Guitar strap helps hang on to memories

This may sound odd, but one of the things I asked for and received this Christmas was a new guitar strap. Why it may sound odd is because not only do I not know how to play a guitar, I don’t even own one. But I learned from my son a guitar strap is a great way to display collectors’ pins.

He does play the guitar, does have a guitar and when we used to travel, we would always stop at Hard Rock Hotels so he could add a pin to his collection.

While I have no Hard Rock pins, I have collected some various pins at ballparks, tourist spots and assorted other venues. I had so many I looked for ways to display them, but it was not until I noticed his idea that I came up with a plan for myself.

Through the years I have been a collector of many items. Like most young boys back in the day, baseball cards and items of that ilk were worth saving. Sadly, I didn’t hang on to many of those because today some would bring a pretty penny.

Unfortunately, I grew up in Kansas City, so I was an fan of the A’s and then the Royals, so most of the cards I was interested in have very little value today. I do remember having some of those cards that are now worth money, but mostly they were used to trade for the local players, the rest ended up in a bicycle spoke or got tossed at the end of the year.

There were years in the mid-1960s that Guy’s Potato Chips came with a baseball pin in every sack. There were pins for all of the major league teams and if you completed a set, you could send them in for a free baseball.

I collected those pins for a few years and one year managed to acquire a complete set. I sent the set in and sure enough, I got a baseball, not a major league ball, but a baseball nonetheless. I assume the rest of my pins were with my card collection and ended up in a dump somewhere, but I still have that baseball to this day. I got it autographed, and as per usual, I concentrated on Kansas City players and coaches, so most of the autographs would be deemed of little value, except for a couple hall of famers.

I happened to be shopping at a flee market a couple of years ago and actually found a couple of those old Guy’s Potato Chip pins. I got a couple of the As pins, simply for the memory, but ironically, I could have bought a of couple genuine major league baseballs for what those pins are worth today.

Also, while I was young, I collected pennants. I had noticed a display on a cousin’s wall and I thought it was so cool that he had tri-sided flags of various sizes on the wall, representing many of the places he had gone.

So, I started my collection. I would guess I had somewhere in the vicinity of 50 when my father commented there was not much space left on my bedroom walls and I could thin the herd or he would take care of it for me. The pennants went into a box and at some point, joined the collection of last year’s baseball cards in the trash. The good news is that chances are, none of those pennants would likely be worth anything today.

Through the years my passion for collecting has included such valuable items as matchbooks, (not much use for those any more) writing pens, bobbleheads and spoons. Today, I still collect mostlyworthless items like baseballs and shot glasses along with old press passes and a curio cabinet full of worthless trash from various events in my life.

I like to think each and every item holds a special place in my heart, whether it be from whom I received it, where I got it or sometimes how it came to be in my possession. I would guess about 90 percent of the stuff is totally worthless, others have told me 90 percent might be too low.

I am sure, one of these days I will either decide I need room for something else, or someone else will use my father’s tactics and recommend things get weeded out. But until then, I will display my little mementos and the good news is at the current pace, I may not need a new guitar strap for another two or three years.

On a much more serious note, COVID-19 numbers in Cass County continue to spiral. Even though nobody says you have to, how about helping out your friends, neighbors and folks you meet on the street by wearing a mask? After all, it might help you keep your face warm.


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