Observation #2 - The
following was posted by Jim on
The Chip Board on
June 26th, 2004
This observation is probably the most difficult one I have
ever had to write. It is most difficult because I must
somehow deal with reality while maintaining an illusion that
someday "we" might have a building to call our own. I am a
chip collector at heart but I am also a Certified Public
Accountant and a realist.
My heart tells me how wonderful it would be if we could
have our own "place". After all no true chip collector who
loves this hobby could be against the concept of having our
own clubhouse. No one in their right mind is publicly going
to be against the "dream" of owning such a place.
When we were kids we always wanted that special place to go
hide, play and enjoy. It was ours. It might have consisted
of a big paper box or a closed in group of hedges or maybe
an abandoned garage. It was fun and brought tremendous
enjoyment to those of us lucky enough to experience such a
childhood. We could hide in our clubhouse and pretend to be
whoever or whatever we wanted to be.
The reality of the outside world only rear its ugly head
when it was time to go home, eat, and do homework. However,
we would and could look forward to the next day when school
was over and once again enter our dream world of fun and
Collecting these little pieces of clay or whatever you
collect gives us fun and enjoyment much like we experienced
when we were kids. I don't know about you but once in a
while I'll find myself holding an "old" chip and thinking
about who might have held it in their hand. Where it had
been and whose live it might have touched and strange how it
has ended up in my hand. The history it had experienced - if
this little piece of clay could only talk.
The chip, ashtray, book of matches or whatever provides joy
and fun and a necessary outlet from the stress of reality
from everyday life. Is it any wonder many of us dream of a
building where we can go and enter a world of enjoyment and
fun? A place that will give us endless pleasure from the
many collectables on display and the history of a simpler
This dream is shattered and reality takes over when some of
our associates cry "foul". How dare you dream an impossible
dream? How dare you put money aside for something that will
never happen. How dare you become part of the "scam". It
must be a scam because it can never happen. All one has to
do is look at our financial statements. All one has to do is
be a realist.
Often other collectors will come up to me at chip shows
make small talk and than ask my opinion about the building
project and more specifically the building fund. The
question makes me feel like a defendant who is asked by the
prosecuting attorney "When did you stop beating your wife?"
It's a no win question with a no win answer. My chip
collecting heart tells me yes - but my brain says look at
Many of us are engaged in occupations that deal with the
public. My occupation of CPA requires I give my clients
sound advice as to investments, taxes, and any other
financial planning they may require. I must tell you this
club building fund has created personal difficulty for me.
It has cost me potential clients because I have not come out
publicly against it. I will not come out publicly against
it. If I do it will kill the little kid that is still inside
me. The little kid that loves the fun and excitement of
collecting these little pieces of clay.
I know the numbers are not there for getting a building.
Hell, we couldn't afford the yearly expenses of insurance,
security, utilities, real estate taxes, etc. if someone gave
us a building.
I know that - you know that- and any club member with half
of a brain knows that. You don't have to call it a scam and
hurt me and others because it isn't a scam. The facts are
clearly out in the open for all to see. All one has to do is
look at the financial statements. If we continue along the
same course we are traveling it will never happen. There -
does that make you happy? Do you enjoy smashing my dream and
the dream of others?
If you don't want to be part of the dream that's O.K. Maybe
your dream is different. That's also O.K. It's a dream -
yeah, maybe a pipe-dream that probably will never happen.
Why than do we continue on with a building fund?
I can not answer that question for other club members; I
can only answer it for myself. Every night I say a little
prayer that just one of the many multi-millionaire club
members we have in our organization will allow the little
kid to come out and build us a building. Don't laugh, it
could happen. It has to happen if we are ever going to have
our own building. There is no other way.
Folks we have individuals in our organization who can't
spend the interest that they make. I spoke to one of them at
our convention. He told me with a smile that if he was to do
such a thing how was the club going to pay the monthly
expenses for upkeep? I didn't answer because at present
there is no answer. I also smiled to myself knowing that he
would think about what I suggested.
If Jerry Wall was still active in this hobby there is no
doubt in my mind he would have built us a building. Jerry
Wall loved this hobby. His goal was to acquire every chip
that was ever made. In addition, he probably built most of
the Toys-Are-Us stores in the United States. He had a heart
as big as a pumpkin with the love for the hobby to match.
There are others in our hobby who quietly collect who would
make Jerry's wealth look like a "piker".
Just maybe one day one of them will build us a building. I
can dream and no one can take that away!