10 January 2014

What's in the Box 1: Found Cards

I went out into our garage the other day looking for a box of cards I might have had out there, which I thought might contain some Hakeem Olajuwon or Gheorghe Muresan cards from my teen years of collecting. I didn't find that box, but I did find a plastic tote filled with partial sets I had been working on when I quit collecting. One of those sets was 95-96 Fleer Basketball, which mirrors the zaniness of the 1995 Fleer Baseball product that bloggers love/hate so much. I liked it, and because I bought so much of it that year the inserts from that set are iconic to me.
Which is more freaky; Rodman or Fleer ca. 1995?

There were some other sets in there in various stages of completion, but nothing too amazing. I also didn't find the box I was looking for, and began to dig deeper. A box or two down and I found clues that suggested I was close to finding one of our family's lost treasures. I saw a few comic books that seemed out of place, as most of my comics have been gathered and sorted for a few months now into new stackable drawer boxes. Then I saw a couple of swag bags from the 2006 Emerald City Comic Con. Then I found a box of books and old computer games. Sitting between Sid Meier's Pirates! and MechWarrior 4 was a Hakeem Olajuwon Rookie Card. A little while back I purchased a graded Olajuwon Rookie Card, believing that I had always coveted but never owned one. Apparently sometime in the cloudy days of 2004-2009 I did buy one and thought so little of it that I tossed it in among my computer game discards. So now I have two 86-87 Fleer Hakeem Olajuwon RCs. When I was younger I would buy each month's Beckett and flip to the 86-87 Fleer listings to track the price of this card. I even had a letter published in Beckett once in which I complained about the lack of respect that Olajuwon got compared to the other stars of the day.

The card is in pretty good shape, maybe even better shape than the graded copy I have. But this Hakeem Olajuwon discussion is interrupting the story I was telling about finding my family's great treasure. After setting the Olajuwon card aside I grabbed the next box off the stack and opened it, flipping through old notebooks and other junk. Then I finally saw it, an old sketchpad with pages sticking out of the sides. I flipped through it and saw many familiar faces staring back at me. I had found the sketches my wife and I had commissioned at Emerald City Comic Con 2006, our first comic book convention. We thought we had looked just about everywhere, but I guess there was still one stack of boxes that had remained unsearched since we moved to our new house in 2009. The sketches are now in their rightful place in an art portfolio with the sketches we got in 2012 when we were finally able to return to Seattle for another convention.


  1. Very cool! I'm sure you're thrilled to have recovered the Hakeem and the sketch book.

    1. Yes, the sketch book was especially nice to find. I didn't know the Olajuwon card was missing, so it was less alarming that I was unable to find it for several years.

  2. Always great to find buried treasure!