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Local collectors show off their shotglasses.


Q: What do a nurse, a video store manager, and the owner of a car garage have in common?

A: They all collect shot glasses.

For the last ten years Tammy Deppert, a youthful 42-year-old with carefully applied makeup, manicured nails, and not one blonde hair out of place, has collected shot glasses. It started out as kind of a joke for Deppert, who works as a manager at Flicks 'n' Pics.

Tammy Deppert's collection

But when she inherited a bar from a family friend and put it in her living room, she got serious. The glasses sit arranged carefully on shelves next to the bar. Close attention has been paid to the décor, in a way that matches Deppert's well-groomed appearance. The bar even has a name, the Tiki Lounge, with cocktail umbrellas and a fake parrot to go with the theme.

Her friends and customers picked up most of the 50 shot glasses while traveling. "It's hard to pick a favorite," she said. "It's really meaningful that friends and customers take the time to get them for me."

Her first foreign shot glass came from England and has a picture of the Beatles on it. Another glass has a picture of a witch and came from Salem, Mass. She has one Buffy the Vampire Slayer glass that she ordered off E-bay, and has her eye on one from Sex and the City.

It's taken former Texan Carla Richardson 25 years to collect her 150 shot glasses. She displays them in her study on handmade shelves her father built, arranged geographically by region and representing most of the 50 states. The glasses are clean, not because she uses them, but because she dusts them every two months.

Like Deppert, Richardson's collection includes glasses from around the world that friends gave her as souvenirs. Her favorite is a hand-painted Costa Rican countryside. An AIDS patient of hers in Texas gave it to her. "He took his last trip and brought me back this glass," she said.

Richardson now works as a nurse in the surgical intensive care unit at Sacred Heart. She says the hardest things about moving to Eugene were learning to be politically correct and taking the time to sort her recycling.

Tom Arnold is many things: an art lover, business owner, writer, skier, and yes, shot glass collector. But his collection is a little different from Richardon's and Deppert's — he collected all 60 himself.

When he started skiing 25 years ago, he decided to collect a shot glass from every ski resort he visited. The resorts include Whistler Blackcomb, Steamboat and all the Oregon resorts except Hoodoo, which has never had a shot glass as far as Arnold knows.

He doesn't make a big deal out of his collection, preferring to display it in a corner of his living room. "I would like to display them on shelves, but I need my wall space for more important things, like art," he said. Indeed, the art in his home is quite striking, as are the deer that often wander through his backyard. "Car Talk" plays on his radio, which seems fitting for the owner of a car garage. Arnold still loves to ski, although he has been spending less time on the slopes since he began devoting every Sunday to writing his novel.

Although Deppert, Richardson and Arnold all place different levels of importance on their collections, one thing is clear — they collect more than just shot glasses. They're collecting memories of people and places and dreams of journeys they have yet to take.


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