In July of 2011, I discovered the world of brick collectors on a whim.  A few weeks earlier, I had just decided to start scouting around my community for brick “recovery sites”.  While on the way to Athens, for a reason I can not recall, I took a side trip through Nelsonville and then took a wrong turn.  As it turned out (for me) it was a right turn.  I saw a giant pile of bricks in what looked like an abandoned lot and a car with a dead battery in the lot.  While we assisted the car in distress (and the somewhat shady occupants inside) – I was looking at the wide variety of bricks on the pile making note of what I had seen before and what I had not.

At this point, a gentleman came out from a nearby house and noticed my interest in the pile of loot.  He then gave me the number to call of his neighbor just a few houses down who happened to own all of the bricks.  I called the guy, hoping to buy a few bricks from him.  he told me to take 1 or 2 of my choice and he gave me a date for when he was doing the first Nelsonville Brick Festival in a few weeks.

I came down a few weeks later….but on the tail end of the brick swap.  I had just one brick to trade.  I was amazed by the number of people at this swap as well as the license plates showing where all of these people had come from…to trade to talk about bricks and blocks.  Later in the day I went on a scavenger hunt through Nelsonville (as part of the festival) and picked up several bricks I had never heard of for what I had now (as of that morning) decided would be the nucleus of my All Ohio Brick collection.  I also made note that I had to come back in 2012 for the next brick swap.

The turnout for the 2012 was a lot smaller, but it was much more productive and informative for me.  I would say 15 to 20 people were present.  I brought 20 bricks down with me to trade and give away (I did not want to take any back) – in exchange, I got several that I did not know existed and I picked up a lot of brick lore on individual bricks.  The crowd was mostly local and largely older than me but I felt right in place and enjoyed the opportunity to pick up some bricks without having to forage or get dirty.

There will be a large brick swap and festival in Athens in 2013 so stay tuned to B.O.B. for details or a link.

The upside / downside of the swap was that there were a lot or bricks there I have never seen.  Some I picked up.  Others I did not, the ones I did not bring back with me are shown below….to help me remember to trade for them in the future.