Historical connections through objects left behind
Plymouth Antique and Collectable Club invites new members
Junk is a subjective term. Objects buried deep in an attic, hidden in garage boxes and stowed for years under the stairs can hold significant value.
Members of Plymouth Antique and Collectables Club admit to being fascinated with what many call junk, and the group is looking for like minds.
Arlene Johnson heads the club and estimates it began in the ‘70s when collectors met as part of a continuing education program associated with Robbinsdale School District.
Johnson has been active in Plymouth Antique and Collectables Club since the ‘80s and, although the group has no affiliation with Robbinsdale Schools anymore, she said the interest remains and the club is going strong.
“It started as this continuing education course, but I think people were just so interested in it that they started to meet regularly,” said Johnson.
The club meets 1:30 p.m. on the last Wednesday of each month September through May at the Plymouth Creek Center, 14800 34th Avenue North.
Johnson also said that membership is beginning to dwindle due to the average age of participants. She would like to see fresh faces at the monthly meetings.
There is no age requirement, membership dues or prerequisites to attend a Plymouth Antique and Collectables Club meeting. Johnson said all that’s required is an interest in gaining knowledge.
“We’re a group of men and women who are simply interested in learning more,” she said. “Many of us have small collections of things, but we’re interested in seeing more. And there’s no topic we can’t learn something about.”
An average club meeting involves a presenter bringing in anywhere from three to 50 objects and speaking about how they began collecting, the value of some of the objects and the history of their collection.
The range of topics covered by the club is extensive and includes historical programs, vintage clothing, how to buy and sell on eBay and dumpster diving.
“We’ve had the whole gamut,” said Johnson. “We have a variety of topics, and every year they’re different, and we’re brainstorming all the time. We just like to learn from each other. You name it, we’ve probably had a program about it.”
Johnson networks within similar organizations and keeps her eye out for interesting presenters to build programing. She found Terry Kubista, presenter at the Jan. 30 meeting, through a display at the Creek Center.
Kubista is a British historian and shared a number of objects from across the pond throughout his “Grandma’s English Closet” program at the club.
Kubista discussed items from his extensive collection of British Royal souvenirs from the times of Queen Victoria to Queen Elizabeth II.
“Collecting means you have something tangible to look at. Get your hands on it, look into it and get absorbed in it,” Kubista said. “And if you’re real lucky, you can take that object and shape it around your own life.”
As he led the group through tea towels from royal weddings, pieces from his own family history and a genuine “Bobby” hat, Kubista noted the importance he finds in collecting.
“It’s a responsibility,” he said. “You are the protector of the past for the future. These souvenirs are history; it’s not a date or year floating around somewhere. These objects, you can pick them up and say ‘this happened.’”
At Plymouth Antique and Collectables Club, the group asks for an optional $2 donation to help offset the cost of the program. Refreshments are also served at the meetings.
Johnson said that, aside from the fascinating objects that are shared, the best part of the club is the fellowship of a community that shares stories, family history and a common interest.
“It’s like a family, and we all have some sort of a common bug,” she said. “We’re a fun group and anyone who’s interested in learning more should come. If you have antiques and want to know more about them, or if you’re interested in the range of topics we have, come. There is just so much knowledge within this group.”
Upcoming Antiques and Collectibles Club meetings:
Wednesday, Feb. 27 – Handkerchiefs
Wednesday, March 27 – Buttons
Wednesday, April 24 – Penny Postcards
For more information, call Arlene at 763-559-9636
Contact Brian Rosemeyer at firstname.lastname@example.org