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#9445 - 10/20/99 12:32 AM How do I decide? I don't. I just react!
Bob Steinbrunn Offline
Member

Registered: 07/31/99
Posts: 119
Loc: Minneapolis, MN, USA
With all these straw polls in abundance trying to ascertain how and why we buy certain Harbour Lights, I have to say I just read 'em and chuckle.

Now, don't get me wrong; I mean no disrespect. I think polls are a meaningful way to acquire important data and I admire those who try to pin down the demographics of HL sales.

Why I'm chuckling is....I think the whole thing is quite amusing. I mean, if my own experience is any credible guide.

You all will have to pardon me in that I seem to spend a not inconsiderable amount of time laughing at myself. And here's why:

I started out buying HL as a solitary piece, a gift to my wife for suffering ten long years of medical school and surgical residency. I thought a meaningful and memorable lighthouse sculpture might ease her overloaded and troubled mind during times of stress.

The trouble is, without being quite fully aware of it, I was hooked myself. I bought one for me, too. BASS HARBOR HEAD, which we had climbed around during our honeymoon in Maine.

Suddenly, I had to collect ONE lighthouse from each state in the union which had lighthouses. Starting from Maine, my grand and logical, well-ordered and methodical plan was to buy ONE piece in each state, working my way southward and clockwise around the U.S. Yep, that was my plan and I was sticking to it.

Of course, being a johnny-come-lately to HL meant that no lighthouse was available in New Hampshire (WHALEBACK, alas, was retired and out of reach). Durn!

I bought several more, working my way south, picking up THOMAS POINT GLOW since that piece appealed to my sense of fine engineering, then decided to join the Harbour Lights Collectors Society, and this meant receiving BALTIMORE. Uh oh! TWO lights from the same state! Well,there goes my fine ordered plan.

Might as well pick up HL pieces which appeal to me without considering whether I'll end up with more than one from each state.

I got down to Florida, picking up CAPE FLORIDA just before it disappeared from the dealers shelves, and suddenly realized what a close-run thing this had been!

Now I was becoming more fully aware of the "mortality" of HL pieces. You couldn't count on a particular piece being available later on when your taste dictated finally buying it.

And so it came to pass that I bought HILLSBORO INLET before it was gone even though I thought it was largish and unattractive.

Then I read on this forum that a great many folks couldn't find this piece, and so, I bought another, thinking I'd be able to help out a fellow collector someday who wanted this one and couldn't find it. Then a Hallmark store in my area had a BIG sale, and then, and then ...I bought another! Yes, I now had three! What kind of planning is this?

At this point I realized that logic and planning play no part in purchasing decisions when you're a wacko. You just cave in and respond to your basic animal instincts.

My local dealer asked to have one of my extra HILLSBORO pieces since he couldn't get them anymore and needed it for a good customer. I was able to trade it to him for his personal SEA GIRT and AMELIA ISLAND, plus cash from him to make up the difference.

Was I a speculator? No, I don't think so. Was I hoping to reap a windfall? No, the money really had no bearing on why I bought three HILLSBOROs. I was simply responding to the fast-disappearing item, picking them up when able to do so and anticipating that someone out there would want them someday for the retail price I paid.

With 10 HL dealers in the Minneapolis area it's a supreme advantage for those who wish to shop around.

I still have two, and think I could have sold 25 of 'em if I had them.

Will I buy AMERICAN SHOALS? You betcha! Will I buy LIBERTY ENLIGHTENING THE WORLD? Why would you ask? Of course I will!

Who has a plan anymore? Who needs logic and a rational system of purchasing? Not me. I fought it hard and long; it was an epic struggle, but now I've seen the light! I have the truth in hand: I just react! I just do it!

Only problem is, I have to hide the new ones in the closet in the laundry basket so my wife continues to think all is well with me.

You see, she is unaware of the existence of wackos!

--From the confessions of a wacko, 1999.



