Building memories one chain at a time

As if trudging through the Pierce College campus with a backpack full of notes and carrying textbooks isn’t hard enough, it can be even more difficult while carrying around a six-foot key chain collection daily.

Jeremy Chew, now in his fifth semester at Pierce and an architect major, has been collecting key chains for the past seven years. They started off as a charm to put on his cell phone, but Jeremy said that “over time, the collection just started growing.”

“I don’t make key chains, I actually collect them. I have a huge collection that I carry around and it’s about six feet,” Chew said. “It is a six-foot-long key chain that I carry around daily.”

Chew decided to start collecting key chains after seeing his friend’s personal collection. He took a liking to the idea, eventually deciding to start his own collection which Chew said “got out of hand.”

Chew’s girlfriend, Sarah Irwin, has known Jeremy for the past five years. She said that he puts thought into his collection, with all of the key chains meaning something to him. Irwin said her feelings regarding Chew’s key chain collection have been the same from the beginning, calling it “a little odd and crazy.”

“I mean one of them weighs ten pounds and it is as tall as I am,” Irwin said. “He carries it around with him everywhere he goes. I have accepted it.”
Continuing to add to his growing collection, he said that some of his key chains go back as far as 10 years.

Getting key chains from places he has visited and as gifts from friends, Chew said that he gets some from conventions like Anime Los Angeles and Anime Expo.

“I get most of them at conventions. Comic-Con is actually the one I started it at,” Chew said. “Almost every single key chain relates to some kind of anime, sci-fi or video game.”

Not the only person collecting key chains, Chew said that he has met people who also have an impressive key chain collection. He said that he has even met a person whose own collection was larger that his.

“The only difference is that I wear mine everywhere, and the only time they wear theirs is at conventions,” Chew said.

Robert Ruiz has been a friend of Chew’s for the past eight years. Ruiz said when they first met Chew’s collection was just starting, and called the it “a little funny.”

“In my opinion, he enjoys it. It is the connection to series of whatever he’s watched,” Ruiz said. “It is a way for him to connect to it and also for him to show off what he enjoys.”

Not yet satisfied with his current collection, Chew said that he would like to continue to grow his key chain collection.

“I have 98 in one key chain and 60 something in the other. I have about 150,” Chew said. “I have two right now, one is six feet long and the other is three feet long. I am trying to get four of them in total. Four six-foot-long key chains.”