Posted 01 January 2006 - 01:29 PM
You bring up a lot of good points.
I am a consummate collector. Been one most of my youth and ALL of my adult life. Invariably, an organization that starts out to gather and disperse information throughout the collecting community invariably gets involved in internal politics and personnel issues. Sadly, a small part comes from the way that the club and/or publication is being run. Most problems and friction indeed stem from money, whether the collected items are being sold through formal or informal club channels making a specific dealer or dealers “rich”, being reproduced or merely having conflicts so great that the club tears itself apart and two exist. I have seen this more than once in different collecting genres.
You are right in that keeping a level head is the best way to approach this. Any organization that publishes a magazine or newsletter that educates the collector is a positive thing. When the information cannot be shared due and does not flow freely, possibly, due to the differences that caused the initial break, the entire collecting community suffers.
Tracie Hill is Mr. Thompson and a wealth of information that we should not lose. I would rather see him start another "group" (for lack of a better word) than to totally withraw from the Thompson collecting world and stop sharing information with us. I know Pat Wheeler personally and he is a good guy in the class III community. At least this split is starting out with some decent credibility at the top of each group.
I hope that all works out and the Thompson community does not suffer but somehow gains from the potential competition.