Opinion

Confessions of an eBay addict

I admit it, I am a self-professed eBay addict. For those of you who read last week's story about eBay written by Michelle Liu, you can see there are many of us out there who love to check the pages of the Web site for that one item, such as a famous painting hidden behind an old lithograph in a picture frame, or something for the home that is hard to find anywhere else.

My weaknesses are usually historical. I tend to buy old photos of Snoqualmie Valley. My favorite searches are for works by the famous local photographer Darius Kinsey. Searching for "Snoqualmie" always yields a few postcards, and I'll even punch in "North Bend" on occasion.

Postcards from the early 1900s until about the 1950s are my typical purchase. The funny thing about a lot of eBay stuff is that when you get it, it goes in a box or on a shelf and you forget about it. After several years of buying photographs and postcards my wife asked me, "What are you going to do with those? Nobody ever sees them." That was a tough question.

The fun had been the chase, the checking of bids and finally, nabbing the piece at what I thought was a good price, but I hadn't really thought about what to do with them. To display a postcard requires a frame, another purchase made necessary by my addiction.

So I purchased several postcard frames and hung them up on my wall at home. Several of the postcards are unique and somewhat rare. I have learned what photographers are synonymous with shooting pictures of Snoqualmie Valley, and which photos are harder to find. It's kind of important to me that historic photos of Snoqualmie Valley at least reside in Snoqualmie Valley. How important can a photo of downtown North Bend be to someone in Kansas City, Mo.? So it seems my duty to bid for historical reasons and bring that photo home.

So now I have started a wall of postcards on a wall in my living room, but the eBay addiction hasn't stopped there. I had to buy 15 copies of a book written by Charlotte Paul Groshell, former publisher of the Valley Record, about life in Snoqualmie Valley. I purchased some old logging photos that could be from the famous photographer Kinsey, but to tell you the truth, I am not sure. I have some old magazines from the World's Fair when it was in Seattle. These seemed important since I was there in 1962, albeit not quite born and making my mom extremely uncomfortable.

I purchased some historical memorabilia about Ella Raines, since she was a famous movie actress from Snoqualmie Valley, and I have photos of Sicks Stadium in Seattle because I watched the Seattle Pilots there with my grandfather in 1968 or 1969.

The whole point of eBay, to me, is that there are artifacts and interesting things out there that are a part of each of our own histories. The site gives us the ability to find and buy those things, preserving a memory.

But alas, my wife is wondering, out loud, if there is any way for me to part with some of those memories and make some money on eBay instead of always buying stuff. So my new venture is to sell a few things for which I might have triplicates - doubles are just insurance.

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