I plead guilty of having obsessions with most things in life and learning. I find people, their occupations and interests, and events stimulate my thinking. Photos, videos, media, anything of an ephemera nature get my attention.
These interests, information and trivia obsessions resulted in an accumulation I call “Leurig Library”.
Although this site is not about me personally, but rather about the collections. some background may help explain the various accumulations, collections, hobbies, and interests.
There is a detail of my adventures and life journey in another website so this is a summary highlighting some of the factors resulting in my interests.
Contrary to popular family lore, I did not start gathering material during my first year of life in Illinois. But I do recall reading almost all children’s books in the Pekin Library before I was seven thereby prompting my Mother to make a plea at the library that I be allowed in the adult section. Since we were a half block from the library it quickly became my first temple of knowledge along with what was taught in school.
One of my cousins, Esther Knefelkamp, was a school principal in Belleville, Illinois. She sent me books that my Mother read to me before I ever attended school. I still have some of those books in my physical home library. That was the beginning of my love for reading, study and libraries throughout my 80 plus years.
We moved to Texas from Illinois when I was eight after living in five Illinois towns. During world war II time frame we lived in three Texas towns before returning to Illinois. It was the start of living in 23 towns (some more than one occasion), with multitude of residence addresses. Traveling included visiting the 48 state capitols before I was nineteen. Later I visited the capitols of Hawaii and Alaska when they became states. Foreign travel was mainly business with some personal trips to Europe.
Travel triggered more interests and subjects to research and study.
My Father was in the newspaper business as well as other vocations and the opportunity to be around news, stories of current events, and later my working as a newspaperman probably contributed to having an interest in many subjects. At age nine the stamp collection was started providing questions and answers of history, geography, and politics. I have continued this enjoyable hobby throughout my life.
High school and college did not hold my attention for long as my curious nature for any new subject caused my mind to daydream with wanting to know more about that item in spite of the instructor moving on to another subject. After graduating from high school, I worked for a year in Texas on a newspaper and as part-time oil field worker before going to college as a contract active Navy ROTC Ensign during the Korea War.
My interests continued to bounce around during college and finally settled somewhat with Political Science, History, and Geography. I graduated from the University of New Mexico in spite of the distractions, trips, marriage, Navy and air force ROTC, working, illness, and beginning a family. We moved to San Angelo, Texas, in 1954.
Within a year I found myself in the new field of “data processing” and throughout the rest of my life concentrated on management in the expanding technology field. My final position was with a college retiring as Emeritus Chief Information Officer and Emeritus Director Future Planning. The latter title was from a late in life concentration on future studies as a futurist; if I was starting over, that would have been my choice as a profession. I retired at the age of 81 in Maryland and we soon moved back to the southwest in Texas.
In occupations my activities ranged from manual labor to executive in manufacturing, consulting, technology, higher education, service businesses as well as forming national organizations. I also started with others including being on some boards of banking, space, ergonomics, oil drilling, outsourcing, and other companies. Each was the opportunity for additional research, learning, and new interests.
Organizations provided another avenue for new interests and more study. A few of these include Mensa, Boy Scouts, literary societies, Freemasonry and other masonic organizations such as Scottish Rite, Shrine, and Knights Templar. Other interests came through Kiwanis, International Platform Association, positions at University of New Mexico and Montgomery College, consulting and management of data centers for many universities and local government including Alaska and Puerto Rico. More interests came from being a co-founder and president of CAUSE and Educause national organizations in higher education computing, World Future Society as a futurist, Civil War Trust, Extra Miler Club, and various genealogy societies.
Some interests lasted for a short time when having bursts of passion in a subject such as the Sierra Club, parliamentarian professional group, Kipling Society, Theodore Roosevelt Association, and Goethe Institute. Others interest groups are off and on again cycles such as pen collecting and adviser to Omas pens, Opera, coins and tokens, dabbling as a scripophilist, enjoy being a arctophile, numismatist, and even collecting celebrity hair.
Many interests have lasted most of my life including Philately, stampless covers and letters, autograph letters and books, deltiologist collection, Masonic memorabilia, Katchinas, Southwest Indian artifacts, prints and paintings, and keeping journals.
History, forecasting, genealogy family history, writing, and reading are at the core of all activities
None of this could have happened without family. My father and mother managed to survive my many questions and interests. Remembering my childhood, my parents took time to travel, introduce me to fascinating people, and encouraged learning new interests. My journey is a wonderful experience with normal ups and downs. Now my wife and I live a satisfying life at an active retirement community in Texas. Our family is five children, eight grandchildren, and ten great-grandchildren (at the moment).
The downside of all these interests is the “family” puts pressure on me to dispose of my collections (accumulations) in the house and storage lockers, but I am leaving that for them to enjoy in the future! For now, Most of my time and interests are woven into the library collection stories to share with anyone who has the time and interests, and perhaps some items will spark a new passion for the reader.