In this case, “voyeur” means a person secretly watching others’ information.
“Hunh,” you’re thinking, “What do you mean?”
Let’s take a look at an example:
It’s amazing what can be found hidden in proof sets, mint sets and other numismatic collectibles. Many times the personal information provides insights into the previous owners’ lives. In this instance, the “voyeuristic” information provides a small glimpse into the lives of Stevie and Pop-Pop in 1958. It also makes one wonder about the rest of their lives.
How old was Stevie? Was he old enough to become interested in coins? Or, was he disappointed that Pop-Pop didn’t give him a toy for his birthday? How many sets did Pop-Pop give Stevie that year?
Just guessing, but from his words, Pop-Pop is most likely Stevie’s paternal grandfather. By telling Stevie to “ask Daddy” about the coins, did Pop-Pop first encourage his own son to learn about coins? It appears he was successful, but how successful? With his gift in December 1958, was this Pop-Pop’s first attempt at intriguing Stevie with coins?
Since the coin set containing the letter was recently purchased, did Stevie keep the set for over 50 years, just now deciding to sell Pop-Pop’s gift from 1958? Or, was the set sold long ago and other owners just did not remove Pop-Pop’s letter from the set?
What does Stevie do today? Did Stevie not catch the numismatic collecting bug? Could Stevie’s father have left his collection to Stevie? Did Stevie need money in a tough economy and choose to sell his legacy from his father and grandfather?
Was Cindy Stevie’s younger or older sister? Did Pop-Pop perhaps try to interest Cindy in coins as well? Or, did Pop-Pop think that girls couldn’t or shouldn’t be interested in coins?
As for Pop-Pop, was he a New Jersey snowbird going to Florida to escape the cold New Jersey winter? Or, was Pop-Pop just taking a December vacation in Florida’s warmer climate?
Imagination is a wonderful thing. This letter teases the imagination with many different scenarios to fill in the blanks of Pop-Pop and Stevie’s lives in 1958 and through today.
Though, one also wonders, could the letter from Pop-Pop have contained more value to Stevie than the set itself? Would Stevie be disappointed to know that he left the letter in the set when it was sold? Does Stevie have fond memories of Pop-Pop? Could this letter be a fond remembrance of a grandfather that’s been gone for several years?
We hope Stevie remains interested in coins today and that he remembers Pop-Pop every time he views a set similar to the one Pop-Pop gave him in 1958.