I have always enjoyed collecting things; I am not at all sure why. But even very young, I was excited by the idea of collections.

One of the very first (it may actually have been the first) collections I engaged in was match book covers. I don't remember just how old I was when I began to pick them up and save them but I must have been old enough to read but not so old as to have a clear memory of what I did with them. I just remember having a bunch of them in my room and finding joy is looking at the number and variety that I had been able to find.

Soon after that, I became interested in stamps. I do remember being fascinated by the intricate designs and the wonderful colors that I found there. I soon began collecting them and putting the results into a display book. This went on for some time and I eventually got to the point of buying some stamps to enrich the collection. Until that time, I had simply found cancelled stamps in a variety of places and had persuaded friends and relatives to find other for me. I also remember that my Aunt Mildred, who had been a librarian for many years (she may still have been one at this time) gave me a book on stamps. It was quite large and I suddenly became aware that stamp collecting might become a very big business. Until then, I had no idea how many, many stamps there were in the world. It was exciting and yet, at the same time, a bit daunting. I soon became just a bit discouraged at the thought of trying to build something of real value, which obviously would require immense effort. I also realized that only by investing money in stamps, would I ever possess something worth while. This led to an incident that I still regret. I had ordered some stamps through the mail from a company that sent them out 'on approval', the idea being that a buyer could examine them and decide later whether or not to pay for and keep them. This was common in those days but, I suspect, invisible in today's world. Unfortunately, after receiving the stamps, I forgot about them because they had been put on the top shelf of a wall unit in my bedroom, and being in the back there, went undiscovered for quite some time. This led to an angry letter from the company and when I was unable to find the stamps, resulted in my mother negotiating a settlement with the company, money she was very unhappy about parting with. When I found the stamps later, I was very sorry about the incident but it was too late to rectify.

I have no idea what happened to my stamp collection but I no longer have any part of it so it obviously went the way of all flesh. But even while I was engaged in that pursuit, I had been given a couple of old coins and it awakened in my something that persists to this day: a love of collecting old coins. One of those coins was an old dime with a hole in it, dated in the 19th century. I was fascinated by the thought that I had something so very old and I often dreamed about what hands had passed that coin around. This coin was given to me by a relative but I do not remember which one; it might have been one of my dad's sisters or it might have been my grandmother. The other coin I had during those times was an Indian head penny that I found in the dirt under the swing set in the school yard. It, too, was dated in the 19th century, and I loved the design of the Indian on the obverse side of the coin. I still think that this coin design is one of the best that the United States ever came up with. But unfortunately, the Indian Head penny is difficult to adequaquately display in a photograph, even when it is in immaculate condition and I love to photograph old coins, due to the copper content.

Even while I was still engaged in stamp collecting, I began to be more interested in coins. That collection grew slowly at first and was mostly done from circulation. I acquired a set of Whitman display folders and began filling in pennies at first, then nickels, and eventually dimes and quarters. By the time I married for the first time, I was getting rolls of half dollars from banks, picking out the silver ones and replacing them with clad coins, and returning the rolls. I still delight in remembering how many times that happened.

Another thing I collected when I was young (younger than I am now, for sure) was comics. During my teen years, I loved reading comics and concentrated on Donald Duck, (Walt Disney's Comics and Stories), Scrooge McDuck, Bugs Bunny, Superman, Batman, science fiction, and Tarzan. At one point when I discovered that my siblings were damaging the comics by reading them (not carefully) I put a door on two of the shelves in my bedroom that could be locked with a combination padlock. This worked reasonably well while I was at home but when I left for college, the comics gradually disappeared, all except for the Tarzans and a few others. I especially loved reading the Tarzan comics and some years later when I was able, I bought the ones that were missing from my collection, which at that time was mostly the issues by Dell Publishing Co. Over the years, I replaced not only all of the issues that I originally had, but also those I never did purchase and eventually I succeeded in owning each and every one that Dell ever published. That collection still resides in a box in my basement. I also still have John Carter of Mars (4 issues) and Tom Corbett, Space Cadet. (I do not remember how many I have but it must be about 10 and I just saw a single issue of that group on the Internet for sale at $180)

Over the years I dabbled in a few other collections, ( mineral crystals for one) but nothing ever rose to the level of coin collecting, which I began to do in ernest about the time I married for the second time. Today, I have a modest coin collection; it is far from the kind that money can buy but does host a few of the rare ones. I am especially proud of the Morgan silver dollars, which was complete at one time but currently lacks the rarest one, the 1893 S. I still think that along with the Indian head pennies and the silver eagles, the Morgans are just about the prettiest coins in U.S. mint history. I must mention here, however, that there is one other coin that I find almost irresistably beautiful and that is the Walking Liberty silver eagle. In MS 70 (perfect) condition, this coin in my eyes is not only equal to the Morgan but may actually surpress it in design and perfection.

I must now add here the fact that I actually do have some other collections. One is the collection of science fiction publications, including 'Analog' magazines, pocket books, and hard bound examples. Analog is science fiction/science fact magazine that has been published for many years and I have most of the issues since 1967. (I have not inventored the collection so I cannot stipulate here just which ones are missing) I used to read each and every issue religiously but have not done that for a while now, although my wife has been doing it and she is the primary reason that we still receive these magazines in the mail each and every month. However, I have not renewed my subscription recently and so the string of Analogs is about to come to an end. I must add here that some of the very best and most famous science fiction stories were originally published in Analog and only later appeared in hard bound. I also loved (and still do) the articles on science fact that appeared in this magazine.

In addition to Analog, I have a large number of science fiction pocket books, notably among them are ACE double novels, of which I have many (I have not counted these, either). They cost 35 cents in the days when I bought them and I did read each one that I bought at that time. Several of these stories do stand out in my mind as some of the very best science fiction. Two examples are both written by Eric Frank Russell: "Three to Conquer", about telepathy and Venusians, and "Wasp", one of the funniest stories I have ever read. And although some of my hard bound sci-fi books have been sold or given away, there are still a large number of those on the shelf in the basement.

Finally, I do have a collection of tv shows and movies on DVD. At one time, I also had a large number of these on video tape but have since given most of these away and converted the best ones to DVD, of which I now keep for myself to watch over and over again. (I can watch a good movie 25 times without ever getting tired of that) And I still have a large number of Sky and Telescope magazines, although I sold a 1hundred or so of those 20 years ago when we lived in Salt Lake.