Ok, I have two collections, neither of which consumes my house or my budget, but they have become a hobby over the years.
One for the Road
First, my husband has grown accustom to the consistent request that I make when we are on vacations. If we are travelling, and happen upon a college or university campus, I want to stop. I want to see the campus, get a feel for the place.
I think this probably puts me inline with many other student affairs professionals (or it just makes me an uber higher education nerd). If I can find a campus store open, I will buy a travel mug. I am not sure when I started this practice.
When we were in the Finger Lakes areas in New York for a friend’s wedding, We passed a tiny little campus that used the (then) new VW bugs in bright yellow as their campus fleet (of five vehicles). I can’t remember the name of the school, and it’s killing me. I just remember that they didn’t have anyone on campus, and no bookstore to be found. But from any campus that had an open campus store, I will purchase a travel mug. I cannot find all of our mugs right now since they are scattered among cars, offices, and home, so I cannot guesstimate the number.
My other collection is of cameras. All kinds of cameras. My oldest one is a negative developer from the early 1900s, I believe, and my earliest one (that I don’t currently use) is a 1970s Kodak Polaroid that my grandparents pulled out at every family holiday.
I think it started with my Aunt Diane’s Yashica. It’s the type that you look down into the lens to see the picture in front of you. She did some amazing shots with it, and I like to think about it in her hands. She had an incredibly analytical mind from what my family tells me, but I like to think of her creativity, as well.
The other cameras, I acquired from flea markets and garage sales. People found them in their attics and passed them along. I have to do more research on each one (after the dissertation), but I like having them on display, along side the black and white photography I have accumulated over the years. Many of them in their original boxes or camera bags. They have character, just like my turn of the century house, and my 1938 Old Town Otca canoe. I like things with character.
The Yashica still works, although I haven’t used it myself. I’m actually hoping for a new camera for my birthday next year…but a new-fangled digital SLR with a lot of bells and whistles. I still love black and white photography, but I don’t think I have to hand crank the film or work in a dark room to appreciate it. However, I will always appreciate these (and the several still in boxes). It’s fun to see all that history.