Rest In Peace, King of the Hobby Magazines
Tyrades!By Danny Tyree
I don't make a hobby out of collecting obituaries, but sometimes I stumble across one that particularly moves me.
The Wall Street Journal recently reported that Chester "Chet" Krause passed away on June 25 at age 92. In case you didn't know, in 1952 Krause founded Krause Publications, which eventually published scores of magazines and reference books for collectors of coins, stamps and other items.
In a "past life," I spent 17 years writing a comic-book column called "Dan T's Inferno" for Krause's "Comics Buyer's Guide" periodical.
In fact, my son Gideon (age 12) has never gotten to use his bedroom closet because it's stuffed with old issues of CBG. On a positive note, there is no room for monsters in his closet, although I wouldn't mind a mob of angry villagers with torches dropping by to deal with SILVERFISH.
I never had the pleasure of dealing directly with Mr., Krause, but after his passing, John and Nancy Wilson of the American Numismatic Association spoke highly of his knowledge and his philanthropic endeavors.
Krause's love of collecting started when his aunts gave him a Whitman penny board used for displaying coin collections. It's funny how the same stimulus can affect people differently. One person might get a penny board and decide, "I should help people with their hobbies." Another might get a penny board and say, "This is a sign I really need a private internet server" or "I've been LOOKING for this sort of justification for killing people of another color."
Publishers such as Krause have compiled and shared valuable information, although sometimes it does produce extra work for CSI teams. ("We had no idea what Grandpa had until we saw the paper money price guide. Now we know he has a small fortune ---- and rickety, rickety stairs...")
Leisure-time magazines help people with niche interests find kindred souls in other cities, states or countries, and consequently feel less required to share the minutiae of their interests with casual passers-by. (The Supreme Court recently designated three things that warrant an automatic cry of "Too Much Information": (1) any acknowledgment that one's parents actually had sex, (2) graphic descriptions of bathroom occurrences and (3) any sentence that begins with, "Yesterday I sent the Franklin Mint a check for..."
Some hobbies, such as restoring vintage automobiles, are fairly mainstream and macho. (In 1972 Krause launched an ongoing nationally recognized car show in Iola, Wisconsin.) Others are a bit more obscure, but all types of enthusiasts deserve their own magazine. (Where would we be without "Used Dental Retainer Gazette" and "Lint, My Friend, Lint"?)
Hobby magazines are a welcome mailbox arrival in millions of homes. Granted, some of them come wrapped more elaborately than others. I like the one that comes packaged in a Rubik's Cube that you have to solve before you can read it. ("*Sigh* I guess if I have the time to drive 2500 miles to the Collectible Tongue Depressors Convention, I really do have time to work on opening the latest issue.")
I hope hobby magazines will forever deliver life-affirming information, such as "Pretty girl actually gives the time of day to mild-mannered Q-Tip collector." Of course the magazines need to be a little faster with the RETRACTIONS.("No, wait ---- she merely tossed him her Rolex, in hopes that he would quit following her. Keep hoping, guys.")
©2016 Danny Tyree. Danny welcomes email responses at firstname.lastname@example.org and visits to his Facebook fan page "Tyree's Tyrades". Danny's' weekly column is distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons Inc. newspaper syndicate.
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