Crafty

The storyteller

Every picture tells a story, but what about every spoon? Or national park badge? Or crushed penny? If you’re New Belgium co-worker Michael Craft (aka Crafty) then, yeah, all of those items have the potential to carry the significant weight of a memory, a journey, an anecdote. Some storytellers keep a journal, while others use photographs to jog a memory. Crafty? He’s a storyteller through his expansive collection of novelty items.

“When people come over to have a beer or just to hang out, the general reaction is ‘Oh, you collect spoons.’”

Hanging up inside his small 600-square-foot home in Asheville, N.C., you’ll find a large collection of novelty spoons from various parks and places around the world. Inside the bathroom is an immaculate collection of crushed pennies. In a box—boxes, actually—you’ll find all of his other memories, neatly tucked away and organized until the time is right to walk down memory lane.

On the surface, it might seem an odd hobby, and Crafty’s the first to admit it’s a bit peculiar. But his genuine love for earning a badge (or penny, or spoon), and the obvious passion he derives from telling the stories surrounding those items hints at a much deeper and heartfelt motivation than just amassing a quirky collection of Americana memorabilia.

“[These items] just remind me of a moment in time that hopefully I won't need all these things to remember when I'm 80 years old—but it’s probably going to help.”

Get a closer look at Crafty's collections in the gallery below.

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