I'm a collector. To the point that my partner Ed tells me I'm not allowed to buy "things" any longer. Still, my collections are such that, once in a while, I find something I "must" have and I can sneak it into our home decor without him even noticing. To say that our home decorating style is eclectic is an understatement. Once, after a stint at housesitting while we were in Italy, my mother referred to our home as "sensory overload."
I collect cowboy memorabilia, primarily advertising related salt & pepper shakers and cookie jars, specialty tea pots and books (and more books - especially design books!). I have a collection of metal advertising signs and a couple hundred advertising character collectibles. Having over 600 rocking horse Christmas tree ornaments has led to other rocking horse items appearing in our home. We've also got a collection of art pieces from our trips around the world - and works created by, or given to us, by friends. Friends,family, clients and design industry pals have always been very helpful in contributing to my collectible addictions.
And then there are toy trains. I've always been fascinated by trains. That's one reason why LogoMotives has always been such an appropriate name for my business.
About a month ago I had an appointment with my chiropractor, known to our friends as Dr. Pain, in Portland's Pearl District. I parked my truck about half a block from his office, stepped over to the sidewalk and stopped in my tracks (so to speak). There, in the window of an antique shop called The Cultured Pearl was an incredible toy locomotive, with coal tender, sitting on a white bench as the store's window display. To me it was stunning. With about one minute until my appointment, I had to jolt myself out of my window-shopping stupor to get to Dr. Pain's office.
Returning to my truck, after my adjustment, I found my fascination with the two-foot long toy train had not diminished. I peeked at the price tag and knew immediately that there was no way I could justify such a frivilous impulse purchase. When I got home I gave Ed a call, told him what I'd seen and said I wished I had been able to just buy the thing without even thinking about it.
A couple weeks later I drove by the antique shop again. The white bench was still in the window. The train was gone. Oh, well...
Yesterday was one of Ed's family's combined birthday/holiday celebrations. We were celebrating Ed's birthday last month, his sister's birthday this next week, my birthday the following week, and Mother's Day. It is tradition to open the gifts in the order of the event - so, my cards and gift were the last to be presented. A large gift bag, filled with colorful shredded paper was in front of me. I know now that I should have suspected what was in the bag - but I'm usually oblivious about such things. I lifted off the top layer of the packaging paper and uncovered the black steel coal tender of "my" train. I really was stunned. Ed explained that he, his parents, his grandparents, his sister and her husband (plus his kids), and several other friends had all combined resources to get me the locomotive as my birthday gift. In fact, he'd gone to the store the first day I'd seen the thing in the window and purchased it. The owner of the shop had explained the train was an American-made piece that he had then found on a buying trip to Prague.
I'm still stunned - and amazed - today. Thank you so much Ed, Lily, Raymond, Neva, Harold, Tammy, Rich, Ricky, Maddy, Lisa, Bev, Mary, and Kate. It's an incredible gift and I break into a big smile each time I take a look at my new toy.
© 2007 Jeff Fisher LogoMotives