------------------
Bob Steinbrunn
Nautical Research Guild
_________________________
Bob Steinbrunn
Nautical Research Guild

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#9446 - 10/20/99 02:33 AM Re: How do I decide? I don't. I just react!
youngone Offline
Member

Registered: 08/01/99
Posts: 143
Loc: Damascus, MD,USA
Bob,
Great story! I too am a closet collector. After I bought my first piece, I was hooked. I just couldn't stop. So after many weeks of hiding lights, and placing clothes on top of them, I finally got a handle on the purchases. Well sort of! I've sold most of my model railroad equipment, most of my coin collection, (who needs a bunch of old metal anyway) and I'm looking for odd jobs my 6 and 9 year old daughters can do for the neighbors to earn a little extra for dear old dad. I still think the Betty Ford Clinic should open an HL wing. What do you think?

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#9447 - 10/20/99 08:19 AM Re: How do I decide? I don't. I just react!
Bob M Offline
Saint

Registered: 12/31/69
Posts: 12331
Loc: North Attleboro, Mass.
You sold your model trains? That's what I was considering as my next collectible. What gauge did you have?

Bob

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#9448 - 10/20/99 11:20 AM Re: How do I decide? I don't. I just react!
Rock Offline
Super Wacko

Registered: 12/31/69
Posts: 690
Loc: Livermore, CA
Bob S: Did you ever find a Whaleback? I have one I'll sell to you at retail if you're interested...mint condition, original box & paperwork...number is #5105, I believe...(I know I should be using the Marketplace site for this, but thought this would reach you faster).

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#9449 - 10/20/99 01:42 PM Re: How do I decide? I don't. I just react!
Joanne Offline
Member

Registered: 03/23/99
Posts: 1179
Loc: Orlando, FL
Bob, I did so enjoy reading your history of collecting HL's. Truth is, I saw a little of myself in it and understand perfectly what you experienced.

I must admit to the world, and face the music, that I said I would not buy Hillsboro. I did not like skeletal lighthouses and thought it was too expensive. But, then, the illness set in. I bought a Sanibel Island and loved skeletal lighthouses. So, I gave Hillsboro another thought but I could not find one. Lo and Behold! Quite by accident I was shopping and went into a Hallmark store and guess what I saw? Yep, the Hillsboro that I said I did not like, did not want, and was way too expensive. I knew I had to have it, plus, it was on sale 15% off. I have it on layaway.

Joanne


[This message has been edited by Joanne (edited 10-20-99).]

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#9450 - 10/20/99 07:39 PM Re: How do I decide? I don't. I just react!
Lightseeker Offline
Wacko

Registered: 10/05/99
Posts: 248
Loc: Cumming, GA, USA
As I sit here reading Bob's and youngone's posts, with my new East Quoddy tucked away in the trunk of my car, and with a pile of coins from my modest collection sitting on my dresser waiting to be sold, and hoping that my N-Scale engines and rolling stock will always be "untouchable", I'm a bit apprehensive. Am I on the edge of the abyss? Am I destined to spend my final years homeless and penniless, living out of a blue cardboard box? Is "Wacko" a euphemism for "Junkie"?

But I know that I'm made of stronger stuff than that, and that I beat smoking and I beat overeating (relatively), and the Surgeon General has not actually declared HL addictive, so I know I'll be alright!

Bob M. - What scale are you interested in?

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#9451 - 10/20/99 10:00 PM Re: How do I decide? I don't. I just react!
Robert M Dick Offline
Member

Registered: 01/27/99
Posts: 462
Loc: Newport News, Va., US of A
To understand a wacko, you must be a wacko. WE are all sick puppies and there is no cure. Whether we live in Minn., N. J., Fla., or M. D., it makes no difference. When you are struck, you're struck. There is no cure. And to top it all off, this weekend I get to meet Bill, and I know then the seizures will commence and all common since will vanish.

Making payments for my Navesink was the hardest undetaking I had to endure.

