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Anything's collectible

Stored under In the News on January 18, 2007 at 9:06 AM
DETROIT -- After I wrote about a woman who saves strangers' discarded shopping lists, I asked to hear from other collectors.

Now I know about folks who collect not only matchbooks and blue-and-white teapots, but women's stiletto heels, sock monkeys, AOL CD come-ons, umbrella covers and bits and pieces of famous places in the world, including the Great Wall of China and the Paris tunnel where Princess Di met her death.

One 83-year-old woman wrote to say, however, that she collects only "dust and unopened boxes of Jell-O. I have every flavor."

This project was not intended to explain why people collect, but one fellow on an Internet forum said it "keeps me out of trouble [and] gives me something to focus my energy on.

"My girlfriend jokes that I will never cheat on her because I elect to stay home on a Friday night to organize my stuff rather than join my buddies at a bar."

The collectors here don't have elegant explanations, either. They call it fun, nothing more. They're proud of what they've achieved and don't mind showing it off.

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