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What are the haps my friends

March 7th, 2008: Many thanks to everyone who emailed me their WWII memorabilia stories! I haven't had a chance to write everyone back yet and I might not, so I wanted to mention them here.

I haven't gotten this much response to a comic in a while: it seems a lot of people are in the situation of having, or seeing that they one day will have, a collection of this stuff. I've gotten emails from people with Nazi pots, beltbuckles, flags, uniforms, binoculars - along with people who have received "comedic" old records with titles like "A Darkie Story", or, you know, found signed business cards from 1950s-era KKK Grand Wizards in library books. It's interesting reading how people have confronted stuff like this: history that we'd rather not be reminded of, but which we shouldn't forget.

There were some great suggestions about what to do with my Nazi pin: sell it and donate the proceeds to a charity, give it to a museum (which doesn't work for the pin, as it's not that rare, but which does work for other stuff), or donate it to people who do education work (like history teachers): people who would have a use for it and wouldn't mind that it's common. I'm not sure what I'll do with it yet, but it was really interesting to read what other people have done in this situation. Many suggested I hold on to the pin, saying that that right now its biggest value is of this reminder of the past, and how it makes history seem more personal, more concrete.

If you're interested, here's what it looks like. It's item "C" there, only the one I have is less worn.

One year ago today: INCREDIBLE BUT TRUE: if you have a story about a boy meeting a plant, then i'm sorry, but that is not a real story. NANCY MCARTHUR, you get a pass

– Ryan

big ups and shouts out