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Even State Troopers Get Into The Action

July 21, 1988

ATLANTA (AP) _ The crowd gathers slowly on the corner of the village’s main drag Thursday.

The goods are shown.

The price is set.

The deal is going down.

In swoops the Georgia State Patrol.

They pull out their collections of souvenir lapel pins and start to trade.

″I want an NBC peacock,″ said Trooper A.J. Bacon, holding a piece of cardboard containing his collection. Some, including a set of captain’s bars and other uniform decorations, were for trade. Others were just to show off.

About 50 people gathered in small knots that looked like the trading pits on the floor of a commodity exchange. This exchange was at the corner of John F. Kennedy Blvd. and Lyndon B. Johnson Ave in the cable-strewn and curtained- off cavern known as the ″media village″ at the Democratic National Convention.

″We started with one button (Kodak), now we got 100-150. It just gets wild around here,″ said Trooper Bob Sanders, who said the trading was a good ice- breaker for police and reporters to meet each other.

But some of the trading was tough, because some pins are better than others.

″I’ll give you three for that one,″ said one fellow who strolled up, pointing to square button that says CBS News 1988.

″CBS News is not moving,″ said Sanders.

″I’ll give you my first-born for it,″ says the newsman.

Another CBS pin - a simple, unblinking brass eye - also was hot. So were the Time magazine pins, a red-and-blue rectangle that sort of looks like the magazine’s cover, except it doesn’t say ″Time.″

The Associated Press had flooded the market with its corporate pins, and so had Gannett.

″They’re fourth-rate,″ said Noel Villers, a 14-year-old pin shark from Concord, Mass. His father is a Massachusetts delegate to the convention.

But not everything was for swap.

When a reporter asked Sanders what he would take for his badge, the trooper replied: ″When that goes, I have to go with it.″

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