Collector's Day event expected to bring in nearly 70 displays

Published: Saturday, January 24, 2009 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 23, 2009 at 10:52 p.m.

The walls of her home are adorned with spatulas - 942 of them to be exact.


If you go

  • What: 30th Annual Collector’s Day
  • When: Today
  • Where: The Florida Museum of Natural History
  • Cost: Free and open to the public

J.J. LeCompte, 32, has collected different types of spatulas for about 12 years, a hobby that has driven her to the Florida Museum of Natural History one weekend every winter.

Today the museum hosts its 30th annual Collector's Day between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m and LeCompte will be there - along with some 70 other avid collectors and their collections.

The event is free and open to the public.

"My first year at the Collector's Day, I think I had 30 spatulas," said LeCompte. "It just kept getting bigger and bigger."

The collection started as a joke after LeCompte received the kitchen tool as a Christmas gift from a friend.

"It was just a funny thing that we put on the wall, and it blew up from there," she said.

Since her amateur days as a collector, LeCompte has acquired spatulas that range in age over a span of 200 years.

Those who see the collection usually laugh at first, she said, but eventually recognize spatulas used by their family members and begin to recollect the past. Her collection includes spatulas spanning almost 200 years.

Recollecting the past is also a motivation for Philip Kellerman, 53, who has collected political memorabilia for more than 20 years.

The decision to start a collection, he said, came after a friend told him about the American Political Items Collectors, an organization devoted to the collection of historic political memorabilia.

Kellerman was reminded of the political buttons he had stored in his closet, an assortment that he had acquired through political work done with his parents in the 1960s.

"I got the buttons out and they brought back a lot of memories," he said. "So I went to my first [APIC] show and I was pretty much hooked after that."

Kellerman has collected since 1988 and owns about 300 pieces of political memorabilia.

Though he has attended Collector's Day only once before, the event has personal meaning for him.

"Last year, by selling political memorabilia on eBay," Kellerman said, "we raised $8,000 for my foundation, Harvest of Hope."

The Harvest of Hope Foundation provides aid for migrant farm workers around the country.

"Political item collectors like myself, we believe that by collecting, we're actually preserving a part of history," Kellerman said.

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