Pearl Gunnerson, an avid antique souvenir spoon collector, kept her massive spoon collection in large black folding cases that filled bookshelves around her Winter Park, Florida, apartment.

Since she needed a wheelchair or walker to move around, Pearl would have her grandson, Scott, do her legwork. Before he was 10 years old, he was sent out to antique shops along Park Avenue with either cash or spoons to trade.

Surely she had set up the deals in advance on the phone and called to check on his progress. Once, he didn’t show up at the intended destination, and Pearl worried he was lost. Eventually, she found Scott on his way home, where he was questioned and scolded.

But he didn’t come back empty-handed. Despite going to the wrong shop, Scott brought back the spoon he was sent to retrieve. It took him longer than expected because a balking antique shop proprietor wasn’t prepped in advance. Scott had hit his shop cold and wouldn’t take no for an answer. The shop owner eventually relented and made the deal and the spoon became part of her massive collection.

That was little Scott’s first independent effort at spoon collecting.

Pearl Gunnerson passed away Aug. 1, 1981. She was 86 years old. At that point, Scott’s parents packed and stored the spoon collection.

More than 35 years later, while Pearl’s son, Jerry, was getting his affairs in order, a financial consultant suggested selling the collection just to save money on the safe deposit box.

But Scott didn’t think that was right and took charge of the collection. This blog is the story of that journey.