Those of you who have attended the Philly Non-Sports Card Show since it moved to the current location at Merchants Square Mall will probably recognize Cliff and Carol Tooker, our friendly helpers who man the admission desk. The Tooker’s have been friends of the Toser’s for many years and have also helped with NSU related activities for some time including the Philly Show and our auctions. Cliff also takes care of the subscription database for NSU.
Not knowing a whole lot about the trading card hobby, he was introduced to it by his friendship with the Toser’s. He has since become a bit of a collector himself and is now poised to release cards of his own. As you’ll learn from my brief interview with Cliff below, he is an ace photographer so leaping from photos to photo cards is probably not the largest of jumps. Those skills sure help when putting together a card set, however, and those who attend the upcoming Philly Non-Sports Card Show will be able to purchase his first five-card set for just $5 and aid two great charities in the process when the five-card set premiers at the show. In addition, five lucky Philly Show attendees will find a five-card set in their promo packs received with paid admission to the show.
Why did you decide to issue this series?
After finding out about the non-sport trading card community through my friendship with Marlin [Toser], my love of the natural world and photography found an outlet. The natural world and all its biosphere are indicators of how well we as caretakers are doing preserving it for future generations. As a photographer I can capture a moment in time to share with people, and hopefully inspire them to want to preserve it.
The Natural World card 4
I understand the proceeds are going to charity. Can you tell me who the charities are and elaborate why you chose them and how much is going to them?
The first two charities I will be giving the proceeds to are Audubon and The Nature Conservancy. Audubon because this first series is images of birds and their stated mission ” is to conserve and restore natural ecosystems, focusing on birds, other wildlife, and their habitats for the benefit of humanity and the earth’s biological diversity.” The Nature Conservancy because they are “the leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people.”
All profits (100%) will be split evenly between these organizations for this series. Future series will include The Nature Conservancy and other organizations depending on the nature of the images in that series.
I know you’ve been a photographer for many years. Have your photos been used elsewhere? I understand you have a book in the works. Can you tell me a bit more about that?
I have been a photographer my whole adult life. Before retiring I produced nature and travelogue programs. My last job was shooting sports for a local newspaper. Having polio as a child put me back into a wheelchair later in life, but I have always been good at finding ways to get out into nature. I do have a book in the works Wild Bird and Wildflower Portraits and after finishing editing work this week, the first softcover edition is being printed. I will have a few copies available at the show in September. The book includes images of my favorite birds and wildflowers from Pennsylvania and my travels.
Are you a card collector yourself? If so, what is your area of interest?
I was not a card collector till I met the Tosers, it was then my nature and science fiction interests found something to collect.
The Natural World card 3
Do you collect anything else besides cards?
Books, art glass, and fossils. Majoring in Paleontology in college started me down the Earth Science road, reading has always been a past time both Carol and I enjoy. Art glass because it’s amazing what an artist can do with molten glass.
Do you have other nature related card sets planned for the future?
Yes I have ideas for more in what I’m calling The Natural World. There is so much beauty in this world to preserve and photography has been used before to record events and show what was. I would like to use it to show what we need to protect for the future.
Be sure to stop by and talk with Cliff at the Philly Show and purchase your set. For those who can not attend, Cliff will be selling sets via his website (paxetc.com) after October 1. On or after that date, look for the store link at the bottom of the site.