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“A Cardboard Weekend of Firsts—The Brotherly Love Card Show and Topps RIP Night.” Part—1 (The Prequel)

Updated: Jun 18

My Hobby Blog/Vlog Story of the Month details the sights and sounds of a weekend of Hobby 1st and my personal and vulnerable exploration of what these two experiences meant to me, how they have shaped my collecting journey as a Black Collector, and how I can help move the hobby forward in becoming more accessible and inclusive. 

Since returning to the hobby during the global pandemic in 2020, I have experienced several memorable cardboard moments that I can count on both my hands and feet multiple times. These memorable cardboard moments I have experienced during my second hobby run over the past four years continue to shape my constant evolution as a collector. While I am grateful that these cardboard experiences have elevated my PC, enhanced my creativity when making cardboard content, and enabled me to join new hobby circles. Often, I find myself circling back to my collecting days from my first hobby run to explore the cardboard experiences I didn’t have access to or completely missed out on. When I partake in these reflective first hobby run moments, the one cardboard experience that I constantly think about is having the opportunity to attend a card show in downtown Philadelphia near my neighborhood. 

I am a product of North Philadelphia—born and raised, and when cards entered my life as an eight-year-old, I fell in love with them. As I began to build my cardboard collection, I did it without formally understanding “the hobby” and the awareness of what collector experiences were supposed to look, feel, and sound like. Despite my lack of understanding and awareness, I still jumped into “the hobby” head and feet first. It’s been twenty-eight years since I opened my first pack of cards, and even though I could not identify or articulate the ideas and concepts that pollinate what my current hobby experiences as a collector, community participant, and content creator look, feel, and sound like today. Today, I am incredibly grateful that I had the opportunity to complete most of my missed and inaccessible cardboard experiences from my first hobby run—except one, attending a card show at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

In the words of Biggie… “It was all a dream!” However, my hobby dream became a reality when the founders of the Brotherly Love Card Show revealed on their IG page that their next show would be at the Pennsylvania Convention Center—a cardboard dream come true!

Attending a card show at the Pennsylvania Convention Center was a cardboard experience I could not miss—this card show was my National! Why? 

  • First and foremost, the show was in close proximity to my North Philly stomping grounds. 

  • Second, Septa transportation throughout Philly and the suburbs is a great scenic ride to the PA Convention Center.

  • Third, the PA Convention Center is surrounded by some of the East Coast's most incredible cuisine/eatery wonders (i.e., Reading Terminal, Chinatown, etc.). 

When thinking about these three key factors, I immediately went back in time, and I visualized how these three key factors would have shaped and extended my cardboard experiences as a kid from North Philly. I also visualized how this experience would have shaped my cardboard exile years in the mid-to-late ‘90s and early 2000s. While I can only imagine how dope it would have been to collect cards during my exile years, one action became very clear as February 24th drew near—I could not experience this cardboard weekend of firsts alone.

I needed a sidekick!

Skylar with her 1975 Popbilder Med Punkt III Michael Jackson Card, – PSA NM 7 (Pop 2 w/ only four higher)

Whenever I do anything related to cards, whether going to card stores or local card shows, my youngest of three, Skylar, is always my partner in crime. As a young Pokemon, Michael Jackson, and sports card collector, Skylar, with her extensive list of interests (i.e., soccer, basketball, toys, art, video games, and books), has truly embraced the art of being a cardboard collector in her most authentic way. When I told Skylar that we were taking a train ride into downtown Philadelphia to attend The Brotherly Love Card Show, her eyes lit up with excitement, and she was smiling from ear to ear. Now, I don’t know if Skylar was smiling more for the train ride because she loves trains or because she was about to experience a Daddy-Daughter day where the word “NO” would be off-limits. In my heart, I hope Skylar’s excitement centered around cardboard; however, even though Skylar loves cards, I knew it was the latter because Skylar knows whenever she and I go out on our Daddy-Daughter outings, my wallet is always at her beckoned call—-yup, she knows when to take advantage of me. So, with my sidekick in place and our plan to experience the 1st card show at the Pennsylvania Convention Center, all I could do was wait patiently as each day drew closer to my childhood cardboard dream come true.

To Be Continued…

Keep Collecting,


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