Chicago - it was their first trip to the big city. What a fantastic time we all had! We took in the Field Museum, the Art Institute (so they could see the "Ferris Bueller" artworks), Navy Pier, Michigan Avenue - all of those fun Chicago things.
At the end of the first night, my niece Mia and I were going through all of our collected ephemera of the day: ticket stubs, receipts, flyers, etc. Apparently she takes after her Auntie in this regard - she saved one of everything (and at the end of the trip, she even saved her key card!). I saved all of my stuff too, of course.
As we were walkng along Michigan Avenue on Sunday morning I happened across a used parking valet stub (it's in the above photo in the lower right-hand corner); it was probably only a day or two old but it already had that wonderful weather-worn look to it. So naturally I picked it up and put it in my pocket. Mia and Nat both asked me what it was and I showed it to them, and they each gave me a knowing glance. The three of us have been creating art together for so long when they come to the house that they know full well how the ticket stub is going to be used.
But this got me thinking - is there a line between Souvenir and ephemera ("Souvenir" being capitalized from here on out due to its importance. :D)? Should there be, and if so, where is that line? To me (and now Mia too, apparently!), anything can be a Souvenir. But is there a hard-and-fast rule in Ephemera Land that delineates? Does a "true" Souvenir have to be something that's paid for, like a keepsake program from an event? Do ticket stubs automatically qualify as Souvenirs or is the beauty of that ticket in the eye of the beholder (or rabid collector)?