First off, Thank You for doing what you do on these boards..... I have been here since '07 and love all the "good guys" that take care of this hobby..... That being said, here is a bit about me and my background..... I started collecting in 1978 with my Dad and older brother..... We would collect certain players and try to get all of their cards that were put out by Topps..... I remember vividly sitting at the kitchen table going through all the stacks of cards reading the backs..... It's when collecting was fun..... As years passed we kept up our collection.... My father retired as a Sergeant with the Chicago Police Department in 2011.... Before he retired he worked "side jobs" to keep the family afloat.... One of those side jobs was security at the old Chicago Stadium.... As a perk, my brother and I would get to go to all the events with my Dad for free.... I remember fetching balls for Michael Jordan as he shot around before the gates opened.... But back then he was just Mike, not MICHAEL JORDAN !!!! My brother and I were so well known in the Stadium that we could walk anywhere we wanted, including down to the locker rooms... When I turned 16 I was offered a job with the Blackhawks..... I was their locker room "Stick Boy".... I did that for about 2-3 years.... Some really great memories and some great memorabilia ..... I was given a pair of Darren Pangs leg pads to use for my High School Hockey Team.... I had auto photos and pucks of Gretzky (I still have a photo).... My favorite piece was a game-used stick autographed to me by Mario Lemieux from his rookie season.... Well as years passed, my parents ended up splitting up (Really ugly).... I went to live with my Dad in a small apartment .... When we moved out of the house, my Mother took my entire collection and sold it to someone (Except for my 1 Gretzky photo) Everything I had collected up until then was gone !!!! I still loved the hobby and continued to collect.... 8 years ago I was hired by Chicago as a Police Officer ..... Walking in Dad's footsteps..... I married my best friend (17 years together, 8 years married ...just had our anniversary Monday)..... We have 1 beautiful Daughter, Allison who is 3 years old..... With my job being as stressfull as it is, I need an escape at times.... I use card collecting and Poker as those escapes.... My family all moved out to Vegas years ago so I take my family out to see them as much as possible.... Just last month, I had an experience that will never be forgotten at work.... Long story short, an offender I was chasing pulled a gun and attempted to shoot me as I grabbed him from behind..... I was able to subdue the offender and go home that night with the same amount of holes in me that I began the day with.... I guess the reason I tell that short story is to let you guys know that life is short.... Nothing is gauranteed, including tomorrow...... To see someone give like you do is fantastic..... It's what this hobby, and more importantly, life is all about..... Thanks for giving me the opportunity to get my story out there.... If I happen to win some new headphones that I can use at the Poker Tables great.... If not, no biggie..... It was nice to be able to remember some of these stories and share them with others.... Sorry for the long read..... Hope everyone has a Happy and Healthy Holiday Season !!!!!!
HAPPY THANKSGIVING !!!!