Buy Memories

By Mike Johnson

I used to buy stuff. Now I buy memories & good feelings.

Nothing feels better than a musty book smells. Collectible stores should charge admission just for the experience.

Yesterday's highlight was an ancient hotel turned into a two-story junque shop. The delightful husband/wife team have owned the place 39 years. Depending on your perspective, it was either a treasure vault or a cemetery where consumer products go to die. Each item a tombstone, screaming its story with a glance, hoping you'll bring it back to life by taking it home. Some relics, some heirlooms, some artifacts requiring further study.

I bought two paperbacks, a JFK photo book, a railroad ruler & 40 comics from the 1960's. I left behind the school clock, the Olympia beer sign & 275,000 remnants of prior decades. Plenty of meat left on the bone.

I don't need the things. I want the memories & feelings.

The equation is always the same. Would I rather have this five dollar bill or this old thingamajig that makes me feel good with just a look? The money usually loses.

As I've aged, I realize my mind is like these collectible shops. I can call up any old relic that's attached to good feelings. Imagination beats ownership. No travel, no expense & no storage of the beast.

Now if I could just mentally duplicate musty.


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