Building passions piece by piece: South students expand collections

Hannah Buchband, Staff Reporter

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Penguin figurines line the top of junior Krista Lee’s dresser in her room. Penguin ornaments dangle from the branches of her Christmas tree, in preparation for the holiday season. Penguin pajamas sit neatly folded on top of her bed, waiting for her to slip into them to go to sleep.

According to Lee, her love for penguins began in her youth, and for the past six years, she has been collecting anything relating to the black and white flightless birds.

“Penguins have been my favorite animal ever since I was little, so I started accumulating random things that had penguins on them, because I thought they were super cute,” Lee said. “And I thought, ‘Ooh, these are great’, so I just kept getting more and more and more.”

In addition to penguins, Lee also collects fake food of any kind, ranging from realistic-looking cupcakes to mini erasers that look like sushi. According to Lee, her collection of faux cuisine is as large as 40 to 50 pieces of assorted rubber food.

“My fake food collection is definitely more expensive,” Lee said. “I would have to say it could easily be over 200 or 300 dollars. It’s really expensive, so some of the pieces are kind of big.”

According to Lee, her collection also has several sentimental pieces in it, such as an Egyptian hand blown glass ornament of a chocolate-covered strawberry.

“[The ornament] was given to me by my uncle, and he actually died a few years ago, so it’s really important to me,” Lee said. “He has also given me a few other ones, and those are really important, because they are some of the only memories I have of him.”

In the bedroom of sophomore Rebecca Spector, a display case sits on the wall, holding her collection of 157 spoons. According to Spector, she thinks the collection is cool to have, because she can remember the places that she, her family and her friends have visited.

“I’ve been [collecting spoons] for so long, it’s important, because it’s kind of become a sentimental factor,” Spector said. “They’re souvenirs that tell me the places that I’ve been, and they bring up good memories.”

According to Spector, she has several favorites, such as a NASA one from space camp and several from Israel from when her family visited. Her very first spoon of her collection, along with one titled the ‘diet spoon’, also sit atop the list of favorites.

“[The ‘diet spoon’ is] one of my favorites, because it has a hole in it, so it’s called a ‘diet spoon’, because when you’re using it, the food falls right through so you can’t eat it,” Spector said.

Another person with a unique collection is sophomore Jack Kelly, who collects trumpet mouthpieces of various colors and styles. According to Kelly, he has 18 different colored mouthpieces that all have his name on them.

“[The mouthpieces] are the reason I chose to play the trumpet in fourth grade,” Kelly said. “I had one at the time, and I was either going to play the trumpet or the saxophone, and then I was like, […] maybe I can get more of these mouthpieces.’”

According to Kelly, the mouthpieces are plastic, so unlike traditional metal mouthpieces, they do not get cold during marching band season outside. In addition, he has a special one in his collection, called the ‘screamer’, which helps him hit high notes more easily.

“I really enjoy playing trumpet, and it’s a big part of my life, so I have a little part of [my hobby] that’s all colorful and fun to have and see,” Kelly said.

Cameras of all different sizes and shapes pile high atop junior Abby Roberts’ piano. Roberts collects antique vintage film cameras and has a total of 21. According to Roberts, her collection began freshman year after taking the Photography 1 course at GBS.

“I’ve always really liked antique things, and then when I realized I could find cameras that worked and could use them, and I could develop film, I just got obsessed and started getting more,” Roberts said.

Freshman Cole Sanders also has a large collection of something classical to American culture: the bottle cap. Sanders says his collection consists of about 480 bottle caps.

“[I’ve been collecting] for roughly two years now, and it started out in the summer, when I was bored, kind of needing something to do,” Sanders said. “So I’d go out, get a soda, drink it and bring back the cap.”

According to Sanders, his collection began because of a video game where the currency for the game was bottle caps. In addition, he views it as more about the quantity than the quality of the bottle caps, as his collection approaches the 500 mark.

“I love soda [and] I love drinks,” Sanders said. “But there’s something about it, showing that I care about what I drink, that’s fun. So, I guess it represents that [fun side of me].”

However, Sanders put into words what it really means to have a great collection of any type of object.

“I encourage other people to get some form of collection in a sense,” Sanders said. “Sometimes a collection can define you as a person and will change the way you view life.”

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