More than a Bumper Sticker

First bumper sticker that Notti had received from a Mets game.

First bumper sticker that Notti had received from a Mets game.

sBy Robert Mantesta

“A naked car is basically the same as others. I don’t want to be like others.” That is how first year student Doug Notti views his bumper sticker filled car.

There are bumper stickers for everything from movies, to sports teams, to your favorite phrases. The hard part is deciding which ones you want. “I’m the type of person who will buy something right then and there if I like it. That’s with bumper stickers and anything else,” Notti said.

Dom Notti, brother of Doug and second year student has always been fascinated at his brother’s collection and hobby.

“I think it’s pretty cool how he collects these stickers with some having a special meaning. However me being the older brother, I have to make a joke here and there about it,” Dom said.

Notti has a total of 18 bumper stickers and says that he doesn’t remember how he began collecting them or why. What he does know is where he got his first bumper sticker.

“The first one I got was actually a New York Mets bumper sticker that I got at a game I went to when I was 17.”

Ironically, he isn’t a baseball fan at all.  He just happened to be at the right place at the right time.

At almost every home game for Major League Baseball teams, there is a promotion where they give-a-way something like a bobble head, t-shirt or in this case, a bumper sticker.

Although he is not a baseball fan, that sticker has a very special meaning to him, being that it was his first of many more to come.

“Whenever you have a collection, the first is always going to mean something,” Notti said.

He explained the meaning further by saying, “The fact that I am not a baseball fan and a baseball bumper sticker being my first of the collection represents me growing up and being open to new things”.

Notti admits that is the reason he went on to collect more. “I wanted to start collecting some that will represent a little part of me”.

Some of the stickers hold true to that reasoning but he says that there are three in which don’t have any meaning. Those include a smiley face, the word “Enter” and a sticker that says, “Your favorite slogan here”.

Notti says that he picked these up simply because they looked cool and the last one was funny. “To be honest, not too much thought goes into buying them. I usually end up seeing them out and then I think wow this is perfect for me”.

That exact thing happened last year to Notti when he was at the mall. He was casually strolling around just looking when he came across a bumper sticker that said, “Gone But Not Forgotten”. s

He said he bought that immediately after he finished reading. “Right as I saw it, I began to think of my grandma who had died a few weeks earlier” Notti said. He went on saying, “Having that on my car made me feel that a piece of her is still with me, watching over as I drive.”

Justin Lambiase, a close friend of Doug’s and a first year student, was with him  when he found the sticker that sparked the memory of his grandmother.

Lambiase said, “I could tell it was making him a little emotional but he told me that it reminded him of the good times they had. I think if he didn’t collect bumper stickers he would be a different person, as weird as that sounds”.

We may view bumper stickers as something silly, but others may look at our meaningful collections as silly too. The littlest things can have the biggest impact on our lives and that’s what bumper stickers have done for Doug Notti.

Notti concluded saying, “That’s my joy of collecting bumper stickers”.

“Some mean the world to me and some just attract my eyes but they all belong to me.”

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