When I was in sixth or seventh grade (1984 I guess?), I had no hockey cards. I never bought any. A friend of mine generously gave me a "brownback" of Tony Esposito (goalie cards for some reason being worth more in those days). No idea what date that meant. The serious card collector of my school gave me three hundred cards in exchange for it. Instant collection!
I lost a few of them in card-tossing games on the schoolyard, and battered up most of the rest of them pretty good (though not as badly as the mythical acquaintance of a friend of mine, who disdainfully used a Wayne Gretzky card as a noisemaker on his bicycle tires). They're now in a shoebox under my bed at my parents' place, if the mice haven't eaten them like they did my Patrick O'Brian novels. Who is in that shoebox? Can't remember at all. I have vague memories of Tony Tanti, Wilf Paiement, and Ron Duguay, no doubt because of their distinctive names... But since we didn't have a television, they were only names to me.
A worthless collection, no doubt, but a charming document of a particular time and place.