Your mission this week, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible music!), is to:
1) Most of us collect dead ancestors and relatives now - what did you collect when you were a child or teenager, or adult?
2) Tell us about your collections in a blog post of your own, in a comment to this blog post, or in a Facebook or Google+ post.
I had several collections between the ages of 6 and 18, including:
* Baseball cards: In the early 1950s, I rode my bike all over North Park and East San Diego trying to find stores with baseball cards (5 to a pack, with a slab of pink gum, for 10 cents (?)). Then I would trade duplicates with my brother, my friends, etc. In 1954, I had a complete collection of all the cards published by Topps. Eventually, I invented a dice game to play my own fantasy baseball games - my team usually won somehow.
* Bottle caps: I had a collection, usually gleaned from my family, neighbors, and friends who saved them for me. I also went to grocery stores and asked for them.
* Maps: My father's cousin Dorothy subscribed to National Geographic, and I asked for maps from the magazine when they were finished with them. I also obtained city maps from gas stations and studied them. This led to making my own maps with rivers, streams, hills, railroads, bridges, highways, stop lights, etc. In color.
* Stamps: My grandfather, Lyle Carringer, gave my brother and I a treasure trove of cancelled stamps when we were 8 or 10 years old. We got stamp albums and pasted them in, both U.S. and foreign. Then we started getting uncanceled stamps from my grandfather's weekly trips to the post office, and eventually plate blocks. He had a worldwide correspondence of stamp collectors. This became my sick-day or rainy-day activity. We ended up buying additional uncanceled stamps for our collection at a downtown stamp shop.
* Coins: My brother and I collected coins also - each denomination (up to quarters), each year, each mint, etc. We had coin books for each denomination/year/mint. My folks and grandparents saved coins for us to catalog. I still have these somewhere in the cave.
* Bus schedules: We lived right on the #2 bus line in San Diego, and I collected the schedules for as many lines as possible. I loved the maps. From my front window, I noted when a scheduled bus was late, noting the bus number to try to figure out the schedule. Another sick/rainy day activity.
Collecting things was a big deal for me - it stimulated my curiosity and creativity, gave me goals to achieve, and I learned about geography, money, baseball, maps, etc.
In my late teens and early 20s, I collected radio station music surveys (Top 40 lists) from all over the country. I wrote away to rock radio stations around the country and asked to be put on their mailing list. I checked Billboard Magazine every week for their Top 100 list. Eventually, I made my own Top 40 hits list every week for several years based on the surveys I received.
From age 20 to 45, I listened for distant U.S. and foreign radio stations on the AM band, kept a reception log, made tape recordings, and learned about radio wave propagation. This was usually an evening and early morning (like 1 a.m. to 4 a.m. activity). I also collected QSL cards and verification letters from the stations. From San Diego, I routinely heard Japan, China, Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, Central America, Mouth America radio stations during a calendar year. Occasionally, I would hear stations in western Europe, Thailand, western Africa, and other distant countries. I was an editor of the DX Worldwide column for the International Radio Club of America (IRCA) in the mid-1960s.
Then I started on genealogy in 1988 and have collected thousands of dead ancestors and relatives.