Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Posted by on May 19, 2017 in General | 10 comments

Hard Rock Pins, just because

Hard Rock Pins, just because

Today is the fifth day of Diabetes Blog week.  Each day we have a prompt and are called to post a response.  You can read all responses at my friend Karen’s site Bitter~Sweet.  Also, please remember RABlog week will occur in September.  I hope you join the fun then as well.


More than Diabetes – Friday 5/19

Lets wrap up the week by sharing a little more about ourselves, beyond the chronic illness we or our loved ones live with.  Share an interest, hobby, passion, something that is YOU.  If you want to explore how it relates to or helps with diabetes you can.   Or let it be a part of you that is completely separate from diabetes because there is more to life than just diabetes!  (This topic is a suggestion from the 2016 #DBlogWeek survey.)

Silly Collecitons

I come from a family of collectors of silly things.  The collection bug was best exemplified by my father who at some point decided to collect matchbook covers. Dad could not explain his collection, why he did it or what the end game would be.  He understood they had no real value, but his collection was not about value.  It was about things. He collected these for several years and then cold turkey, it was over.  He no longer had interest.   The collection at the end numbered a few thousand, all sorted and categorized in perfect, pristine form.   There it sat for years.  An object of great passion for a time but my dad ultimately grew tired of it.  At the end of his life, he called his grandsons together and said this is now yours and he divided them up.  No thought was given if they wanted them or not, I was wily enough to dodge the gift, but my sons each walked away with a large collection of things, which by then, they had likely never seen in the wild.

My dad progressed into various other collection passions after matchbook covers.  Padlocks with railroad names stamped on them was a big push.  Steam whistles was another, then railroad playing cards, and model circus wagons and model cannons all captured his fancy at one time or another.   At one point he even collected business cards.  He got on the internet business card exchange.  He had to send 30 different business cards to someone, and he would get several hundred in return.  Then the dumb thing is that it worked. When he was doing this, he would go into business’s and take as many business cards as he could find.  It did not matter whose business card it was; his obsession was about quantity.

In each case, Dad would collect these things with as much gusto as you can imagine then suddenly he would tire of the pursuit and invariably he would call and offer me his collection.  I had to tell him at some point I could not take them, and then he would do whatever it took to get rid of the collection.  Sometimes he would find a neighborhood friend and give his prizes away.  He sold the padlocks and train whistles on Ebay and sometimes, he would just put it all in the trash.  So my father had this obsession with collecting.

My Collections are no better

This takes me to my various obsessive collections.  I have been into model lighthouses, matchbox cars and my one enduring collection Hard Rock Pins.  Yes, those souvenir pins they sell at Hard Rock Cafés.  I know it is a strange thing to collect.  But before you judge (I know you already have) hear me out.

First here are some facts about Hard Rock Pins.  It is estimated that each restaurant will issue 9-12 pins per year.  By my count, there are 204 active properties. The last official count of pins was 44,000, but that is an old count it is likely that the number is approaching 50,000.  According to the hard Rock Pin Collectors organization, the individual world record collection exceeds 5,000 pins.  I have collected about 300 pins, so I am an amateur collector by all standards.

I love Hard Rock Guitar pins, and I tend to buy most of the pins available when I visit any restaurant.  For the record, I also collect restaurant visits.  I have visited 39 Hard Rock restaurants; I keep a running total of the properties, so I do not duplicate my list.  Whatever city I am in for whatever reason, I try to find the local hard rock restaurant.

I also give my pins away.  Both of my sons have pin boards that I have given them.  But unlike matchbook covers, I try hard not to burden them, sort of.  My pins are an extension of my personality and how I feel about diabetes and another chronic disease.  I understand my journey will always be incomplete; I am trying to bring some order out of chaos, and someday I hope to have something that my children’s children will value.  In the mean time you know that Hard Rock Pin that is laying around in the drawer?  I am always receiving donations.





  1. How interesting about the Hard Rock pins! I never really thought about the logistics of it-how many there are per location, etc. I have a few myself. I used to collect shot glasses when I traveled in my early 20’s but have since realized I don’t ever take shots so I started collecting Christmas tree ornaments instead haha.

    • Kelly, shot glasses are a common collectable. But of course you need a display mechanism. I have seen some shot glass racks that hang on the wall. My father made my pin boards, he made four using art canvas and felt on an inexpensive frame. I have one left empty frame left so when one of my sons takes a completed board I can start over. I view those blank canvases as a challenge to fill. But since my father has passed, I will not get more boards which means this obsession has a natural end in the future.

  2. I have a friend who buys a t-shirt in every Hard Rock she’s been too so that she remembers all of them. She’s been all over the world. I bet pins take up less space, plus if you end up going back to the same restaurant the pin will be different. I like this idea. I also love reading ALL of your blog posts! They are thoughtful and thought provoking.

    • I started with coffee mugs. That was a mess. I had several and I thought you know I cannot use this number of coffee mugs, so I switched to pins. I have one mug left but about 300 pins. Your friend might want to consider the pin route. They are so interesting and there are international pin collector organizations.

  3. That’s a lot of pins. I used to collect pins from places I visit but I’m sure do don’t have that many. Plus, I’ve been purging more and more with each move. So far I still have them but I haven’t added any more.
    It sounds like you have a lot of fun with it. That is what it is all about. Thanks for sharing. 😉

    • Carmen, I started with only pins of places I visited, then it went out of control. Instead I was collecting interesting pins form all over the world. A man need sot knwo his limits, I lost mine. But on the good side, I have some great pins.

  4. What touching memories of your father. He must be proud that you carry on his collecting gene.

    I went through a period of collecting refrigerator magnets from my travels. They had to be for places or airports that I had been to. Perhaps it was some perverse manifestation of island fever.

    • We have a few of those around the house. I think Sheryl went in on magnets once, but she gave it up over space. Space it is always space. 🙂

  5. I’m with Sheryl, Rick! Space, always… I wonder if collecting is more of a male thing, as I always have difficulties persuading my husband to throw out his antique collection of golf and motor bike magazines. 🙂

    • My dad was always running a collection of some type. For instance, he collected matchbook covers for years. He collected padlocks from railroads for years.

      When he tired of the collection he did one of two things. He gave it to me (I ran out of space) or he sold it to the very people he paid to get it. My dad was a hoot and he did this for years. I love how much my dad invested in his many collections. so now I have the bug. I wonder if my sons need any pins?

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *