Offbeat: Hammer Collector

MAY 22, 2006--Posted at 8:45 a.m.  CDT

PARAGOULD, AR--Lester Forbes never met a hammer he didn't like.  Forbes has been collecting hammers for more than 40 years and has nearly 1,000.

Forbes has been in the tire business in Paragould for 40 years and has worked with plenty of tools, but the hammer is his favorite.  He buys most of them at flea markets and yard sales, paying $1 to $2.50.  At las count he had 926 hammers of all shapes and sizes, made of wood, brass, steel, and even titanium.

Forbes says he began his collection because his wife would take his hammer and he could never find one when he needed it.  He says he won't sell the collection, not even for $10,000 and seldom uses any of them.  Forbes says he just likes looking at them and dreaming about the stories they could tell.