is something to be said for having hundreds of photos stored on your phone and being able to bring them up and share them on the spot. I am though not always sure this is something received with joy when being inflicted on others. The phrase “have you seen” and “let me show you” can at times be met with dread after all and prompt a reciprocal comment “sorry I’ve got to run –maybe show me later”.
That is about all I have to say about my collections, or lack there of, but I do want to mention a collection of our late compatriot here at Story Telling, Tom Hurley. Tom was at one time a significant collector of Hummel figurines. In my only visit to his home on Lafayette Street, at least 20 years ago, he proudly showed off at least some of his Hummel collection. I am sure I tried to feign interest and be polite since it was quite obvious they were very important to him, but talk about a ”collection” I just didn’t appreciate.
I have no idea if he was still in possession of the collection at the time of his death on June 12th of this year, 2019. He was strapped for cash since retiring from Denver Human Services and some of those Hummel’s were worth some money so he may have liquidated. I do vaguely recall Tom sharing a story or two here during group about his Hummel collection.
Though I was out of state when his funeral was held on June 19th I was glad to hear it was at a Catholic Church. An organization that from many of Tom’s stories over the years I knew he had the most intense love/hate relationship with. Hummel’s for example have their inception from a series of drawings done in the 1930’s by a nun from the Order of St. Francis named Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel. That is a nun’s name that I am sure Tom just loved.
Sadly we now get to add Tom to the small but growing collection of men in the group who have passed on. I am aware of no women connected with Story Telling who have died but we already knew that women where the hardier sex and often better collectors than men.