Flicking through the telly channels this morning and came across this snippet of information - on the Matthew Wright show.Someone on the show tried to buy an autograph of their hero John McEnroe from a friend who refused to sell it on the grounds that there's no point in shelling out for a moment you've never had.
This then leads to the question - what are autograph hunters and memorabilia collectors doing with their lives ?
Well. that got me thinking.
I know I'm a hoarder desperately trying to distinguish between things that could be classed as memorabilia and general junk (or if you like, making excuses for not throwing things away)
Many of us experience this situation at some time in their lives and others experience it for all or most of their life. But I must say that when I look at my 'saved' items - photos, books, old tickets for shows, programmes, letters - I do have memories of being part of these events and occasions. Sometimes I have forgotten the event and the piece of memorabilia reminds me of things that have happened over the years that I might not otherwise remember. As I get older I am finding that often this is an invaluable aid to retrieving the memories that have been stored in the rather complicated filing system that is my mind. And I know that in this case anyway, it isn't 'just me'.
I've had collections of things in my time too. The small packets of sugar that you get in cafes was a particular favourite when I was a child. The collection developed quickly and I had sugar packets sent from all over the world as well as to places I had visited. I didn't exclude a sugar packet from Australia just because I hadn't been there. People who I didn't know sent me sugar from their local cafe and from the ones they had visited on their own travels. I took great pleasure in arranging them into areas, colours and themes - and they also came in handy when the sugar in the bowl ran out and we decided which was the least important or pretty and guiltily use it's contents. That collector's habit is still with me today and at the bottom of any bag I possess will be a couple of leaking, screwed up packets of sugar, from Costa Coffee or the little tea shop we visited last weekend.
Rubbers (erasers), pencils and beer mats were other collections but they didn't take off so well as lots of other people seemed to collect them and I like to be original if nothing else ... ...
As for autographs, yes I love those too. The ones I have are in books signed by the author which is a sort of double collection - the book itself and the signature/autograph. I prefer to 'know' the author. 'Knowing' could be that I chat and discuss things with them on a writers' forum or a different social network, or that I have actually met them.
So no, I don't think the autograph owner's grounds for refusing to sell are justified. But of course this is a 'free country' and we can make our own decisions on whatever we want.
Now, anyone interested in buying a copy of a book signed by the author ?
(Click here or here)