Treasures that are priceless, and worthless
I've always enjoyed looking at old stuff. I remember being so amused by the kitchen utensils that my grandmother used every day. She would open a drawer, and it would look like everything should be at the Smithsonian. Most of what she was using was new when she was married in 1919, and I know that she had them until she died, in 1999. I got a few things from the estate, some small stuff that no one else wanted, including the Family Bible, which I gave to one of my cousins when she married a couple of years ago. My interest has always been with things that are priceless, which most people would describe as worthless. That is, no eBay value.
So, when people talk to me about old stuff, I understand if there first question is "What could you get for it on eBay?" And when I say just about nothing, I can see the puzzlement. Then of what value is it? But some people do understand the treasures that I find. And I was privileged to open to able to see some precious treasure recently, a box of old photos.
They belong to the heirs of Fred Ruppert, who died this past April. Fred was very involved with Phoenix history, and the Ruppert family goes way back in Phoenix, to the territorial era. And there were the most precious things in that box - ordinary snapshots of people. Oh yeah, and there was also a dog, which to me is even better.
My collection is digital, and I love collecting. But I don't store stuff. If I did, I wouldn't have room here to move. I haven't done a count lately, but I figure that I have over 10,000 images of Phoenix. I've scanned them, optimized them in Photoshop, labelled them with care, and thrown them out into cyberspace. I've been doing it for a long time, and I just love it, and I hope that my collection can continue to grow, and that I can share it for a long, long time.
Doing this enriches my life. I love learning about Phoenix, I can't have enough photos of it. And I especially love seeing the ordinary people of Phoenix. You know, people like me. Ordinary people who live there, and work there. There are a lot of history books about famous people, and I've read those. Been there, done that. My collection is a time-traveling "Google Street View". I love to step into those images in my imagination, and I often write about it here in my blog.
So I'm very grateful to have the opportunity to see the Ruppert Family Collection, and to share it on the internet, for free. There's no eBay value to the collection. And I'm finding that there are a lot of people out there who are as crazy as me, and who cherish things that are priceless, and worthless.
Here is my first post on the Ruppert Family Collection, which I called Phoenix history as seen through the eyes of a dog - Judge Ruppert
Image at the top of this post: Ed Ruppert and his dog Judge, in 1901, at 9th Avenue and Washington, Phoenix, Arizona. It was written on the back of the photo, and it's a gem. If you agree, please let me know.
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Posted by Brad Hall