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Back in the glorious summer of 1970 my family drove from California to Massachusetts for a vacation. It was there that I met my Cousin Paul. My life would never be the same.

I was ten years old.

Cousin Paul gave me a comic book. Where Monsters Dwell #1. It was reprints of monster comics from I think the early 1960s. Possibly Jack Kirby stories. A cyclops monster was on the cover, frozen in ice.

That’s all remember about it.

I was hooked.

For my trip back to California Paul gave me another ten comics or so. One of them was a coverless copy of Avengers #5.

I was hooked.

And now I had a 3000 mile drive across country with my Mom. I needed comics. I figured out pretty quickly where the comics were. They were at rest stops along the highway. Truck stops. Gas stations.

“MOM! I gotta use the bathroom!” That usually netted me a few comics.

I was hooked.

Captain America #132 stands out.

I was hooked.

I started buying every Marvel comic I could find. Superhero. Westerns. War. Millie the Model.

Even the romance comics.

I was hooked.

I amassed what I thought was a HUGE collection.

I tried to convince my mother to give me $250.00 to buy a Marvel Comics #1. But this was 1970 or 1971 and Mom wasn’t gonna give me $250.00 for a comic book.

That comic is probably worth $200,000.00 today. Mom did give me $2.00 to buy one back issue comic. That particular issue is probably worth about $2.00 today.

So now it’s 1971. Mom decides to move us all back to Massachusetts. I pack up my comics. I collect for another year or two.

Gerry Conway kills Gwen Stacy.

I can’t believe he kills her. Marvel Comics are dead to me. I hate Gerry Conway.

I was no longer hooked.

Comics get boxed up and forgotten.

A decade or so goes by. I get invited to play poker with my Cousin Paul.

He wins all my money and then some.

I owe him maybe $50.

Did I mention he owns That’s Entertainment in Worcester?

He suggests I work a Sunday or two for him to pay off my debt.

I do so. And BAM it hits me!

I was hooked.

I wanted to sell comics for the rest of my life! And that’s what I’ve done since October of 1983.