We’re the Last of the Great Collectors (or why no one wants our stuff)

We’re the Last of the Great Collectors (or why no one wants our stuff)

- in Featured, January/February 2018, Pop Culture
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Boom! Pop Culture Chronicles

So, here we are, a new year and the usual list of resolutions that didn’t last a week. I have noticed changes in our generation that may not be evident and are happening before our very eyes. We are uncluttering our lives. We’re getting rid of stuff.

Steve Madonna is a big-time Beatles collector. He’s a local guy who travels the world finding rare John, Paul, George and Ringo memorabilia. Liverpool, New York, anywhere.

Steve said we are the last generation of collectors. Younger people have access to what they need on their phones, and many don’t see the value in a lot of the stuff we see as important.

What happens to our collections when we say our last goodbye? Something you worked your whole life on could end up in a garage sale or on the curb. If your family isn’t interested, they’ll get rid of it in the most efficient way possible. Pez dispensers, Precious Moments figurines and Beanie Babies beware.

There are plenty of folks who are already leaving collections behind. George Shuba is Cleveland’s first rock and roll photographer and has thousands of negatives on the block. He also knows what they are worth, but for the right price, you can buy a photography gold mine.

I saw it at the Cinevent movie convention, too. Every Memorial Day weekend, movie fans from around the country head to Columbus for one of the oldest conventions of its kind anywhere. You see a lot of the same dealers, and I noticed one had a lot of new stuff. He’s been around for a while, and when I asked where all the extra films and programs came from, he gave me an interesting answer: “I’ve enjoyed them for a long time, and it’s time for someone else to enjoy them. Plus, at this point in my life, I look around my house and ask do I want more stuff or more space? Right now I’m opting for space.”

Speaking of collections, The Man of Steel is still a huge draw. One of the truly special projects I was involved in over the past year was the Cleveland Public Library’s “Superman: From Cleveland to Krypton” exhibit.

No one foresaw how popular it would be, but it drew huge numbers from the start — about 4,000 people a month. The exhibit is now extended through March.

With three floors of movie props, costumes, rare artwork and Cleveland memorabilia, what’s the most talked about display? An old wooden phone booth. Young people line up to get a photo with it. The library put up a small sign explaining what it is and how Clark Kent used it in the early days of the comic strip. Remember, we’re talking about a generation that might never have heard a dial tone.

 

BOOM TRIVIA

Last issue I asked what the Cleveland connection was to the film “2001: A Space Odyssey?” Remember the exchange between HAL the computer and the astronaut, Dave. Dave was played by Cleveland native Keir Dullea. Oh, and how did they come up with the name HAL? Look at the letters after H, A and L. IBM. Coincidence? I think not.

For next time, parts of “The Deer Hunter” were filmed in Northeast Ohio in 1978. There were several scenes filmed in the neighborhood around St. Theodosius in the Tremont neighborhood. When the church needed emergency repairs, some folks from the film held an event to raise money. Got plenty of news coverage, too. What was that event?

Mike Olszewski is a veteran award-winning radio, TV and print journalist who’s best known for his time on the legendary WMMS-FM. He and his wife, Janice, wrote the best-selling “Cleveland Radio Tales” and “Cleveland TV Tales.” Mike also is president of the Siegel & Shuster Society, the nonprofit group promoting Cleveland as the hometown of Superman’s creators. Contact him at [email protected]

About the author

Mike Olszewski is a veteran radio and television personality currently teaching college level classes in media and pop culture. He can be reached at [email protected]

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