This weekend I attended the annual Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America book fair at the Park Avenue Armory. Mama mia what a bunch of great books! Row after row of booths containing the rarest of the rare from all over the world. Spectacular copies in perfect condition. I handled a book that dated back to the 14th century. I swooned. The prices are astronomical. I never go to the book fair to buy, but I have to look. It’s like porn for book collectors.
There are always a few oddities that fall outside the parameters of book collecting. One year, someone was selling Hemingway’s typewriter. Another year, it was Jack Kerouac’s bluejeans. This year I was surprised to see Bruce Springsteen’s high school yearbook. It has nothing whatsoever to do with rare books or music. Who would want such a thing? And check out the price!
Three grand is a lot of money. Personally, I don’t think it’s worth that much but collecting anything is a subjective passion and not open to judgment by others. Take a look at this goofy photo. Let’s face it, ALL of out high school photos are goofy in retrospect.
As I was prepping these photos, I noticed something. Scroll back to the first photo and look at the list of accomplishments under the portraits. Each has a healthy paragraph of activities. Now look at the list of accomplishments under Bruce. Nothing. Clearly, Bruce did not participate in high school in any meaningful way. But he ended up doing pretty well for himself, don’t you think? He was a late bloomer. Obviously, I’m not making any comparisons here so don’t roll your eyes, but I was a high school loser/never made it with the ladies. Like Bruce, I didn’t go to college, either. But things turned out sort-of okay for me. Not Bruce-okay. But okay in my small way. It just takes some of us longer.