So here it was 5:00am and I could not get to sleep, I was thinking about pins, and I asked myself how did I get started, and how did all this happen? So I got curious, and want to find out how you all got started so help me out and jot a few notes down and reply to this thread. I'm really curious what makes a person want to give everything up, sell everything they own, all for the sake of little pieces of art. My story as told by pinboy. It was the darkest time in our history, Disney lay in ruins, with no water, and no electricity the future looked bleak Attack fighters from the warring planet Macintosh, would occasionally fly by and take pot shots at what was once a proud Castle in the center of a now almost deserted park. The few of us left, would hide in the lower sections The enemy not able to detect us due to our pin vests covered with LE's Wait no stop wrong story. If you want anything done right you have to do it yourself. My son-in-law Malcolm was trading pins long before I even knew what a pin was, I remember making fun of him because of all the work and effort he put into it. Eventually the girls got into it and they wanted me to join in the fun, the wife fell victim soon after the girls did because she is super grandmother. I broke down and bought a lanyard, and a few pins traded here and there nothing serious mostly for the girls anyway. Then one night we lost Malcolm, and come to find out he's at the Contemporary trading pins, the family was furious, and was on their way there to kill him. Then we get there and I meet a lady called Pintrader goes by the real name of Kathryn, sweet lady has one of those lanyards around her neck, and a pinbag on her lap. I figure another one of those nut cases, but then something happen this lady who knows me from Adam, tells me to sit next to her so she can see my pins, now I know I'm wearing nothing but rack junk, but she is as nice as can be, and shows me her pins telling me a little story about each one. The stories were not mostly about the pins, but about the people she met and the places she's been to get the pins. So I got a little interested. I went to meets and was shy and quiet (yes me shy and quite) and I watched pintrader work. A few day ago she made a comment about me buying and giving away a pin, I cant count the number of times I have watched her do that, or give a child a really good pin out of her book for a flex pin. I know I goof on her from time to time about the pilot, shoes, and cell phone, but nothing could further from the truth, she's one of the most nicest people I know she may forget her pins but she will not forget the people. My post about her knowing everybody is true she does and they love her as well. You meet the woman and you instantly fall in love with her. Little unknown trivia about Pintrader did you know she's travels from the Daytona area every Friday for the pin meet that's about 200 miles total she puts on her car at her expense. So I came to the conclusion that its not about the pins its about the people its nice to have a pin that nobody else has yes, and its fun to show off your neat collection true, but I get a kick from trading with new kid pintrader just starting, or new people just starting out. I love to sit down and tell the story of my pins where they came from how I got them etc. The best part is I used to walk through Disney and not speak to soul, they were strangers now I speak to everybody, mostly kids come up to us to see our lanyards, people will stop us to ask question or they think we're cast-members. We have met and made friends with over 100 people, we have people we email and are friends with from California, to Australia (don't get me started about Australia) So to me its not about the pins I'm sure to some it is, those that go crazy on these things are labeled sharks, but what is your definition of a shark, my granddaughter was labeled a shark because she got a cool pin for a nothing pin, but the person really loved it and was happy with the trade, so shark I think not, and if you are a shark I'll trade with you, I like everybody I just know about my pins and know what to trade and not to trade. That's what I love about this hobby helping the newbie get to this point. With pins is seem we can cross the generation gap with no problem, an older person can talk to a younger person using the language of pins as a platform, also you can go to anybody wearing a lanyard and know you will get a friendly response. So here are my top ten reasons why I'm a pintrader. #10 the pins are cool and they are little pieces of art and fun to look at. #9 It's great to finally have a reason to look at a woman's chest and not get hit by a purse, now they welcome it (I'm kidding honey I'm looking at the pins) #8 A reason to go to Disney World every day. #7 Total strangers will come up to you and start a conversation. Its seems that wearing pins, is like wearing a sign that says I'm friendly talk to me. #6 Meeting new people while standing in line at events, and everybody is friendly never have I met a grouch or mean person. Even the sharks are friendly because you have cool pins. #5 I get to spend more time with the wife, since she is into this as well. #4 A common ground thing with my grandkids, I don't speak rap, or teen slang, but they speak pins so were good on one level. #3 anybody you see wearing a lanyard you are almost guaranteed a friendly response, and you will make a friend. #2 your senses will get sharper as you strain to see a lanyard from far away, and start to use that peripheral vision which makes you a better driver, and you get great exercise walking all over the parks surfing lanyards. The number 1 reason. You get to talk to cast-members, kids, tourist, anybody and everybody, and you all have a common conversational platform the language of pins. And you will make at least 2 new friends a day. Also I get to spend time with Pintrader (YESSSSSS) So if you're into pins tell me your story how did you get started? Who was your mentor? What was your coolest trade, and your coolest pin. My coolest pin is my Main gate 3030 pin, only nine pins made, given to original pintrading team, and since I'm a Star Trek nut I named mine seven of nine. (Voyager fans will know what I mean) My most memorable moment meeting most of you at the Pin event at Epcot, your all so darn nice.