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In the beginning….

November 2, 2011

So how does a “true blue” Aussie end up following and collecting memorabilia of sports that aren’t even played in his country ?

Well… everything has a start, doesn’t it ? And there’s no better way to start than to go back to where things really began. So here’s part of the story of the birth of one side of the personality that is me – a US sports fan and card collector we’ll call AusRam. (Don’t worry, the name will make sense a bit later!)

As a youngster I developed the “Collecting Bug” early on. Now I’m not sure that “bug” is really the correct term for it, because I think the will to collect is actually inherent in some people’s character. You either collect things or you don’t. If you do, you’re likely to collect many different things as you progress through life and it’s really just a matter of how deep your obsession is. For me, it probably began as a youngster with small Matchbox die cast cars, as every week or so I’d nag my mother to buy me another car, until I had bags of them. Later on it was Aussie Rules Football cards, Hot Rod and Monster  Stickers, gemstones and of course the age old collectible, stamps.

Then of course there was the total life changing event that was STAR WARS. I was 11 in 1977 and the Scanlens (Australian Topps Licencee) Star Wars cards was the first set I ever completed and it was done through many, many, schoolyard trades.

Looking back I’m actually very proud of completing that first ever card set, as it wasn’t done with the “buy by the box” sledgehammer mentality that is collecting for a lot of people these days, including myself. It was a matter of trading with others and buying packs and just hoping your didn’t already have them as you peeled back the waxy paper and ditched the bright pink chewing gum. Aaah.. the gum…remember that smell ?

But while being so proud of that first ever set completion accomplishment, I was totally shattered a few years later when now in the early years of High School, I just couldn’t get the Empire Strikes Back set nailed down. Card trading was a little out of vogue by then and I failed miserably. I didn’t have the access to trading buddies either as this was the first year of High School and everything was totally new to me, including my class mates…

So it wasn’t until a few years later that another side of my collector self showed itself. Yes, it was the time of Return of the Jedi and now I was older and a little more in control of things financially. Looking back, those days saw the first appearance of the box buying mentality. Having been disappointed with Empire I vowed not to be defeated this time. So once the local Milk Bar had run out of packets, I remember riding my bike to another shop a few kilometres away and buying the whole box they had in their display. The ROTJ set was done, all was good in the world and collecting soon took a back seat to studies and other things as I finished out High School…

But it’d be back….and soon..

to be continued…

One Comment leave one →
  1. Nick permalink
    November 3, 2011 12:33 pm

    Interesting read…. Good to see an Aussie taking interest in US Sports!!!

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