These biography posts have really got me thinking about how I got started collecting and the timeline of my life after high school. What is most interesting (to me anyway) is that even though I still had my toy collection, it was stored at my Gram’s house. For a lot of years I was living in studio apartments or tiny dorm rooms and didn’t even have a shelf to put things on. I had no place to display my collection and rather than put of a few small pieces, I opted to just store it all.
When I graduated from high school, I stayed in the Portland area for a while and attended general education classes at Portland Community College. Then I went down to Eugene, Oregon to University of Oregon. Then I traveled to Europe and came back for my last year at university, which is where we were at the end of my last blog post. That last year at college, I lived off campus, but still in a dorm room type atmosphere. I lived on the same floor as most of my friends and my girlfriend (ex-girlfriend now) and her friends also lived in the same building, but on a different floor.
That last year of college I attended school full-time and worked two part-time jobs. I worked as a teller at a bank and I worked selling car stereos and home audio systems at Future Shops (the pre-cursor to Best Buy). My last year of college was busy and crazy and seriously, it’s a wonder I made it through, but even with the money from my jobs, I didn’t go out and buy toys or action figures. I could have, but there was just so much going on that I didn’t have any time for collecting. My actual college degree is in Psychology. I like to think that having all the knowledge made me a better salesman, but really I don’t know. I’ve had a lot of practice selling and buying things, so I wouldn’t probably still have been a salesman without the college degree, but really, I only went to college because my parents wanted me to.
After I graduated from the University of Oregon, I ended up going home and living with my dad again in the Portland area. I wanted so badly to be done with school and get on with my life. Later I would yearn to go back to the “good old” college days, because they seemed so much easier, and I dare say, more fun. This was all sometime around 1999.
I got an interview with an copier company and landed a job as an outside sales person. As it turned out, I was pretty good at selling. I was making some nice money and moving along in the company. Sometime in early 2000, I ended up moving out of my dad’s house and into an apartment with a couple of friends from college. I even got them jobs at the copier company, making commuting and time off convenient for all of us.
My girlfriend at the time, was just finishing up college and we tried to keep the long-distance relationship going. As I moved on through life during these times, working and hanging out with my friends, she and I broke up. I was really traumatic at the time, because she and I had been dating for almost seven years, but I can see now that it was for the best.
Ultimately, at this time in my life, I was living it up, I purchased my first Eclipse (the inspiration for my first eBay business name Eclipse Hobbies), I was working and doing well, and I was having a blast. But it was all about to change.(Photo of Portland, Oregon courtesy of PDX Pipline)