by Kristy Wilson
to obliterate mistakes, erasers are tools often pushed to the back
of crowded desks. To Joe Gorleski of Bel Air, though, erasers mean
With a collection
of more than 1,600, Gorleski has developed a special attachment
to his erasers. (Actually its 2,000 erasers)
collecting baseball cards or bottle caps, Gorleski began collecting
erasers when he was about 14 years old. It began on a school field
trip to the Baltimore Aquarium, where he spent $10 on sea life erasers
in the gift shop. On another field to the Maryland Science Center
(Smithsonian Institute), Gorleski once
again spent $10 on erasers.
Then it was
considered a collection. After that, everywhere Gorleski traveled,
he bought erasers.
have never stopped. Before I knew it, it was a collection."
said Gorleski, 31.
for eraser-collecting has failed to subside.
he was even considering building a house out of small pink erasers.
(A small, displayable house)
the Internet, Gorleski said he finds other eraser-crazen people
willing to trade him erasers he might not have, which is how he
increases his massive collection. Friends and family also give Gorleski
erasers as presents.
(could) double my collection in five
years," he said.
have never seen his collection before are amazed, Gorleski said.
He is still amazed at his own collection.
Once in a while,
when he as time, he'll spend hours looking at all the erasers. (I
have never spent an hour looking...15 minutes maybe)
gotten numb to it," Gorleski said.
wife, Christine, isn't as impassioned about the collection, she
understands the importance of the collection to Gorleski.
how important it is to me. We're both proud of it," Gorleski
Every few months
(years), Gorleski and his wife spend
an entire day cleaning all 1,660 (2,000)
are first dumped into a bucket of soap (soapy
water) and towel dried. Then they are placed in Armor-All
and towel dried.
Placing all the erasers back on their shelves takes
more than four hours, Gorleski said, but it's worth it because it
keeps the eraser in good condition.
"Not too many people realize that people collect
erasers," he said.
Cringing at the thought of ever using his erasers for their intended
purpose, Gorleski built two wooden cases to hold his collection
of about 1,660 erasers, almost none of which are the conventional
pink desk erasers. (NONE are conventional
erasers) He has an entire room devoted (?)
to his erasers, where visitors are always (?)
taken to see the collection.
His first dimensional
erasers were dolphins, sea horses and sea lions. His most recent
erasers, of which he is very proud, are about 300 made in Japan.
ones are the best," Gorleski said.
$1 each, these extremely detailed erasers range from penguins to
fruit baskets to hot dogs and ice cream cones.
is carefully designed, and instead of using paint to create different
colors, the manufacturer pieced together different colored erasers.
know who could use these," Gorleski said, pointing to the row
in one of the cases devoted entirely to Japanese erasers.
include Cabbage Patch Kids, cigarettes, binoculars, a vacuum cleaner,
Transformers, Alf, "The Wizard of Oz" characters, Gumby
and Pokey, a screwdriver, an orange toilet, Snoopy, a hairdryer,
My Little Ponies, an Empire State Building, the Statue of Liberty,
Bart Simpson and hundreds more.