Stacy Waldman loves Dick pics. “I’ve got big Dicks, little Dicks, Dick dates, Dick destinations, driving Dicks, friends play with Dick, lady Dicks….” Waldman lists a few other categories, but it’s abundantly clear that she’s sitting on a lot of Dicks. As a matter of fact, Waldman has so many Dick pics, she decided to publish a book full of them. And yes, her book is called “Dick,” and yes, her hard Dick have already sold out — hardcover, that is.
To clarify, Waldman is a dealer and collector of vintage photography and collects photos of people, places, and things named Dick. It wasn’t something she planned, but dicks were always on her mind.
“People annoy me all the time,” she confesses. “I would get annoyed with someone in the public sphere and take a picture of the back of their head and post it on Facebook as ‘Dick of the Day.’” Someone, however, recognized the back of a particular dick’s head and Waldman declared a moratorium on her posts. “There are too many guns in our society, I figured I’d better stop that.”
In 1998, during a self-described “career-crisis,” Waldman found a shoebox of photographs and on a fluke found a snapshot of a man under which the name. Dick was printed. Waldman knew instantly that her next phase in life had begun. “That’s it!” she says. “That’s how my collection was born.”
No stranger to auctions and antiquing, Waldman grew up frequenting the world of vintage finds; her parents were part-time antique dealers. But Waldman found a niche for herself when she began collecting snapshots. “Nothing makes me happier than buying a box of photos or photo albums.”
Waldman’s Dick pics have become a profitable business. But Waldman, a New Jersey native who settled in Easthampton a decade ago, also collects other types of photos. Her shop, Spot 22 Gallery in Easthampton, which she shares with HCC Taber Art Gallery curator and “Banner Queen,” Amy Johnquest, is filled with fascinating vintage snaps and other ephemera. Waldman says she’s quite busy selling and collecting at photography and ephemera shows throughout the country and abroad.
Waldman began selling her photos on Ebay back in 1997. She has since sold her items on Facebook and in the shop. She has also been a part of numerous exhibitions and publications throughout the world. They have also made their ways into museums and books, including Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. Her own book, however, has struggled to attract a publisher.
“I think people are afraid of the whole Dick thing and, come on, it’s totally G-rated,” she says with a hint of combined humor and outrage. “They don’t think there’s enough appeal to a wider audience but I find that people are so amused by it.”
It is difficult to understand why publishers would shy away from a book entitled Dick when the contents are vintage photographs that legitimately have the name Dick attached to them. Particularly when there are a host of published books with ri-dick-ulous names, including a book about Mother Teresa named The Missionary Position, published in 1997.).
But Waldman isn’t daunted. “They just have to see the bigger picture. I’m still waiting on a couple of publishing houses to get back to me, but I’m not holding my breath.”
In the meantime, lovers of Dick pics can purchase a copy of Waldman’s book online at her House of Mirth Photos and Ephemera website. http://www.houseofmirthphotos.com. Only soft Dick is available, however, and it retails for $40.
When asked about her future with Dicks — especially since her compilation of pics is now published, it doesn’t seems as though she’ll slow down. “I’ll never get tired of it,” she says amused. “I’ll keep collecting Dicks because I can’t seem to stop.”
Waldman’s ebay store is called Houseofmirth and you can find her on Instagram and Facebook as @houseofmirthphotos. Watch Waldman’s Dick pitch here.
Gina Beavers can be reached at email@example.com.