If I ever decide to downsize my card collection, it will be with one stipulation: that I can continue to add oddball cards.
If it's possible to fall in love with a particular genre of card, then I am about to ask each and every food issue card to marry me. Expect an announcement -- and a wedding date -- on the blog soon.
One day, I may ditch all cards so I can dedicate myself toward tracking down every cookie company, gas station, department store, tire shop, clothing outlet and hot dog stand that ever manufactured cards.
That really seems like meaningful life's work.
I'm already getting a head start thanks to some people who read my blog and take me seriously when I say I want cards that once came out of potato chip bags.
Isn't that fantastic??
This is an honest-to-goodness 1962 Bell Brand Potato Chips card. Bell Brand issued sets of Dodger cards in the late '50s and early '60s. This is the first one I've ever seen in person, being a poor, deprived East Coast soul.
Greg Z. was kind of enough to send it to me. And it's in terrific shape for coming out of a potato chip bag (never mind the creases, they don't show up as prominently on the card as you see them here on the scan). Bell Brand was smart enough to package each individual card in cellophane to protect the cards from staining.
Some cards still have stains or have browned because of the grease eventually leaking through. But what do you expect? There were no kettle-cooked, mediterranean cream herb chips back in the day. Just boil those taters in as much grease as possible and bury them in salt! That's how people grew in 1962. Or so I hear. I wasn't alive.
OK, so you're not as impressed as I am by a single potato chip card.
How about this?
That is a genuine box of Hostess Suzy Q's from exactly 35 years ago.
How do I know it's from 35 years ago?
Well, silly ...
Because it has 1977 Hostess baseball cards on it!
This tremendous find was sent to me by mr. haverkamp. He always tracks down the best stuff.
Obviously it's not just any '77 Hostess Suzy Q box. It's a '77 Hostess Suzy Q box with a card of my favorite player of all-time on it, Mr. Ron Penguin Cey!
This box may not have any Suzy Q's in it anymore, but it is still filled with tasty information. I never knew you could get a copy of the Sporting News off a Hostess box. You could also cut out the mini cards of Jim Palmer and Reggie Jackson and pretend they were real cards, and when kids in the neighborhood demanded that they see the back of the card you could tell them "No way! You're not touching my cards!"
There's even a drawing of Suzy Q on the box, enjoying a Suzy Q.
Which brings me to the one downer on the whole thing. The nutritional information.
From the looks of the ingredients, eating a couple Suzy Q's a week will probably take 20 years off your life. Polysorbate 60 is bad, bad news, as are mono- and diglycerides, not to mention shortening, corn syrup, sugar, artificial flavor ... there is no way my mother allowed these things in the house.
In fact, it's possible I've never had a Suzy Q in my life. Ding Dongs, yes. Twinkies, you bet. Ho-Hos, certainly (and, no, those are not euphemisms for something else). But no Suzies (but that one may be).
It appears that Suzy Q's are made from pretty much the same stuff that they were made from in 1977 -- which is both comforting and disturbing.
It's also possible that all those emulsifiers is the reason that box is in such nice shape after 35 years.
And that leaves me with a problem.
I already have the 1977 Hostess Ron Cey card.
It's not a bad little specimen. Obviously, it was removed from the box by a youngster, but that doesn't concern me.
The only gnawing issue is that there is a great, big, brown, Suzy Q stain on the back of the card. Card back problems don't bother me much, but now I have this opportunity to have a pristine 1977 Hostess Ron Cey card in my collection. After all, I am an adult, I can cut straight, and there is a box waiting for me and everything.
Why, I could even cut out the Rick Waits and Al Bumbry cards, too, and distribute them to appreciative Indians and Orioles fans.
Or, I could leave the box intact because ... it's a 35-year-old box of Suzy Q's, for crying out loud, with BASEBALL CARDS ON THEM!!!
So I don't know what to do.
I know I won't be eating any Suzy Q's. The box will never stand a chance. And those 22 grams of sugar per cake will adversely affect my cutting skills.