Thursday, December 21, 2006

I Collect Pencils

They're small, sturdy, and cheap. They're also useful. And sometimes, they're pretty.

I started my pencil collection in Kindergarten. During the weekly school assembly, the teachers announced students who had birthdays recently. Each student went forward and selected a prize. Prizes varied from balsa airplanes one week to yo-yos the next. I happened to receive a round, white pencil with Garfield and Odie on it and "Happy Birthday" down the side.

The picture here is a few of the many hundred pencils I have collected. I have sparkley ones, shaped ones, fancy eraser ones, and even some plain ones. A few are duplicates, but that's okay. Every time we went on vacation, Dad made sure a few pencils followed us home. My aunt and grandparents faithfully sent pencils from wherever they happened to travel. The State Fair and home or expo shows are particularly good for collecting (free is always a good price). I have a friend headed to Europe soon, and he's promised to bring me back my first "overseas pencil." I'm pretty excited about that. :)

Do I have a favorite pencil? I have several... and I think I remember where I got each one still... which is pretty good with hundreds of memories! I do prefer unsharpened ones without barcode stickers (that leave a residue). I'd been collecting pencils for several years, a decade perhaps, before I got my first plain yellow #2 pencil.

The irony: I use mechanical pencils almost exclusively, even over pens.

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