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I'm sure that you've heard the old saying, "One man's junk is another man's treasure." Well, a case of that came up lately. An elderly gentleman who lived in the area began a collection that spanned nearly seven decades. After his health began to deteriorate, he became sick and passed away about two months ago. It was rumored that his collection existed, but those who had seen it told the story as fact.
What was it this man had been collecting for more than 60 years?
Inside of his house he had copies of nearly every issue of The Lebanon Enterprise along with other magazines and newspapers he had accumulated throughout the years. His collection was impressive, and chocked full of historical data.
Upon his passing, his belongings were prepared to be sold at an auction. Among his other belongings were several pieces of very old farm machinery that he had farmed with and several other household antiques that he most likely had used. This man had accumulated a large number of items over his lifetime, several of which are now valuable, but none more valuable than his collection of newspapers and magazines, at least in my opinion.
As his belongings were beginning to be sorted out, one of the very first items to come out of his house were the seemingly endless stacks of newspapers. His collection filled nearly 30 garbage bags to the brim. Surely this collection was donated or was going to be sold at the auction. One would think, but unfortunately that is not what happened.
Remember when I said that his collection filled nearly 30 "garbage" bags full to the brim. Well, as it turns out, that was the intended purpose of those bags. The bags were all set out by the road, and when the garbage truck came by the next time, there went a nearly lifelong collection into the great beyond never to be seen again. When I heard of this, I was physically upset as I was planning to attend the auction, and at least make a bid on the papers.
I just can't believe that all of his collection is really gone. All of that time and effort of keeping those papers, gone. All of the stories about people, places and things from the past, gone. Man, I would have loved to have gotten my hands on those papers. Even if it weren't The Lebanon Enterprise, the value of the data stored on those pages could not have had a number placed on it.
So, after all of this, I guess my plea to all of you out there is that if any of you, or someone you know, has a collection like this please don't toss it. At least call the Enterprise office and let them know about it. Heck, if an interested person came around you might be able to sell them. Don't let all of your, or someone else's, hard work go to waste. Tell someone about your collection. You never know what may become of it.