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Posted by on Sep 28, 2017 in General, RA Blog Week, Rheumatoid Arthritis | 8 comments

DAY 4 RABlog week – Are Hobbies healthy?  Well maybe.

DAY 4 RABlog week – Are Hobbies healthy? Well maybe.


This is day four of RABlog week.  Today’s post is all about hobbies.  We are more than RA.  Here is a look at my hobbies.  Responding to the prompt:

Hobbies – Hobbies are healthy or maybe they are not? What is your hobby and how does it help you with your autoimmune conditions? If you do not have a hobby imagine a great hobby for a person dealing with RA.


Collecting things is part of my DNA.   My father collected all manner of things.  For many years he collected matchbook covers.  I know many of you have no idea that these covers once had advertising on them and that, plus the fact they were handed out free made them interesting to collectors.  Visit the Grand Canyon get a matchbook, visit the Empire State Building, and get a matchbook. Your kid goes to Chicago, ask for matchbooks.  The thing about matchbooks is they were everywhere so everyone could get them.

I have remnants of my father’s collections all around.  I have a civil war cannon that is from the model cannon collection craze.  A model circus wagon, model circus wagon building and collecting phase.  A steam engine whistle, space patches, railroad locks and railroad playing cards.  All from collections Dad started and pursued for years before he would do the one predictable thing with all his collections.   He would abruptly give them up.  When he gave them up it was over.  If he collected something, he always grew tired of it and would put it away.  Often he tried to give it to me.

Some things he collected that I did not take included business cards, (he had thousands).  Models of monsters.  Yes, he had plastic models of the Wolf Man, Frankenstein, Mummy, Creature from the Black Lagoon and dozens of others.  He had metal car models, and plastic airplanes.  The funny thing is I never recall Mom saying one negative word about any of these collections. Looking back on it, it had to drive her nuts.  I mean a house overrun with plastic models of fictional monsters?  I am sure it made her crazy.  But I never recall a single negative word about the collections or the inevitable abrupt abandonment of them.  It was just a part of life.  I honestly grew up believing that men just had crazy collections.  Like face hair, it just sort of went along with who we were or in my case would be.

Was it only my father’s thing?

Did the collection bug jump a generation?  Not at all.  I love to collect but unlike Dad, my collections are a bit more moderate. My collections do not usually span entire rooms of the house.  And unlike Dad who would abandon his collections at some point, I tend to put my collections away instead of giving them away.  I once collected model lighthouses. I still have them neatly stored and ready to be rolled out if the bug strikes again (it won’t).  Boy Scout patches, hey those things are valuable (some might be anyway) and postcards (history).  But each is stored away mostly out of sight, out of mind.

Hard Rock Pins


Of course, I still have one active collection, though to be fair I slowed down a lot in recent years.   My active collection is Hard Rock Pins.  I know what you are about to say, Hard Rock Pins?  Some background:

  • To date there are about 191 Hard Rock establishments. (One is about to open in La Paz Bolivia) each location issues between 10 and 15 pins per year.
  • They have been publishing pins since 1972 and it is estimated (no one really knows for certain), that there are about 80,000 pins in circulation. The number is growing exponentially.
  • There is no one best pin. They are almost all of equal value. Some (usually those they could not sell) are considered more scarce but they are all about the same value.
  • There are few duplicates. The reason is that even if it is the same design the pins usually have a city name and that means that while the pins may look the same from a distance, they are generally not the same.
  • There are international pin collector’s events, groups, and buyers in most all hard rock cities. So almost all pins are accessible if you want them.

I have about 100 pins more or less and I have been to 43 Hard Rock properties.  If I go, I buy a pin (usually more than one) and I add them to my bursting pinboards.

I have been accused of liking them because they are shiny.  That may be true. I do like the shiny pins that mark prior visits but I hope I am bigger than just liking shiny things.  Now, if I just had room for five more pin boards or, if I could get one of my sons to take some of my current pinboards.  After all, collecting is fun; but having your children take your collections now that is a true Phillips skill.





  1. I loved reading about your father’s collection remnants. It made me think of my father, not because I have remnants of a past collection of his, but just the happy memory of my father. Thanks!

    • It is special to have what my dad used to collect around the house. It is like sharing something that was special to him in the present day. As I was writing this post, I wished I could talk to dad, which is something I miss a great deal.

  2. I’m having visions of towers of labelled crates, all containing collections of times past…LOL!!! The only thing I’ve consistently collected over the years is books. THOSE, I have thousands of – literally. In a rental where we’re not allowed to bang hooks in the walls to hang art, it’s not a big issue – the walls are all covered with bookcases!
    Fun post, Rick – made me laugh!

    • My goodness, you should have seent he matchbook collection he divided among my two sons. They were each to get half, regardless if they wanted them or not. Thier wives were less enthusiastic to receive the gift. I had to laugh. Since I had a full collection of space patches that I had been gifted with a few years before. When dad was done collecting he was done. The options were either take the collection or offend him and force him to sell it on eBay. I never saw anyone say no, I think he picked his marks with care.

      When dad passed I was able to find museums that took most of his items. A historic museum in Michigan for some National guard items. A museum in Indian for the circus wagons, and thankfully a museum in IL for the rail trail playing cards. I found a fellow in New Mexico who took the business cards. He said he was trying to exit the business card collecting hobby. I think I added to his woes.

  3. The first time I heard about your pin collection at JointDecisions, I was impressed. I think what I like about your pin collection is that it represents you and your openness to not just pins, but people in general – there is no best pin and few duplicates.

    • Cathy, pins are so darn cool. I like that my father made the pin boards I use to display the pins. Each time I look at them, I remember my father and all those places I visited.

  4. In our little house we have tried to avoid collections, except for my books, and my yarn, and my husband’s guitars and NASA stuff, and a few other things I’m sure I’ve forgotten.

    I’m pretty sure the only thing my dad collects is trees. All of us have benefited from that.

    • Debra, I have about 300 patches upstairs in many album books. Starting with pre mercury missions my father purchased a copy of every patch used by NASA. I love the patches, but one day during the space shuttle missions my dad said enough and I ended up with all the patches. I ought to try to get them out and take pictures some day. A whole different collection.

      You know, one day I might get tired of them and someday your husband will end up with several heavy boxes for no apparent reason. LOL

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