I have a collection of framed memorabilia in my basement. On one wall is a copy of a Sports Illustrated cover advancing the 1991 NCAA championship game. It features former Kansas star Mark Randall and his autograph as well, alongside the headline “Can Kansas?” (The answer, sadly, was no. Duke won its first NCAA title in defeating the Jayhawks, 72-65.)
Framed with the cover is my big, colorful ticket stub to the game, dated April 1, 1991, with a photo of the Indianapolis skyline including the Hoosier Dome, site of the game.
I’m glad it’s framed. The ticket stub is going the way of the printed word: not completely vanishing but presented in digital form or — for those of us who still like to hold that piece of paper that says we can board a plane or get into an arena — available only in printable downloads.
There’s nothing wrong with being able to use your smartphone instead of a piece of paper — it’s environmentally sound, it eliminates the clutter in our lives, it’s harder for us to misplace. It just leaves you without that small piece of cardboard you used to tuck into drawers or pin to bulletin boards or paste into scrapbooks.