Things We Collect at Meerkat Meade

(Besides Star Wars toys and Legion of Super-Heroes comics)


It's not that we're exactly beach people. It's just that we have a lot of friends who are. Some of them started bringing back sand from the beaches they visited. Then Don decided that he had a beach collection, and began asking people to bring him sand.

Now we have samples of sand (and/or shells, stones, etc.) on display in the main hall here at Meerkat Meade. Some came to us in film canisters, medicine bottles, soft-drink bottles, shampoo containers, or plastic bags. Others were delivered in interesting little glass or plastic bottles. A few are officially-packaged beach souvenirs (we must not be the only beach collectors in the world.) Slowly but surely, we've been moving the samples into transparent or semi-transparent containers, to show them off better.

In one of our pictures of Frankenstein's Castle, you can see part of the beach collection.

Today our collection contains sand or rocks from more than 50 beaches, 2 rivers, a mountain, a desert, a fort in Texas, a volcano, and a notorious prison island. (The last are considered honorary beaches.) Here, in no particular order except left-to-right, are the ones whose labels have not fallen off through the years:


  1. Melbourne, FL
  2. Sonoran Desert, AZ
  3. Botany Bay, Australia
  4. Miami Beach, FL
  5. St. Augustine, FL
  6. Clearwater, FL
  7. Salida, CO
  8. Dewey Beach, DE
  9. Chincoteaque, DE
  10. Barbados
  11. Provincetown, RI
  12. Maui, HI
  13. Portmeirion, Wales
  14. Brighton, England
  15. Cassis, France
  16. "Yes, this is the Gulf of Mexico"
  17. Bermuda
  18. "Someplace in Eastern Texas that isn't Galveston"
  19. Ocean City, MD
  20. Race Point Beach, NH(?)
  21. Jerusalem, RI
  22. Freeport, Bahamas
  23. Nice, France
  24. Galilee, RI
  25. Tacoma, WA
  26. Maryland Beach, MD
  27. Niagara Falls, NY
  28. Virginia Beach, VA
  29. Lido, Italy
  30. Ring of Kerry, Ireland
  31. Waikiki, HI
  32. St. John's
  33. St. Thomas
  34. Knip Baai, Curacao
  35. Bloemen daal an de Zee, Netherlands
  36. Rehoboth Beach, DE
  37. Atlantic Beach, FL
  38. James River, VA
  39. Naples, FL
  40. Grand Cayman
  41. Myrtle Beach, SC
  42. Smathers Beach, Key West, FL
  43. Washington State
  44. Greneda
  45. Trepp Beach, Magothy River, Maryland
  46. Alcatraz
  47. Neys, WI
  48. Tha Alamo (Okay, it's an honorary beach...)
  49. Mount Saint Helens Ash (ditto)
  50. Carmel Beach, CA
  51. Tobago
  52. Great Salt Lake (we also have salt crystals)
  53. Monterey Beach, CA


Over 5,000 at the latest count, mostly science fiction and fantasy. A detailed inventory is under way, and probably will be for the rest of eternity.



(...Not living, he hastens to add.)

We've always liked the movie 101 Dalmatians. In fact, Don routinely grades all other movies on a scale of "1 to 101 Dalmatians." So it was inevitable, really, that we would start to collect dalmatians: stuffed toys, plastic figurines, soap dishes, ceramic banks, and all the rest of it.

A quick dalmatian census, counting only three-dimensional dalmatians (and NOT counting stuffed pigs who think they are dalamatians), reveals a current total of 27 scattered about the household. Your figures may vary.



Thomas is fond of saying that we do not watch a lot of television...we have a machine to watch television for us.

Long ago, we started to keep a catalog of our videos on the computer. At first this was a convenience; it quickly became a necessity. The latest edition of the catalog, at 109 printed pages, has 4760 entries. (Okay, many of these are cross-references and duplicates, but it's still a LOT.) We estimate that we are closing in on one thousand videocassettes, and that it would take nearly one solid year of viewing 24 hours a day to watch everything that we have.

We may have to get another machine to keep up....

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