What’s in your collection? Is it changing?

At a recent unconference I attended, the “keynote” speaker, closed his remarks by listing some things that can help you live, in his opinion, an “authentic” life. He said these actions help you create a Point of View that is yours and yours alone.
These were:

  • Create memories (his suggestion was to participate in a Project 365 kind of activity and post it publicly) = Done!
  • Have a blog = Um…Done!
  • Make things (real things not digital) = Hmmm. I make messes. Does that count?
  • Have a collection. He said something like collect something that is unsung because that elevates it to important. He also said, while you needed to be passionate about whatever you collect, you don’t want to be viewed as crazily obsessed. (He said this all much more eloquently)

I starting thinking about collections. I was always collecting things as I grew up. I had my Dad’s stamp collection for a while and I added to it a bit. I collected rocks and bits of other natural materials during treks to various spots on earth. More recently, I enjoyed the 10 year run of collecting the state quarters. I tried to do it with my nephew as he was turning 1 when it started but he really didn’t get into it like I had hoped.

One thing that I have always collected, though, were the tickets to concerts, plays and, sometimes, movies that I have seen. There are some prize ones:

  • The ticket to see Hal Holbrook’s one man show, Mark Twain Tonight. We got to go backstage and he autographed it. I was in junior high school at the time.
  • A ticket to the Newport Folk Festival. After the concert, my friends and I went to eat and Emily Saliers from Indigo Girls came in shortly after. As she was walking by, we caught her eye and told her how much we enjoyed their show. She was very kind and signed the ticket at the end of our short conversation
  • The ticket to see Bette Midler back in 1983 at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta. I didnt’ think I would ever see her. (I have since added the ticket to see her in Las Vegas earlier this year)
  • Front row seats to Yaz (aka Yahoo in the UK), a favorite group from the 1980s that I also had abandoned hope of every hearing live until my youngest brother found out about their short reunion tour in the US and we met in Chicago to catch a show.

And the list goes on.

I kept them in large manila envelopes for years and a few years ago, I dismantled a toy drum set I had also had for years and now I store the tickets in the bass drum of the set in a “sculpture’ I created (hey, I do make things!) for my office.

Why does this even matter, you may ask? Good question. The most recent concert I attended (Mary Chapin Carpenter in a great downtown smaller venu) didn’t really have a ticket. I bought the ticket online and chose the “Print at Home” option to avoid having to pay mailing fees. That makes sense and I didn’t really think about it until I got home from the show and thought abou putting my ticket in the drum. I have a piece of paper with a barcode on it and the seat assignments. Not a cool rectangle of paperboard with colors and such. Not even a thermal printed ticket. Just a regular piece of paper out of my printer.


Certainly, I love the convenience of buying tickets online. I like being able to pick seats (if possible on the site) and I like not having to stand in line. But, do I want to trade that in for losing my beloved collectible? I can pay the extra fee so, I guess the decision is more – is my collection worth it?

Do I want to keep getting this?

Or just keep going with this?

I just am wondering what other collections folks have that could possibly be replaced as technology moves forward. Will we keep having stamps? Perhaps coins will go away too? There will always be those who will continue to collect these items, it will just be harder and more expensive so new collectors probably will be fewer.

What will replace it? QR Codes? Media Storage formats (replacing the LP and cassette collections of today?)

I guess the point is to have a passion for something but I am not sure you can keep changing the focus of that passion with the pace that our technology and what it produces is changing.