Hanging sports collectibles on the wall was a big step, but painting those walls purple and orange marked another level of dedication, says Gary Gauthier, Valley resident and massive Phoenix Suns fan. Gauthier moved to Phoenix with his family in 1968, which coincidentally was the very year that the Phoenix Suns franchise joined the NBA. He takes pride in the fact that he has been a Phoenix Suns fan since literally day one.
Gauthier began acquiring Suns gear right away, and his collection spans all the way through the latest seasons. In fact, with another recent change in the design of the Suns logo, he admits that he'll have to add some new merchandise to his collection. Gauthier, a certified public accountant, and his wife, Susanne, have been Suns season ticket holders since the early '80s and have shared their love of the team with their two daughters. "We like the idea of being part of the action, and it's an opportunity to feel like you're participating and really supporting the team," he says about collecting.
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The oldest piece of Gauthier's collection, and one that he considers to be "irreplaceable," is a latch-hook rug made for him by his grandfather in the 1970s. The rug, sporting the original Suns sunburst logo, is surrounded by an assortment of cardboard signs handed out at home games over the years.
Also on the purple, orange, and white walls are several old photographs of Suns players from the team's original days and memorable '92-'93 season, many of which are signed. The retro Suns logo pops up again on another plaque, this one made by Susanne Gauthier in the early '80s and signed by that year's Phoenix Suns roster.
Gauthier's Suns room contains several signed basketballs, but his favorite (for obvious reasons) is the one autographed by each member of the '92-'93 team, including Charles Barkley, Tom Chambers, and Kevin Johnson.