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My New Hobby
About the age of ten, the year of my first deer hunt, I put aside my beloved western comic books and replaced them with outdoor magazines. Dad and big brother Ike would bring home issues of Outdoor Life, Field & Stream and Sports Afield and others. The more I thumbed through them looking at the pictures, the more I started reading. In one was an article about a guy who sent away for all the free catalogs and pamphlets from the ads in the magazines. A picture showed him sitting at a desk overflowing with printed material. 'WOW! What a great idea and a chance to learn some neat stuff', I thought. So, at my first opportunity I hitched a ride to town with Ike. We parked in front of a place called The Alibi. Ike said meet him here when I was done doing whatever I had to do. Making a bee line over to the post office, I bought about 75 or so post cards. I can't remember what a post card cost in 1950 but it was probably 3 to 5 cents apiece. And, I had enough left over for the new Sports Afield. I couldn't wait to get home and get started on my new hobby. Safely in my room, page by page, I thumbed through that magazine and filled out postcards for whatever free stuff the ads promised. My sister Angel even volunteered to help. The next evening we finished. I took the cards out to the mailbox and put them inside, raising the flag so the mailman would stop and pick them up, in case we got no mail that day. Then days of waiting finally started paying off. Mail began to pour in. Catalogs by L.L. Bean, Corcoran, Aluma Craft and other boats, firearms catalogs, outboard motors, hunting dogs, traps, fishing gear etc. My heap of free stuff was growing daily. Dad wanted to know what this was going to cost him. 'Nothing dad, it's all free', I giggled. Well, dad was interested in the fishing catalogs and even ordered out of one. Gramps went to the outhouse one winter morning taking the Marlin firearms catalog with him. He sat out there reading it so long that he caught a hellacious cold. When everyone was done drooling over it all, we boxed them up and stowed them away in the attic. I still have a weakness for catalogs.

Submitted By: Hoppy from IA on 2009-02-11

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