1756. This was exactly what Proctor expected the yardman to not know, this is what Proctor wanted to magnanimously point out to the junk yard proprietor, but instead he was bested yet again by the man and ended up buying the Andrea Doria, the Madonna, and an old photograph of a soldier faded beyond recognition in a small frame with a moth-eaten velvet mat.
1757. Proctor discarded the picture of the Madonna, and also the print of the Andrea Doria, but in his room there was a fireplace mantle for a non-existent fireplace, and on the mantle he put the picture of the soldier. The soldier’s new function was to constantly remind Proctor of his experience trying to get rid of his 54 Plymouth at the salvage yard, and gradually this recollection turned itself into the desire to create his own collection of bizarre unrelated objects.
1758. He wanted his own collection just like the Yardman had. His collection was not going to be accidental however; each object was to have a specific significance known only to himself. Each picture or object would commemorate an event, an idea, or some important part of his personal history. The collection would occupy his fireplace mantle. The significance of the objects would be enhanced by not being hung on the wall, but instead, placed on a shelf.