Monday, May 25, 2015

Childhood Memories: Things

Things. Things have always been an important part of my live since I can remember. Perhaps that comes with being alive; wanting things, wanting the unique and unusual, wanting more.

Perhaps having things is a measure of success or possibly just a measure of the ability to do so.

Even after having given thousands, tens of thousands, maybe even millions of things to Michael's Museum: A Curious Collection of Tiny Treasures, celebrating its 5th year during May as a permanent exhibit at Chicago Children's Museum on Navy Pier, I continue to collect.

As a child I loved the neighborhood dime stores: Woolworths, Neisners, Kresges, etc. There was always a few coins in my pocket, burning a hole, which I could use to buy a toy, a treat, a piece of candy. I was never one to save money in a piggy bank to use at a later date or for high priced item.

As an adult, now and then I would discover dime stores still in existence with a lot of the same stock I remember as a boy. Wonderful places that are all but gone now, as I turn 70, replaced by K-Mart, Walmart, etc. No "tsotkies" or "joy" there to buy!

In 1990, when we moved into our first home on Poplar Avenue in Evanston, the nearby shopping street Central Avenue boasted Hendricks 5 and 10. They were there for another 5 or so years before either the business fell off, the owners got tired, or the usual dime store products were no longer available. I do remember Jim saying he just couldn't get product!

What do I like to collect? I cannot name them but rather their attributes: old, unique, artifact, no longer made, quality plastic, magical, colorful, representational, secret, a discovering, an item of memory.

Collecting is something everybody does. Some people have narrowed it down to one or two types of things. While many people will say they do not collect, I can usually prove them wrong. It is just that they do not think of "it" as collecting. Some general like books, shoes, photographs, bowls. Some the rare and precious. Some people collect etherial or thought items like memories or experiences.

Collections consist of objects of all sizes, from tiny to huge, but I wouldn't know much about huge since I love the tiny, mini, small, minuscule, little, miniature, diminutive, microscopic, eency, drop size.

Meanwhile, here is a toast to collecting. Here is a toast to Michael's Museum celebrating its fifth birthday. Here is a toast to things. Things glorious things.

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