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James Edwin Hatfield tribute

Posted by Ted Hatfield on

When I first launched this web site, I mentioned my uncle, who first got me interested in all things vintage. Our families grew up around the corner from each other, so I had a lot of access to his knowledge. My uncle James was particularly interested in old coins and classic cars. When I was still in middle school, he taught me all about old coins. He showed me how to handle the rare ones, how to grade them and which ones to pursue. He would often leave me alone in his office and allow me to look through the entire collection and take it all in. Looking back, it was really something that he trusted a 10 year old boy with such a valuable collection. I made a lot of great deals as a kid and surprised a lot of much older coin dealers with what I knew.

My uncle James also had an amazing collection of classic cars. He had Cadillacs, Crown Vics, 1950s pickups, and a lot more. My first car came from his collection. I drove that 1965 Mustang for years, through high school and college. I sometimes wish I still had it. Sometimes, you have to let them go. My uncle eventually sold his entire collection for a very noble cause. It involved his granddaughter. I won't go into the details here, but Uncle James proved that family outranked his "stuff". Sometimes, you have to let them go.

I enjoy vintage/cool "stuff". I enjoy finding it, researching it, grading it, pricing it, and transferring it to the next "appreciator." Some of this stuff has such a great back story and is just so cool, that I'm tempted to just keep it, but sometimes, you have to let them go.

It's really been a long time since I had a good conversation with my uncle James about all things vintage. I'd really like that, but it will have to wait. My uncle James passed from this life at the end of August. That conversation will be on that beautiful shore. Till then, I can hang on to those great memories and all of that knowledge he passed down to me, but as much as we want to hang on to those who influence us...sometimes, you have to let them go.

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