Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 12 seconds

Collections give attorneys a fun way to relieve stress.

When Tim Theisen, a lawyer in Anoka, Minnesota, wants to enjoy a few moments of his scarce free time, the television or the Internet aren’t the first places he seeks diversion. Instead, he unleashes his inner ‘pinball wizard’ by playing one of his five Rock and Roll-themed pinball machines.

Theisen has been exposed to various games of chance his entire life since his father works in the pinball and coin-operated machine industry.

However, he only began his pinball collection five years ago. “I wanted a house with a game room, but when I realized I couldn’t afford that, I thought I could just buy the games. They hold their value and I really like the R & R theme,” says the bankruptcy practitioner.

Ten years ago, Theisen bought a ‘Back to the Future’ pinball game from his father, which he sold to purchase the first of his Rock n Rock-themed machines.

That Ted Nugent model was soon joined by a Rolling Stones pinball game. Not long after, Theisen added an Elvis machine, then the Who’s ‘Tommy.’ His most recent acquisition is Elton John’s ‘Brown Dirt Cowboy.’ All the games play the music of the band it’s associated with.

Theisen keeps all five games at home, but if he buys another, one of the models will have to be housed in his law office.

He’d love to own the Rolling Stones’ new machine or an AC/DC game, but the cream of the crop would be the Kiss pinball game. Unfortunately, it’s very expensive and Theisen doesn’t think he would pay that much for a machine, if he could even find it. “The most I have ever spent (on a pinball machine) is $1,500," he says. "I won’t pay more than market value.”

It can be said that for Stacy Stern, collecting is old hat. That’s because the president of, headquartered in Mountain View, California, keeps “a lot of hats to protect myself from the sun because I have fair skin.”

She started her collection in the early 1990’s not only to as an antidote to the sun, but also because she enjoys wearing hats to a various outings. For example, Stern owns nice hats to wear at events, such as outdoor weddings, and she dons wide-brimmed versions when she takes walks.

She owns light, packable hats for travel and, despite living in California, keeps some winter hats, just in case. She doesn’t track how much she has spent on her hats, but it’s never been more than $50 for any single one.

She keeps her hats on a hat rack at home, but her collection outnumbers the availability of hooks. Because of that, she hangs some of the hats on a wall at the office, although, she says, most are her husband’s baseball caps.

Stern’s spouse of 24 years is Tim Stanley, CEO of Justia. As it happens, he collects sports caps. He caught the collecting bug after buying a Baltimore Orioles hat at Camden Yards in 2003, he says.

“I go to a lot of games and get a hat whenever I visit a new stadium,” he says. His collection is not an expensive one; the most he has ever spent on a hat is $30, although most cost between $15 to $20, Stanley says.

And why does he collect sports caps? Very simple: “I enjoy wearing the hats." Together, the couple collects photos of pug dogs. They have maintained a Facebook page titled ‘Hug Pugs,’ since, as Stern says, “We absolutely love pugs.” The page has developed a fantastic following with over 430,000 Facebook fans, she says.

Are you an attorney with an unusual collection? Weigh in below in the comments section.

Tami Kamin Meyer is an Ohio attorney and writer.

Last modified on Saturday, 12 April 2014
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