Amar Shah has a problem. He is addicted to tobacco cards, specifically the infamous T206 set issued by the American Tobacco Company from 1909 and 1911. The T206 set is where the famous Honus Wagner card comes from.
Why we went to this card guy's house, I do not recall. He worked at IBM and lived out by the middle school we were likely still attending. When I went to Vermont two months ago, I asked Ray about it, hoping he might remember some details (this was when I thought I might include some of my own card history in my review of Cardboard Gods). But Ray started asking me the same questions I wanted answers to. He thought we were in the eighth grade or so, which would have been the fall of 1976. I guess we were there to maybe fill some gaps in our burgeoning collections (but how we found out about this guy or how we arranged to go over there, I have no idea). It was a Sunday, there was football on the television, and stacks of cards everywhere.
Ray was interested in the 1971 Topps series, with the black border.
I ended up selling my cards in 1983. This was right before the card business took off like a rocket, so that was some fine fucking timing on my part. But I had not been buying cards for a couple of years and I desperately needed some money. I have a vague idea of what I got for the cards and the whole episode annoys me to this day. Not because of what I could have sold them for had I waited a few years, but because the money was gone in a relative eye-blink and I wish I still had a lot of the cards.
I'm very happy I hung onto my tobacco cards.