The first newspaper I believe I ever collected was for the 1968 Kentucky Derby followed later that month by the ’68 Indianapolis 500 (timely to write this since it’s the month of May [when Paul wrote this] and I’m going to the Indy 500 once again this year). I was only 6 years old at the time, but proud years later, that I started collecting newsworthy newspapers at such an early age. 1968, needless to say, was quite a year and I’m glad to this day that I never sold any of the newspapers I collected when I first started (though I admit I did not keep them in the best shape I could have….I didn’t realize 41 years later that I’d still be collecting newspapers!!!). I think the first newspaper that I ever bought multiple copies of was for the first Ali-Frazier fight in 1971, but I am not sure.
Some of the best surprises I have had in collecting?….well 2 come to mind. One was purchasing, at a flea market in New York City, a Daily Morning Chronicle (Washington D.C.) of April 15, 1865 for about $20 in the late 80’s (I’m still kicking myself for even THINKING about selling that gem). Another purchase came at my table as a street vendor from a person I had never met, but came to my table to sell me this oversized box of newspapers. I initially did not want to purchase them because I used a handcart to bring my table and inventory home and the box was big, but luckily I didn’t delay the purchase and bought them [for $35] by just glancing over the top half of the stack. When I got home I saw a New York Herald Titanic first report with some wear at the fold. The newspaper seemed to have multiple section so I initially let it go and continued looking through the stack. At some point it then dawn on me that these might not merely be sections of the same newspaper and when I looked again, neatly tucked in were Titanic first reports in the New York Times and the New York World in great condition!
The most rewarding part of my experience with newspapers was the street vending of old newspapers (and magazines) I did in New York City from 1988 until 2004. Even though I did not have many repeat customers (or not as many as I would have liked), it was rewarding. Not just for merely “making a living”, but for the people that had that certain look on their faces when they saw something that caught them by surprise or for when tourists from all over the country and world would take a photo of my stand as a memory of their visit.
Newspapers collecting is something I will ALWAYS do, and now is a good time to thank Tim, Guy, Doreen, Marc and everybody in the Rare Newspapers staff for helping me pursue my endless goal of collecting newspapers.
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