I’m not sure where to begin, so I’ll just wing it.

I have collected militaria for between 25 and 30 years. My first love is WWII German, but that is by no means all I collect. I also have a significant U.S. militaria collection, as well as a few other odds and ends. I live in an area where there are a number of true flea markets where vendors actually set up each weekend to sell antiques, collectables, yard sale leftovers, stuff they found when they cleaned out the garage or whatever, not just third world made ”tools”, knockoff designer sun glasses and athletic shoes, etc. sold from their permanent booths.  These flea markets, along with garage sales, antique malls, and the like have been my sources for literally thousands of items, mostly U.S.  Very few of my U.S. items come from dealers.

I’ve set up at a few local shows every year for at least 20 years.  Mostly what I have on my tabels at shows is U.S. militaria because that is what I mostly find in my travels.

On a personal level, I am a 59 year old retired Chemical Engineer. My first day of retirement was April Fool’s day, 2009. My wife had taken full disability from Washington University in St. Louis the preceding fall, and she wanted someone to “keep her company”.  (Honey would you mind…) To supplement our income, I have begun more aggressively selling the stuff I have squirreled away over the years.

My collecting history: I believe in the existence of what I call “The Collector’s gene.  People who have this gene MUST find something to collect, whether it’s classic muscle cars, stamps, militaria, rocks with Elvis’s face on them or odd pieces of strig. As you must have guessed, I have the gene. My first WWII German piece came from a box of junk my parents bought at an auction in about 1957 or 58.  It was a War Merit Cross Second Class with Swords and a full length ribbon.  (Of course I still have it!)  I was always interested in military history. (See scan of second grade sketch.)  My next contact with WWII German collecting was during my junior or senior year in college when I bought Pia’s “Nazi Regalia” and SS Regalia” books (part of the Ballantine Violent Century Series).  However, I was deeply involved with stamps at that time, and would be until I on a whim I attended the second MAX show.  That’s when the bug bit me.

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