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Hector the Collector

As a young teacher many moons ago, I read this Shel Silverstein poem to my students.

by Shel Silverstein

Hector the Collector
Collected bits of string,
Collected dolls with broken heads
And rusty bells that would not ring.
Pieces out of picture puzzles,
Bent-up nails and ice-cream sticks,
Twists of wires, worn-out tires,
Paper bags and broken bricks.
Old chipped vases, half shoelaces,
Gatlin’ guns that wouldn’t shoot,
Leaky boats that wouldn’t float
And stopped-up horns that wouldn’t toot.
Butter knives that had no handles,
Copper keys that fit no locks,
Rings that were too small for fingers,
Dried-up leaves and patched-up socks.
Worn-out belts that had no buckles,
‘Lectric trains that had no tracks,
Airplane models, broken bottles,
Three-legged chairs and cups with cracks.
Hector the Collector
Loved these things with all his soul‹
Loved them more than shining diamonds,
Loved them more than glistenin’ gold.
Hector called to all the people,
“Come and share my treasure trunk!”
And all the silly sightless people
Came and looked…and called it junk.

I so identify with Hector. I too, am a collector of unusual things.

And while I wouldn’t call the things I collect junk,  it probably isn’t viewed by most as stuff worth collecting.

I am drawn to utilitarian items like old paintbrushes and scissors and folding rulers.

I see beauty in the worn and used.

What do you collect?

9 Comments Post a comment
  1. i do consider myself a junk collector. what once use to be considered a despicable hobby is now considered a form of decor…aka junk beautiful (sue whitney & ki nausser). and i LOVE it!
    keep collecting..they just don’t make things like they use to! love the paint brushes, scissors AND those folding rulers (my fav).

    October 19, 2011
  2. I like to collect not only items fr display/decor but also items that can be used. Vintage baskets, baskets, baskets 😉 Old galvanzied buckets make great planters. Ironstone pitchers (use as vases). Different antique “frogs” to hold pencils/pens/notes on the desk, by the phone. Oh, my; Icould go on and on…lol!

    October 19, 2011
  3. Pam #

    I love collecting too, especially old apothecary jars, candy scales, typewriters, birdhouses. Yes, I have a problem! 🙂

    Your folding rulers and scissors are fabulous!

    Have a great day.

    October 19, 2011
  4. Bonnie #

    I like to use my Dad’s old folding rulers to hold up recipe cards! Love seeing your blogs 🙂

    October 19, 2011
  5. I love your *junk* too, so glad that you with such an interesting eye bring to life these old pieces that we can enjoy….also Silverstein was my kids favorite author, we still have the books for the grandbabies to enjoy….remember Sarah Cynthia Silva Stout..who would not take the garbage out?

    October 19, 2011
  6. ReaderWoman #

    Since you asked… I collect buttons. Items with dragonflies in/on/shaped like, teapots, small antiquey things (kitchen items, etc.) tiny bottles, tiny books….

    October 19, 2011
  7. Gina #

    I collect robot-related things, monkey-related things, and old books.

    October 19, 2011
  8. Abbey #

    I bought three ancient/glorious barn doors from Adamstown, PA, and my grandfather is still incredulous that I drug “kindling” with me back to Indiana. I’m also a collector of anything that resembles hands, the relatives I adopt in all of my antique sepia photos love me, and (not that its junk, but…) if high-gloss black paint and Louis XVI or Federalist style furniture are brought together you might want to take a step back ’cause I’m coming through!

    I think there are a lot of us out there that can relate to Hector. Great poem and thanks for sharing it!


    October 21, 2011

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