I think everyone should have a hobby.
I believe this simply because it’s so interesting what each of us finds fascinating.
For some, movies are a hobby. There’s a subset of movie lovers who are obsessed with Star Wars.
Pick 10 people on the street and ask them what they think of Star Wars, and you’ll likely get nine different answers.
A couple of them will be fanatics and have seen every movie at least three times each. One or two others will be casual fans. Some will have seen one or two of the films, but don’t understand all of the hype. The tenth guy will tell you that he is a Star Trek fan and that Captain Kirk could easily take out Darth Vader.
What one person latches onto in regard to interests, another could care less about. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, as they say.
I grew up in a small Arkansas town where rodeos and roping were part of the fabric of our very existence. Yet, I never had even the least amount of interest in bull riding. It just didn’t seem sane to me to get on an angry 1,500 pound animal for eight seconds for a trophy.
There are plenty of other ways to get trophies if that’s what you like. I have received a number of trophies for bowling, and bowling alleys are air conditioned and serve beer.
All of us develop interests or hobbies, but watching something on YouTube recently drove home the point of how different we all are, and made me wonder how our fascination with certain things develops.
The video I was viewing concerned the rock band, “Queen.” Having been a disc jockey during the heyday of what is now referred to as “Classic Rock,” Queen and other bands of that era were what I played on the radio during my youth. My fascination for these groups hasn’t waned. If anything, it has increased. So, when I ran across a video claiming to include new information about the band, naturally, I clicked on it.
Most of what they mentioned, I already knew. But one thing came out of left field. What surprised me was learning that the group’s lead singer, Freddie Mercury, was a philatelist. Now, before you jump to any conclusions about what I’m saying, I’ll clarify. A philatelist is a stamp collector.
I paused the video, backed it up, and played that part again. Yep, that’s what they said. The lead man of one of the biggest rock bands of the 1970’s collected stamps. Granted, he collected them as a younger man, but obviously, his collection is one of note, since it was acquired two years after his death by a museum.
A little online research uncovered that another of my favorite rock icons was also a stamp collector. John Lennon of The Beatles inherited one of his cousins’ collections when the pre-Fab Four member was 10 years old.
Unlike Freddie’s collection of stamps, which were organized by color and size and were neatly displayed, John’s was less presentable and he had drawn a mustache on the queen.
Being a fan of Lennon, that didn’t surprise me.
In 2016, both rock stars’ collections were displayed together publicly in the United Kingdom.
Is the desire to adopt a specific hobby or two innate or does it develop because of watching others enjoy certain things?
I think it’s a little of both.
As a child, I developed an almost insatiable appetite for comic books. Unlike some kids I knew, I didn’t buy comics, read them, and then throw them away. I kept all of mine. I still have them.
I also was fascinated (and still am) by old cars. This was definitely an interest I picked up from my father.
As we would go down the road in my mom’s ‘60 model Buick, my dad would point out the older cars that we passed. I learned all about GM, Ford, Chrysler, and the other major manufacturers. I would later collect classic cars because of the appreciation my father passed down to me.
But, it’s always interesting to me what people collect. Sometimes there’s a reason for their passion, and sometimes there’s not.
Actor Tom Hanks collects typewriters. Singers Rod Stewart and Neil Young are very into model trains, with the latter actually having been part owner of the Lionel Train Company. Allegedly, actor Johnny Depp collects Barbies (don’t ask me). And actor Ben Stiller is a Trekkie.
Ben would be the tenth guy I mentioned earlier.
For some, collecting things allows us to hold on to pieces of our past. For others, it allows us to be obsessive, but call it something less clinical. Collecting does sound much better than hoarding.
My newest hobby is to collect all of the information that I can on other people’s unique hobbies.
I might as well. I’m fairly certain that my bowling trophies and comic books won’t be on display in the U.K. after I’m gone.
©2017 John Moore
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