He's Doug Smith, which isn't much help, but he lives in Bettendorf. I'm emailing a photo I saved of him from the newspaper, and the newspaper article. Maybe you'll recognize him. It says he was 45 in 2004. Maybe from the info in the article (his job at Genesis?), someone can find a contact number. I don't know if he still sells on eBay or not. I did a quick check and couldn't find him.
Q-C man's hobby is one for the books
Posted Online: July 04, 2004, 12:00 am Bookmark and Share
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By John Marx, firstname.lastname@example.org
On one shelf sits a 1926 Dixon High School yearbook, and inside of it is a handwritten note from a 15-year-old sophomore everyone called "Dutch."
On another shelf rests an 1893 Iowa Hawkeye yearbook from State University of Iowa and a 1908 Davenport High School yearbook, believed to be the earliest of its kind locally.
In all, there are more than 3,000 yearbooks -- 1,000 of them from Quad-Cities area schools -- in the collection of Bettendorf's Doug Smith, a biomedical technician for Genesis Health Systems.
He also owns 10,000 records (45s and albums) and other collectibles, including a baseball autographed by Babe Ruth, which are tucked away in safe-deposit boxes. However, his yearbook collection is the 45-year-old's passion.
"My hope is people will come forward with more yearbooks and help provide more information," said Mr. Smith, who has gathered his collection from yearbook distributors, high schools and the Internet. "It's been an interesting journey. I'd love to write a book chronicling celebrities from the Quad-Cities, a sort of `then' and `what happened to' kind of book."
Mr. Smith owns several yearbooks featuring national celebrities, including the late Buddy Holly, Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Ann-Margret, Rock Hudson, Pete Rose and Charlton Heston. Mr. Smith even has an eighth-grade yearbook that carries the signature of executed serial killer Ted Bundy.
"I just called LeBron James' high school and asked to have a copy of their yearbook sent to me," Mr. Smith said. "They were out, but the distributor did sell me one. I thought it might be a good idea when it looked like he would become a star (in the NBA)."
But Mr. Smith's favorite yearbook is the one containing Ronald "Dutch" Reagan's handwritten note.
"The note was to a classmate that he hoped to get to know better," Mr. Smith said.
Mr. Smith said the heart of his collection is the group of yearbooks that feature famous Quad-Citians. He has books featuring Rock Island's George "Sonny" Franck (a member of college football's Hall of Fame), Eugene Ely (the first pilot to land an airplane on a ship), Buddy Lundahl (of Buddy-L Toys), Jock Mahoney (a Hollywood stuntman who also played Tarzan in two movies), jazz drummer Louis Bellson, actress June Haver, and musician Bix Beiderbecke.
"Finding famous Quad-Citians is what fuels my search," Mr. Smith said. "The project takes up part of every day, and I have never found it to be boring."
And the book?
"That will happen," said Mr. Smith of "Collecting Yearbooks From the Quad-Cities ... And Who Interesting and Famous Can Be Found in Them." "But I'm not sure when it will be complete. I don't think the book will signal the end of my collecting yearbooks, because I'm having too much fun with it."