Trash Collection

I wanted to be an archeologist when I was younger. The thought of digging up clues to our past fascinated me and was the motivation behind my first collection, rocks!  I come from a long line of collectors. In our family, collections are defined by three characteristics: affordability, ease of acquisition, and interesting subject matter. That is to say, we are not collectors of fine art or vintage cars.

Over the years, our collections have included vintage hats, Fiesta ware, vinyl albums, wooden spools, milk glass, vintage paint-by-numbers, egg cups…you get the idea.

My grandmother owned over 100 pieces of pewter, a poor man’s silver, acquiring many of her wares from the local garbage dump. Red Rose Tea includes Wade figurines in their tea bag boxes–my mom, not a tea drinker, has been collecting the figurines for years, most purchased for less than a dollar from yard sales.  

But Dad trumps us all with his trash collection. He spent a year collecting detritus he found scattered along the streets of his town. He picked up fake vampire teeth, a broken compact disc, Visine, a retainer, receipts–discarded bits and pieces of people’s lives–clues that tell the stories of our more recent past.


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