BUD MASON
                                      BUSINESS CARD COLLECTOR

HI,
MY NAME IS BUD MASON. I AM AN AVID COLLECTOR OF BUSINESS CARDS. THEY CAN BE OF ANYTHING AND FROM ANYWHERE. IT DOESN'T MATTER AS LONG AS THEY'RE IN GOOD CONDITION.
AS A MEMBER OF FOUR BUSINESS CARD CLUBS, THE INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS CARD CLUB, THE AMERICAN BUSINESS CARD CLUB, THE BLUEWATER BUSINESS CARD CLUB AND THE TENNESSEE BUSINESS CARD CLUB, I HAVE TRADED BUSINESS CARDS WITH PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD. AS I AM GETTING UP IN AGE, I HAVE FOUND THIS HOBBY TO BE VERY RELAXING AND ENJOYABLE. I ESPECIALLY LIKE TO COLLECT:
COLDWELL BANKER CARDS
CASINOS
ROSES
WISCONSIN CITIES
VERTICAL CARDS




HERE'S AN ARTICLE THAT WAS PUBLISHED RECENTLY IN THE JOURNAL-SENTINEL IN MILWAUKEE
REGARDING MY COLLECTION.

Business cards a collection of ordinary lives
Posted: June 13, 2006


Crocker Stephenson
E-MAIL
    

A reader writes:

"Can you imagine an 85-year (-old) senior collecting business cards as a hobby. That is me, Ralph Bud Mason."

Only vaguely, so I knocked on his door. He invited me in and handed me his card, which said: "Bud Mason Business Card Collector."

"Bud," he said, is short for "Buddy," his given middle name. His father came up with it. His mother was in the throes of delivery when his father said, "Here comes Buddy!" The name stuck.

Bud's been collecting business cards for decades. He guesses he has 150,000 or so cards. They are all either arranged, or in the process of being arranged. That's a big part of collecting business cards, figuring out how to arrange them. It may be the biggest part of collecting cards. Bud has met only a fraction of the people whose cards he owns. He trades with other collectors or buys in bulk - thousands at a time and for not much money.

Bud does not own any famous people's business cards. He's not interested in famous people's cards.

"I don't really go in for anything like that," he says.

Bud's cards belonged to ordinary people with ordinary jobs and ordinary businesses. He arranges the cards in plastic sleeves that he keeps in ring binders - a binder for this kind of card, a binder for that kind. In arranging them, Bud sets his world in order. One way to look at the collection is to see it as Bud's vision of ordinary life.

Bud, a widower, has a friend named Rose, and he has a whole binder filled with cards that are rose-related.

He has about 1,200. Robert Rose, of Rose School Uniforms in Willow Grove, Penn. Judy Sensintaffar, of Wild Rose Senior Home in Sequim, Wash. Rose Nail, of New York, N.Y.

He has about 660 cards arranged by Wisconsin municipalities. Big Flats Log Homes in Arkdale. Wegner Christmas Tree Farm in Butternut. Glenn's Farm Toys in Marathon.

He has 500 restaurants. Teddy's in Girard, Ohio. Chicken Express in Mineral Wells, Texas.

He has 70 with Harley-Davidson themes. The V-Twin Supermarket in Custer, Wash. Johanns Bar & Grill in Richford, Wis.

"They're not worth much to anyone who's not a collector," he says. "To you, they're scraps of paper. To me, they're something to do."

Bud has two other hobbies. He collects matchbooks. And he writes. He's considering getting rid of his matchbooks. And he's considering writing more.

The names of the people and places on his cards are evidence of a world that is ordinary but no less vast, one that is filled with people doing various things. The names are a kind of poetry. A mysterious code.

Bud thinks he may someday start calling the people whose cards he has collected. He would ask them about their lives, about what they do and how they do it. Then he would write their stories. Ordinary people. Ordinary lives.
He has decided he is really going to do this - call these people. But he hasn't yet.


Click to enlarge

Photo/Benny Sieu

Theyre not worth much to anyone whos not a collector. To you, theyre scraps of paper. To me, theyre something to do.

- Ralph Bud Mason,
business card collector


MY E-MAIL ADDRESS IS :writer8153222@yahoo.com
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEND ME ANY BUSINESS CARDS, MY ADDRESS IS:
BUD MASON
8526 W. KEEFE AVE.
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN
53222
U.S.A.
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