Moby

Plowing the bottom in search of sanity in the blue waters of the Chesapeake Bay!
_________________________
Moby

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#9452 - 10/21/99 12:39 AM Re: How do I decide? I don't. I just react!
RezmanDale Offline
Member

Registered: 08/16/99
Posts: 934
Loc: Globe, AZ
Great Story Bob, I sure can relate. I have two hidden in my closet at work. One is a gift for my wife. The other a splurge. I started out just getting the ones that I have visited, then west coast and Florida, now I am collecting flag number 581 that my dealer has. I started looking at things I have to sell so that I can buy more. Sold my chain saw and table saw. Didn't think about my trains. Don't have much but should be able to get one or two more with what I do have. Do I sound hooked? My wife thinks I'm addicted.
Dale

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#9453 - 10/21/99 01:00 AM Re: How do I decide? I don't. I just react!
wheland Offline
Cruise Director

Registered: 08/22/99
Posts: 3866
Loc: Trenton, NJ USA
I just got started with this affliction this past May. I just recieved a box in the mail with 5 full size and 9 ornaments. I then went on line bid on 8 more ornaments on ebay, won 4 of them and then decided to order the rest. I'm up to 57 pieces that run the gamut from GLOW's to all the Christmas lights and ornaments, all the
society pieces and redemption pieces, event pieces, and most of the lights that I've been to that HL has a version of. I just lost out on a Nauset on ebay. I've financed some of these purchases by selling some of my CD's (musical, not monetary). I still have plenty of CD's- I only sold about 350 of them which leaves me with about 2000 left. I'm going thru them noe to see if I can stand to lose some more. I've got my eye on a few more LH's. Dennis

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#9454 - 10/22/99 12:12 AM Re: How do I decide? I don't. I just react!
youngone Offline
Member

Registered: 08/01/99
Posts: 143
Loc: Damascus, MD,USA
Dale,
Does that bit about telling your wife you bought one for her really work? I tried that with the glow of Sea Pines. That was where we honeymooned many moons ago. I told her I bought it for her to remember that occasion. After she stopped laughing, which was about 20 to 30 minutes, she wondered if she had stupid written on her forehead.

Bob,

I do HO scale, modeling the Clinchfield railroad, my home town, and the sad part is, there ain't one doggone lighthouse anywhere on that route. I think Tennessee could use an active light, what do you think?

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#9455 - 10/23/99 05:02 PM Re: How do I decide? I don't. I just react!
RezmanDale Offline
Member

Registered: 08/16/99
Posts: 934
Loc: Globe, AZ
Youngone;
May be if you put an anniversay ring, or diamond earrings or someting in it she would have laughed for only 5 min.

As long as I get my wife something she really likes it works. She likes the HL's but is not crazy about how many I have bought. For her birthday I got her Jeffery's Hook and found the book "The Little Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge". She really likes the history of the lighthouses and especially if it entails a classic struggle to exist. She has liked the story of the struggle to save Jeffery's hook and has wanted the HL and the book for some time.

It pays to listen to her. Every now and then there is something mentioned on a tour, or in one of our lighthouse books that catches her interest. If there is a HL of that light, it's a sure gift for the next holiday, birthday or anniversary. It helps if I put it in the arms of a boyd's bear or hang a necklace on it .
Dale

[This message has been edited by DALE LAWRENCE (edited 10-23-99).]

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#9456 - 10/23/99 11:27 PM Re: How do I decide? I don't. I just react!
youngone Offline
Member

Registered: 08/01/99
Posts: 143
Loc: Damascus, MD,USA
Dale,
Thanks for the advice. My only problem is if I buy her a diamond, what do I have left to buy the lights? When I started this journey, she had NO interest in this obsession, (you notice I now call it an obsession and not a hobby), but lately there has been some changes. When I get one in the mail, she asks, "Don't you have one that already looks like that?". THAT'S PROGRESS! (I guess)

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#9457 - 10/24/99 01:42 AM Re: How do I decide? I don't. I just react!
Rusty Offline
Super Wacko

Registered: 09/03/99
Posts: 522
Loc: williamson, ga.
I agree with you all. IT doesn't start out to be so habit forming, but one is enough. I guess HL's will have to take the old Lays potato chip ad and change it a little.
"Bet ya can't buy just one!"

