GERDA SCHEUERS OF Ripon blends right in to her giant Smurf collection, only a fraction of which is pictured.     submitted photo
GERDA SCHEUERS OF Ripon blends right in to her giant Smurf collection, only a fraction of which is pictured.     submitted photo
     ONE THING IS clear. If Gerda Scheuers of Ripon ever drank any Kool-Aid to gain her obsession, it was blue.

     Smurf blue, to be specific. Those little blue creatures? They’re Gerda’s life.

     Walk into the Scheuers’ home, and they’re everywhere.
    
     ... “My husband drew the line with painting [our house] blue,” she admits, though she scored one little victory. “I was able to paint one room in the house blue — and I’ve got Smurf curtains in it.”

... the “Guinness Book of World Records” has recognized her as having the largest collection of Smurf memorabilia in the world.Officially, the count is at 6,320. Truth be told, it’s way bigger.

     UNTIL RECENTLY, THOUGH, the collection really had no greater significance outside the walls of her home. Even Gerda didn’t realize just how unusual her collection was.

     “Once I got onto the Internet and started talking to other Smurf people, and trading back and forth that I realized I had more than what most people do,” she said, noting it was her husband who finally encouraged her to contact the Guinness people.

     Though it doesn’t appear in the current bound edition of the record book, it’s listed online, officially, in black and white: www.guinnessworldrecords.com/world-records/largest-collection-of-smurf-memorabilia

     ... Friends and family still know if they come across any Smurf item, they’d better snatch it up. “If there’s something I really, really like, I have to have it,” she said. “Right now, [my collecting is] keeping steady: an average 20 new items a month. [And] I don’t foresee myself slowing down; in fact, I have one of my kids collecting them too.”

     A second Smurfing generation? That’s an idea, right out of the blue.

     To read the entire column, see the Jan. 15, 2015 edition of The Ripon Commonwealth Press.