Stadium Views


My car was full, My name is Greg and I’m a Hoarder by gpiv
March 23, 2010, 2:10 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Eighty eight bottles of beer in the fridge.

I’m done with the basketball tournament.  It was a huge success and I had to take yesterday off of blogging to detoxify myself, both literally and figuratively.  If there’s two things Catholics do well it’s drink and gamble.  Hence the 13 kegs of beer we went through during the tournament and the Nascar pool,  March Madness pool and Calcutta we had.

I just had some clients in the office at 6:30 in the morning and without going into their particular problems with impulse control we got into one of their personality traits, hording.  I decided that would be todays blogging subject.

My family would say, “Wow Dad, how would that ever be a subject.”  To which I would reply.  “Hi, my names Greg and I’m a hoarder.”  And I think everyone that knows me would be shocked.

But I also want to talk about another hoarder that I have met through Stadium View.  We’ll simply call him “the man who lived in his car”, or for simplicity sake, Carman.  Not, Cartman, like South Park, but Carman.

I met Carman two or three years into the series.  He would stop by the store late in the evening usually.  The first time he came in he had a Rasputian type beard, matted hair partially hidden by a hat, and long dirty fingernails.  His clothes were disheveled, dirty and old.  I literally thought he was in seeking permission to take the beer cans from the day, a veritable fortune to some people.

He started looking around.  There was an unpleasant odor coming from him and I thought that I might have to pull out the old, “Sorry we were just closing” line.  Instead I offered him a beer.  He declined.  That always brings suspicion at Stadium View.  Is he a cop or AA?  Now the cops had fatty fatty boombalatty under cover, but they couldn’t come up with an undercover disguise like this.

Now, as a collector and dealer, I specialize in publications.  The place is full of books and magazines of all sorts as well as other memorabilia.  Carman started looking around, and picking stuff out and carrying all types of stuff up to the checkout counter.  Of course I thought, where did that come from, knowing that I would have to put it back when he left after buying one thing.

Magazine after magazine found its way to t he counter, as well as CWS and other memorabilia.  The pile was huge.  When he finally said he was done I added it up and gave an appropriate discount, and to my surprise he pulled out a bank envelope full of cash.  Really full.

You can’t judge a book by its cover.  I told him I would help him out with the stuff.  Now it was late at night, when you can find a parking spot right by the store.  As we approached the car I was dumbfounded.  Now, my wife says that I have the only one passenger SUV in America.  So I am somewhat aware of the issue of having a lot of stuff in the car.  But not like this.  I have a judge friend who has fast food and other wrappers all over the floor of his car.  But that wasn’t the case either.  There was stuff everywhere.  It was a larger older model car, like a sixties or seventies Catalina, a real boat.

There was stuff in the entire passenger compartment to the ceiling.  All over the passenger side dashboard.  The entire back seat was full.  How could I let this man take my precious memorabilia and lose it in this abyss.  I thought about giving his money back and reclaiming the items.  But he was already trying to cram himself into the car and some of my items were reaching the top of the pile.  They were lost forever.

I mentioned this incident to my brother, a local sportswriter,  and he knew of the Carman.  I mentioned it to other dealers and they knew of the Carman.  Apparently the cargo ship that was his car was legend to many, and the carman lived off of some sort of trust fund.

The Carman came back year after year, always towards closing, and always bought more memorabilia.  His look never changed and neither did his clothing.  He was pleasant and he was a hoarder.

Now some say that my store is the result of my hording.  Collecting is just another form of hording.  There are things I couldn’t find a buyer for in a million years.  The twenty-five hundred square foot basement is full, floor to ceiling with stuff.  A million cards, fifty or a hundred of the same magazine, posters,  plastic cups and legal files.   When I die, some junk dealer is going to get a hell of a deal from my wife.

People have always asked me why I bought the store.  It’s easy.

Just like the Carman, my car was full.

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