We then went to see another collector named Sam, who also has a reputation but who asked me to take him a Carter sign to trade for something he had. I brought the sign with no real expectations as I knew it might get tricky. He had a beautiful place in Broken Arrow with about 50 signs on poles on a hill top. Very impressive and not even the best of their collection which is in Tulsa however, I could see he wasn’t going to make a deal so we visited and left for Joplin about two hours away for the night.
A couple of other guys dropped off signs with Scott for me as well so it was very convenient and saved a lot of time and driving. Once loaded up I go back on the phone with Chris Deprez who lives in Dallas and tried again to talk him in to selling me his 5 foot SSP Red Indian Sign Ive been after for about two years now. I could just see it at Lakeside Storage up on a pole for all to appreciate. Unfortunately he didn’t answer the phone so we had to just drive right on past and head for our next pick up spot in Tulsa. I had hoped to see another collector while in town but the one wasn't there that I really wanted to see. I did pick up the signs I had bought a month or so ago from Joe Phillips who got them to Tulsa for me to pick up since he lives a couple of hours away the wrong way for us. While traveling I stopped to get the prescriptions filled that the Doctor gave me in the hospital. Just in case…
Some of you may be wondering who on earth is the obsessed person that has such a passion for Petroliana sign collecting? Well honestly I have wondered the same thing….and it is my dad. Sparky Sparks is his name, or at least what he goes by. He has a passion like no one I have ever know. He has GRIT and perseverance, he finds work fun and hobbies are only useful if they have a future purpose. We his 8 children wonder, “WHAT IS THE PURPOSE” of collecting sign after sign after sign, driving all around the country at 78 years old?
Our mom, Jeannie, who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s a few years ago hasn’t slowed this passion but instead just pushes the passion of hours on end spent together traveling, making memories and collecting signs. Does she love it like he does? No, but she loves him and his addiction to this “Hobby of Hope” I will call it. Hope in what?
Hope in a love of life, making memories, persevering, staying young, making connections, and cultivating new friendships along the way. A hope of, surviving hard things and doing it together as a couple who loves eachother and spends just about every moment together on the road or off.
This blog is written by me, his daughter, Tiffany, and by him sharing their adventures about his Hobby of Hope.