I am a collector of random things.

I’ve always been a pack-rat. I have largely given this up the years after my marriage. But I forgot until recently just how many collections I had, because my dad just dropped off a plastic bin full of some old “collectables” that I had forgotten at his place.

Let’s see what we have here.

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That’s a big pile of stuff. Let’s look closer.

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Here’s more of my hat collection. Yes, that’s a Days of Thunder hat from when the movie came out in 1990. I’m almost sure that I didn’t see this then, but I must have shown interest in a movie about racecar driving. Also, there’s a Days of Thunder t-shirt that came in the bin that isn’t pictured here. Jealous?

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Next we have my sugar packet collection. In the same way that other people find commemorative shot glasses to remember their trips to exotic locales, I took sugar packets from restaurants. The advantage of sugar packets is that they are free and easily packed. The disadvantage is that I don’t really remember which ones came from where, so the point of saving them is somewhat diminished.

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As a representative of a larger (and mostly given away) collection, here’s a stuffed bear. I had quite a large collection of stuffed animals growing up. And in possibly the saddest part of my childhood, I called them my friends.

Sitting in front of the bear is a Mountain Dew bottle of unknown provenance.

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Here are some nice model cars. Cars were a big thing in my house growing up. In fact, our garage was larger than our house. I now live in a house that is larger than the garage and my folks have moved into different houses (though my dad’s is still smaller than the garages (multiple).

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What’s better than big metal models? Tiny ones! Yes, Micro Machines were the coolest. I can’t believe I never unboxed these. I still have quite a collection of loose ones that I’ve been storing. Maybe I’ll have to take those out now that my kids are old enough to probably not put them directly into their mouths.

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I don’t remember collecting baseball cards as a fan might, since I never watched baseball or played baseball or knew anything about baseball really. I think I just got hooked on the idea that boys should have baseball card collections. Do I maybe have something valuable in this pile? I’d have no way of knowing.

And here is a pile of trophies from my years in Awana, mostly from the Awana Grand Prix. It certainly didn’t hurt that my dad managed a hobby shop and knew quite a lot about Pinewood Derby cars.

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Last, we have a relic and a warning to early adopters of technology. This box once housed the newest and best in Compact Disc Players. Notice the price tag from Best Buy of $129.99. This is just a CD player with headphones, a cigarette lighter DC supply, and a cassette adapter. They don’t even call them cigarette lighters now. And no self-respecting car has a cassette player anymore. This product on today’s shelf probably costs one tenth of this price, but back in 1996, this was the going price of being awesome.

Not included in the plastic bin are my rock collection, my fake Dr Pepper collection, and a collection of broken hearts from every girl in my high school. Okay, not that last one.

What did you collect? Care to make me an offer on anything you see here?

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