At 87 years of age, I am not willing to apologize for every step or misstep I have taken in any endeavor. Yes, I am one of those sometimes-despised collectors.

However, in collecting the material possessions of bygone eras, I've tried to amass accurate knowledge regarding them. My education does not go past high school. Does this discount the years of searching beneath my feet for that which was lost or cast off by those who have gone before me? Does it negate that which was derived from a lifetime of searching the structures many of which are now long gone? Can it disregard that which was gleaned from the memories of those who actually lived in an age before we were born?

Through the years, professionals in many fields looked down on amateur collectors to some extent. Thankfully, that trend has begun to change. Good, accurate information is valuable regardless of where it is derived. Disregard collectors of their collections and valuable information is forever lost.

The foregoing is written with the hope that this old collector’s accumulations can be assessed as to their educational and historic value instead of just their monetary value. Time is running out to prevent this collection and others, still held in private hands, from ending them going into the garbage or scrap-iron pile.

Skip Barshied, COLH (Connoisseur of Local History)  Stone Arabia, May, 2017

Published in the Valley Pennysaver

Confessions and Observations of An Old Collector