By Stephen Duell aka Spuds1961

I will start this article off by saying my wife and I did not meet in the usual way other couples meet, she being from Mississippi and I from New York. I worked for a stock clearing house in Manhattan called Midwest clearing and she worked for a company in Mississippi called Thorn, Alvis,and Welch. We had to talk to each other almost an hour everyday doing stock trades, this started in 1990. Two years down the road we knew we had to get together,so I flew into Mississippi to meet the person who probably knew more about me than anybody else, because you don’t spend that much time talking to someone without revealing things about your life.

 

I had a great time on my trip to Mississippi,we went to New Orleans and Memphis, Beale Street being my favorite as we went to B.B.King’s club and the atmosphere was great. I know you guys and gals are asking how this ties into our hobby of collecting cards, well when in Mississippi we had to go to K-mart for some things. I asked her to come to the card aisle with me and see what they had, well they had a lot of older boxes that I couldn’t find in New York and best of all they were marked down. After bringing the cards back to my hotel room she helped me categorize them and put them in order, right then I knew this relationship might be going somewhere.

 

We said our goodbyes and I boarded the plane thinking how I could get this girl to come to New York. I surprised her with a plane ticket and I also included one ticket to a Yankees vs.Royals game 2nd row first baseline, I was so excited that I was going to be able to share my other passion which was Yankees baseball. The day arrived and I picked her up at the airport and she came to my house. It was then that she realized my love of collecting was bigger than she thought, but guess what she was okay with it. We went to the Yankees’ game, and of course they beat the heck out of the Royals ,smart choice by me getting tickets for that game as the Royals had become the league’s whipping boys. We also did other things while she was visiting, like go to a Kenny G concert and a Broadway play, The Will Rogers Follies is what it was.

 

We had made trips back and forth as often as we could, and after driving 21 hours to Mississippi I proposed, thankfully she said yes or else that would’ve been a real downer to say the least. She moved to New York in the beginning of 1994, and also being a hockey fan you guys and gals know what that means, yes the New York Rangers finally won the Stanley cup no more chants of 1940 and no more listening to Islanders’ fans rubbing it in. I had to work on the day of the parade, but my future wife to be hadn’t yet found work and she went. She got some excellent pictures and giveaways which was a lot better than I could’ve expected. We were married on October 2nd of 1994 and moved into our own apartment. She found a job at Merrill Lynch and guess what? Her boss had the company box for Yankees, Rangers, and Giants games and he gave them to her a lot as he didn’t go to many games,talk about a job with benefits!

 

Fast forward to a little more than 3 years down the road, many great times with lots of sporting events and card shows under our belt. We were on vacation in Cape Cod and my wife had become ill, I thought it was bad seafood but on the way home we bought a pregnancy test just to make sure. I wasn’t really ready for a child yet, but whatever the test read I was gonna be happy. Sure enough it said positive and we were going to have a baby.

 

The months had passed and everything was going as smooth as a pregnancy in the New York summer could be expected to go, luckily her last trimester the weather started cooling off a bit. Here comes the two keepers in one day part, it was the morning of November 22nd and it was time to go check in at the hospital,on the way there we stopped at the Staten Island mall to pick up some needed things for our hospital stay. We also stopped in the card shop and bought 8 packs of Zenith hockey, I pulled the Gretzky champion salute insert in the 2nd pack, my wife says look honey I pulled the same card as you. Little did she know she had pulled the rarer,harder to get actual diamond chip version. Onto the hospital we went,after being in labor for over 20 hours the baby finally arrived. The doctor said welcome your new son into the world,my wife had this puzzled look on her face,she never told me that in a pre screening one of the nurses had told her it was gonna be a girl. I looked at her, laughed and said I knew the moment you pulled that Gretzky it was gonna be a boy, as that card will be his one day. Here in 2011 that card is now still in my son’s possession and it is treasured, not nearly as much as he is but someday he might have a son of his own to pass it onto and the story will just get bigger. Thanks for the read and take care Steve