For some reason, I’m always drawn to stories about collectors, and this one is a good one. A New Jersey man has been collecting TV Guide magazines since the 70s.

Gary Frisch of Laurel Springs told the Daily Journal that he started collecting the magazine in 1975 when he was nine. But disaster struck: his mother threw out his collection! So, what did Gary do? He started over again, of course.

He now has almost every issue from 1977-2005, when TV Guide dropped its original format. He’s turned his hobby into a moneymaker, too; he has a website, mytvlife.tv, on which he sells personalized framed certificates with all sorts of television information from the day you were born (or any day you choose). It can also tell you what was #1 for the week or the season and what people were talking about.

On his site, Gary describes TV Guide as more than just a magazine; it is, he says it is “a lens into American history and popular culture. From the premiere of the first big miniseries, Roots, and the Frost-Nixon interviews, to the many Olympic Games, to national tragedies, to the dawn of the VCR age, TV Guide reported on it – and how television viewers were reacting to it.”

The website also tells the tale of Gary’s collection, how he stored it under plastic in his parents’ basement, and how, when he moved out, his mother kept collecting issues for him, saving them in chronological order.

I admire the dedication and discipline it takes to amass such a collection.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.

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