Trying to slow myself down in Ga.

Rusty

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#9458 - 10/24/99 01:59 PM Re: How do I decide? I don't. I just react!
Jazzer Offline
Member

Registered: 07/26/02
Posts: 606
Loc: Central Maryland
Bob,

Good reading. My wife expects to come home from work one day soon and wonder if she is in a HL warehouse .

Lonnie
_________________________
Lonnie

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#9459 - 10/24/99 02:54 PM Re: How do I decide? I don't. I just react!
Firstmate Offline
Member

Registered: 10/20/99
Posts: 96
Loc: Orange Beach, AL
Dale, you are one very wise person of the male gender! Your kind suggestions to Youngone It helps if you put it in the arms of a Boyd's Bear or hang a necklace on it and an anniversary ring or diamond earrings. . . are RIGHT ON! Flowers work, too, and don't hurt the checkbook so much - ya know, a single red rose. . .

Seattle Sailors
_________________________
'Bama Boaters

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#9460 - 10/24/99 04:18 PM Re: How do I decide? I don't. I just react!
RezmanDale Offline
Member

Registered: 08/16/99
Posts: 934
Loc: Globe, AZ
Thanks for the idea Firstmate. I hadn't thought of a rose. Sure would help with youngone's situation too. If you can get your mate interested in HL's it helps even more.

Dale

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#9461 - 10/25/99 04:01 AM Re: How do I decide? I don't. I just react!
TGIFIF Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/28/99
Posts: 4
Loc: WEST PALM BCH FL USA
Been there, done that.
I started looking into lights cuz my step-mother was "into" lighthouses. After I did my homework & decided on HL I bought her one (which is in my curio). I think HL puts some kind of addictive dust or something on the lights. Once you touch one you HAVE to have more!!!! I now have a 9.5ft curio, a corner curio & a second morgage on my home. That was REALLY stupid! But in a few months you won't be able to get that light...better get bigger morgage & buy it NOW!

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#9462 - 11/07/99 03:01 AM Re: How do I decide? I don't. I just react!
youngone Offline
Member

Registered: 08/01/99
Posts: 143
Loc: Damascus, MD,USA
Remember Gail,

A bigger mortgage is a better mortgage!

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#9463 - 11/08/99 12:12 AM Re: How do I decide? I don't. I just react!
Karen Smith Offline
Member

Registered: 03/18/99
Posts: 73
Loc: Oro Valley, AZ United States
The first Harbour Lights Lighthouses, I purchased were during the Christmas Holiday in 1997, I was instantly hooked!
Then, I guess, I started out as a Closet Collector but, that didn't last long. The Closet got full.
Then, I put the Harbour Lights Boxes in alphabetical order in a Bedroom. It didn't take long and is almost became impossible to enter the room.
So, I needed to find another area in our home to put the Harbour Lights Lighthouses.
There is an area at the end of a Hall; that had no exposure to sun and had (3) recessed ceiling lights. I could just visualize, the Harbour Lights Lighthouse their.
Now, I had to get the area measured and display shelves made to order! So, patiently, I wait, well not that patiently, maybe.
But, finally everything came together, but, unfortunately, I also continued buying and I already had that area filled. The now, 10 Anchor Bay's would fit nicely at the top of the display shelves!
So, to my Den, I found another area, measured out the area and had additional display shelves made, but, now everything was out on display to enjoy!
But, somehow, I am beginning to run out of room in my Den? So, I will just have another display shelves made!
But, where to I go from here? I don't want to even think of it!
So, if Bill Younger keeps producing Harbour Lights Lighthouses, as he has been, the next step is to find another room! But, where???
Karen :-)

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#9464 - 11/08/99 09:07 AM Re: How do I decide? I don't. I just react!
Len Ariagno Offline
Member

Registered: 12/31/69
Posts: 151
Loc: Somerset, MA, USA
We will be putting an addition on our home and in it will be a special area dedicated to displaying our favorite HLs. We've run out of room!
Len Ariagno

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