—By Marvin P. Paul—
GuitarsRockin' it out at Carneros Studios with a B.C. Rich Warlock NJ Deluxe (Firebird in background) I remember as a kid having a key chain collection. The one that sticks in my mind was a rabbit’s foot. Not very lucky for the hare! I was a fiend for Wacky Packages and still think it would be cool to have some of that original art. My father and I had a cheap pocket knife collection that never did seem to have a sharp blade in the bunch. To this day, I never make the claim to have a sharp knife, but I always have a serrated blade. I was very proud of my record collection but that is a bygone era that seems to be making a comeback? The only valuable vinyl was the obscure Heavy Metal. Most of that went to eastern Europe when I sold it off. I do have 15 guitars! That counts as a collection, right? Pinnacle piece is a 1964 Gibson Firebird III. But none of these compare to my frisbee collection of over 5000 pieces.
I started playing disc golf in ‘81. It was the summer after I graduated from high school and I loved it! At that first round at Veterans Park in Sylmar, California, I was introduced to Wham-O / DGA Midnight Flyers! These would become a main focus in my collecting. I have played all these years because like most activities I start, I just keep doing them—like skateboarding, snowboarding, wakeboarding and fishing! Had to throw in fishing because I did not want to “board” you to death.
The Complete Book of FrisbeeVictor Malafronte World Class Frisbee 141GScribble signature I played my first Disc Golf tournament in ‘91. It was in Sonoma and it was hosted by the UFOS. I had lost a disc during that event and had no backup so after that I had lots of backup discs. Then I started with custom stamped discs—next thing I know, I have a few hundred discs and counting! In 1998, Father Victor Malafronte came out with The Complete Book of Frisbee, not only did it have a price guide but it gave me a focus on what to look for. Until then, I would stop in at places like Discovering the World and ask them to sell me something cool. Brother Dan Mangone and Brother Mark Molnar thought I was crazy. I did not know much about plastic outside of golf discs. I walked away with a Wham-O 50 mold with a scribble signature. Later looking to get my first pie tin I was talking with Dan on the phone, I bought it sight unseen (before you could send a pic via phone) and once again I was making crazy impressions about my obsession with discs.
The Complete Book of FrisbeeRalph Williamson's collection Saint Ralph Williamson, PDGA # 10, was in Victor’s book, and there were photos of Ralph’s museum on the back cover. Later, when I was in the Seattle area, I had to stop by—super cool, tons of stuff and it was all for sale! I believe it was 2006 when I pulled the trigger on Ralph’s collection and went from a collector with 500 discs to 5000. My wife Lisa thought I was a nut but supported me. I was about to get an instant education on the old stuff. It was so cool to go through his plastic and find treasures: Pros, Super Pros, Sailing Satellites, Flying Saucers, Midnight Flyers. He had lots of Wham-O stuff and was really into Pluto Platters. I was on eBay selling off things that I was not sure about (so I could buy other discs). I sold several things to Father Phil Kennedy.
Pluto Platter—WPP5 Double Esker Pluto Platter One day I found myself in Manchester, Connecticut, playing Wickham Park when I noticed one of the holes was sponsored by Phil. I was playing with a local that had his number, and I was invited to come over for a chat. I remember Phil’s office; it had a timeline of discs and most were in yellow, very interesting. Turned out Phil was a collector of Pluto Platters. We talked about the different re-toolings. I had several from Ralph’s collection but was missing the “hard-to-find” Plutos. We talked about the Palmeri/Jensen timeline. I remembered that there was not a picture of the double esker in Victor’s book, and when Phil produced one, I had a new collecting purpose. I had been interested in all things flying plastic but this was the moment when the hook was set! Then to drive the point home, Phil comes out with a book he co-wrote with Saint Fred Morrison; Fred made the first plastic flying disc in 1948.
Phil worked several trades that helped me get some of the other hard-to-find Wham-O Pluto Platters. I bought and traded with others like Brother Charlie Burke, Father Lyle Jensen and Father John Kirkland. I even found three American Trends Plutos, two on eBay and one from 8X Master Freestyle Champion, Brother Joe Messner. I went deep down the rabbit hole finding several “hard-to-find discs,” many in the package. Later Lyle pointed out all the different bags and header cards. Lyle has a real eye for nuances in flying discs. His Pistol Putt made a real impression on me and my boys in Toronto a few years ago!
American Trends Pluto Platter Pluto Platter—WPP2Red on White 59 cents Header Pluto Platter—WPP3Pluto Platter bag with Games Are Fun, red on yellow header card Pluto Platter—WPP788 cents Header with "Yellow Bar" no Pluto Platter Bag
I had Father Donn Blake come to my house with many “hard-to-find” collectables but even better were the stories he shared having run the Jr. Frisbee® Championships for many years, as well as many other promotional events. Early disc golf courses had Around Nine putting stations—thanks to Donn for that idea, Ed would install Around Nine stations as he spread courses around the country.
Set of 70C mold Midnight FlyersCertificate of Authenticity from Farina Headrick I had an opportunity to help Farina (Saint Ed Headrick’s wife) sell some classic collectables, from Midnight Flyers to early DGA discs and other things like embroidered outfits, posters and early International Frisbee Association items.
I started the Vintage Cup Disc Golf tournament in ‘95. The last several years I would do a disc display of 150 discs or so, and it was fun to have them out for viewing—it got me to start a website of my collection. You can find it at www.marvinsflyingdisccollection.com. Many folks contact me and it just keeps the collecting juices flowing!
Carneros Studios Barn The collection has had many homes, from my garage, to a secret man cave basement, to storage and now at Carneros Studios. I've had visitors travel from near and far, always a good time chatting plastic. Even with all the cool plastic I have, there is always room for upgrades so I keep my eyes open to see what turns up. I will be collecting discs for the rest of my days. I am glad that I have four kids, and now grandchildren that like disc sports—like they had a choice! Love getting out to the course and playing. The other day I was in Berkeley playing with my oldest grandson, just like I did with his dad and his brother and sisters.
For the last three years, my wife Lisa and I have been building a barn that will have a music and art studio, and notably house Marvin’s Flying Disc Collection. Take a moment to check out our website at www.carneros-studios.com. Be sure to register to join our community of Friends and Family so you can stop on by and we can talk plastic.
About the Author:
Marvin (#7044) loves music and while he picked up the guitar and bass in his 40s, he quickly developed a band, grew with old and new friends in his love of music, and now is developing a state-of-the-art recording studio to share that experience with music artists of all genres. Marvin has traveled to learn, experience, and see what combination of equipment and vibe makes the most creative and successful environment for artists to create the work they dream of. There is only one thing that Marvin has more than guitars and that is flying discs. Marvin has been a collector of flying discs for 30 years & the collection is over 5000. The flying discs have come home to Carneros Studios to share with Friends & Family.