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New York Minute

My son has a friend who collects Metrocards. He is four. He keeps them in plastic baseball card sheets. When he  handles a card, he imediately flips it over to check the design on the back. He can probably distinguish every Metrocard back from the last ten years. He gets disappointed when he comes across a “common” back, the same way we’d be deflated by finding Buddy Biancalana instead of Don Mattingly in a pack of 1986 Topps.

He dressed as a Metrocard for Halloween. When the soccer coach splits them up for a little scrimmage at the end of practice, he convinces his team to name themselves the Metrocards.

His collection brought back memories from my youth. With an older brother blazing the trail, we had a lot of collections. One of the earliest ones I can remember was a collection of patches. My mom would sew them on my plain hooded sweatshirt until there was no space left. And then we’d get a new sweatshirt.

I had baseball patches, Star Wars patches, museum patches (Air & Space and Natural History), NASA patches, superhero patches, really anything that a kid might like that was available in patch form. In the winter, I insisted wearing the sweatshirt over heavier jackets so the patches would always be prominent.

How about you guys, can you remember something from your youth, maybe something a little odd, that you loved with your whole heart?


[Photo via Benjamin Kabak and secondavesnuesagas.com]

Categories:  New York Minute  NYC  Subway Stories

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1 Alex Belth   ~  Jan 17, 2012 10:04 am

I had Star Wars cards along with the baseball cards.

2 Ben   ~  Jan 17, 2012 10:15 am

Football cards. I loved those. They were so sticky, full of guys with beards and afros, mostly candid shots as I remember anyway.

3 Alex Belth   ~  Jan 17, 2012 10:18 am

And Wacky Packs? Was that it? Them and Garbage Pail Kids.

4 Jon DeRosa   ~  Jan 17, 2012 10:18 am

I remember Garbage Pail Kids becoming a huge deal, and I was kind of put off. I was like, my small pieces of cardboard with real people playing sports are cooler than your small pieces of cardboard with weird pictures. I kept that thought to myself though.

5 rbj   ~  Jan 17, 2012 10:28 am

[3] Wacky Packs, yes. I still have some.

6 Sliced Bread   ~  Jan 17, 2012 10:29 am

Didn't collect anything unusual like Metrocards, just baseball cards, Wacky Packs, and those small plastic NFL football helmets.

7 Sliced Bread   ~  Jan 17, 2012 10:32 am

5) loved those things. Plastered the walls and doors of my childhood closet with them, notebooks, etc.

8 Jon DeRosa   ~  Jan 17, 2012 10:46 am

[6] Yes, those footbal helmets, totally forgot about them. Had them all on the shelf.

9 Jon DeRosa   ~  Jan 17, 2012 10:49 am

I saved the cardboard backing from every Star Wars figure. Had a huge stack. And when Boba Fett came in the mail, he didn't have a card, just rolled up in plastic! My mom had to make one and draw his picture on the front.

10 Alex Belth   ~  Jan 17, 2012 10:57 am

When I was buying Rap Records, years later, I collected a lot of stickers, too.

11 Diane Firstman   ~  Jan 17, 2012 12:18 pm

In my youth I was a Steelers fan because their helmet was the one that came out of a vending machine one day.

12 kenboyer made me cry   ~  Jan 17, 2012 6:38 pm

I used to collect coins, and the local bank (i think it was named Franklin National Bank) would actually allow me to trade coin rolls for other coin rolls. They finally gave me a canvas coin bag for the loot. I would go through multilple rolls of pennies looking for the rare dates and mint marks I didn't have. Nickels dimes and quarters were more dear, and would only have a few rolls of these to look through and trade with the bank.

In my youth in the sixties, you could still find silver dimes and quarters in circulation, along with the isolated mercury head dime, standing liberty quarter, and buffalo nickel. I finally graduated to hanging out at the local coin shop and buying and selling some coins. Once I discovered music, girls and inebriates in my teens, the thrill of the coin was gone.

The remnants of the coin collection that was lugged around until the late 80's did help with the down payment of our first house.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver