First Things

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Memories Of A Former Kid

For many collectors – no matter what they
collect – a big part of the fun is the hunt. A collector can spend
months or even years in pursuit of the elusive piece that would
complete his collection. Some carry nearly transparent scraps of
paper in their purse or wallet listing characteristics of the
missing item in case they should ever happen on to the prize. (I’ve
even see collectors hand out printed business cards listing
precisely the items they need to complete a collection.) Others
design display layouts around that one piece they’re holding out

Once found, though, a treasure is likely to change ever so
slightly. It’s no less cherished, no less valuable – but it’s no
longer the focus of the hunt … and something else is.
Following a brief honeymoon period, during which the sought-after
item is the unrivalled center of attention, the collector generally
moves to the next item on his list. It is the hunt, when all is
said and done, that provides the entertainment and sustains the

If a collector relishes the hunt, he’s plum goofy over good
luck. It’s good luck to get into a hobby early, before all the good
stuff is either snapped up or becomes too spendy. It’s good luck to
happen on to the person who has precisely the rare part you’ve
spent months looking for. It’s good luck to get to the antique mall
before the other collectors do, to hit the right auction, to snap
up a rare piece for a song, to discover hidden mechanical flaws
sooner rather than later, to uncover a new source of parts or
pieces or raw materials, to find a missing serial number tag.

The funny thing about luck is that, much of the time, it’s a
tale that holds our attention, whether it’s a story of good luck,
or bad. A collector’s story about bad luck is no less compelling
than a report of an unexpected triumph. Bad luck stories, in
particular, carry their own warnings, and we pay close heed. “Watch
out when you’re gittin’ all you want,” the farm hand notes.
“Fattenin’ hogs ain’t in luck.” Whether you’re building a
collection or restoring a special piece, happy hunting, and good

Leslie McManus, Editor

Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
Dedicated to the Preservation of Vintage Farm Equipment