CHICAGO -- There is no greater joy to a collector than having the opportunity to join an organization of collectors who share a common interest. By banding together, group members take great pleasure in learning from each other and showing off their acquisitions, especially if rare, weird, unique or "the find of a lifetime" picked up for a pittance at a garage sale or flea market and worth a hundred times the price paid.
If you're among those hooked on collecting a particular item (or group of related items) and can't find a club or others interested in collecting the same thing or things, you might want to start your own club, complete with meetings and newsletters.
That's what miniature piano collector Janice Kelsh did to encourage collectors to get in on the act. You can join the Miniature Piano Enthusiast Club, which offers an annual membership and quarterly newsletter for $8 from Janice Kelsh, 5815 N. Sheridan Road, Apt. 202, Chicago, Ill. 60660, or phone her at (312) 271-2970 for information or to request an application, or write enclosing an addressed, stamped, business-size envelope for a descriptive brochure.
If you're fond of things that go bump in the night and wish to collect information regarding such ghostly images, you can become a member of the Ghost Research Society by writing Dale Kaczmarek, P.O. Box 205, Oak Lawn, Ill. 60454-0205, enclosing $10 for an annual Ghost Trackers newsletter subscription, or $15 for a sustaining membership, which includes the newsletter and at least two yearly ghost investigation invitations, or $20 per annual membership, newsletter, ghost investigations, and newspaper clippings of ghost sightings and related supernatural happenings and haunted houses. Or send an addressed, stamped envelope to Mr. Kaczmarek for a copy of "Excursions Into the Unknown -- Legendary Tours of Haunted Areas," or phone (708) 425-5163 for tour information.
Various clubs and their addresses can be found listed in the 1991 Ninth Edition of Schroeder's Antiques Price Guide, available for $14.95 postpaid from Collector Books, P.O. Box 3009, Paducah, Ky. 42002-3009, or phone 1 (800) 626-5420 to order.
If you wish to organize a club and want to be listed in a future column, write to the address below. Enclose an address where collectors can write for membership information, and include details regarding the club and type of collectible.
Anita Gold can be reached by writing Anita Gold, Maryland Living, The Sun, Baltimore 21278. Selected questions will appear in her column. The volume of mail makes individual replies impossible. When writing sources listed in this column, enclose an addressed, stamped envelope for replies.