Starting Point

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The first time I saw this photograph, it was hanging in an antique store with a $50 price tag affixed to the lower right corner with Scotch tape. It was almost a decade ago, and while $50 is still a large amount of money to me, it was even more so then.

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So, instead of buying the picture, I decided to stare at it until I had memorized all of the details. Fifteen minutes later, I was still staring, but now I also was contemplating whether the picture would be worth the expense. I decided to think about it.

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I spent the next hour wandering around the store, but finding myself back at the picture every few minutes.

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I was not the only one who stopped to look. Amid the clutter, the photograph was like a magnet drawing everybody in the store to it. Like me, they all stopped to stare for long periods of time.

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As any collector can tell you, a piece that garners that much attention is not likely to stay put for very long. By the time the hour was over I had decided to buy it.

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It was the best $50 I ever spent.

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