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Possession obsession.

Martha Jo Patterson, who teaches learning disabled ninth graders in Tupelo. Mississippi, traces her predilection for collection to 25 years ago when she bought a cow creamer at a rummage sale for 20 cents.


Today, the creamer's worth $25 and Patterson's collection has grown enormously. "You name it. I've got it." she chuckles.

"I started with animal creamers: cows, pigs, birds, dogs. Then I got into tinware for the kitchen and tin lunchboxes." One of her prize purchases is a 20-year-old lunchbox with a picture of the Beatles on it. now worth $75.

Patterson admits that part of the enjoyment she gets from collecting comes from the haggling that goes into a purchase. She checks the book price of an item she's considering and tries to talk the seller down to what she considers reasonable.

Shopping at auctions and estate sales throughout the Southeast. Patterson has become a small-town antique dealer, displaying her wares at a nearby mall. So. no surprise: "My house looks like a store.

"I've got lunchboxes on shelves in my laundry room and other collectibles throughout my kitchen and den. It's cluttered, but it's comfortable."

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Title Annotation:People
Publication:NEA Today
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Feb 1, 1992
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