Roger N. Conger
Nearly everyone has experienced the collector fever in some form or another, and in widely varying degrees of severity. With many of us, perhaps the majority, it remains to be a mild or moderate affliction, and fully controllable. But there are others — that different breed of humankind — within whose spirits this impulse to acquire or collect never seems to wane with the passageof years but waxes instead in it ardor, and approaches what might with some be fairly described as compulsive. A collector such as this is Gaines de Graffenried of Waco, Texas.
Here is an individual whose interesting-sounding name has long been familiar across the entire country, wherever men get together to discuss guns that are old or rare. There exist today very few if any finer or more intriguing private collections anywhere in America, and long ago his collecting interests widened. In de Graffenried’s own words, he really liked “anything that’s good.”
Roger Conger is a personal friend of many years. This absorbing narrative of Gaines de Grafffenried’s devoted collecting career is the outgrowth of an idea conceived a number of years ago, but finally brought together by the mutual agreement that “it’s getter later than we think.”