Toepel isn’t just a convention-addict: He’s also a habitual collector of political memorabilia.
“I have confetti from the floors of conventions. I have signs from all the conventions,” he said. And now that he’s older, he’s giving much of it away.
“I’m in the process of donating my collections,” he told TheDC. In February he gave Lakeland College in Wisconsin his stockpile of buttons, signs and invitations from presidential inaugurations dating back 100 years.
“The Smithsonian already has my United States Senate collection. … I have campaign buttons, stickers or pens from every senator who has run in the last 25 years.”
And Toepel isn’t getting them on eBay.
“I’m not a computer person,” he said. “I write them letters, donate a dollar to their campaigns for postage, and — it was something I got hooked on. Some people collect stamps. Some people collect postcards. I collected senators.
“My kids are interested in politics, but — you know — not like me.”