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Boy Oh Boy.....part Two


Mike
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Dear Folks,

I have been reading this board faithfully for a couple years and this will be my second post. I guess I am a "Lurker." I enjoy the information, the great photos, the many opinions, the squabbles & everything that comes by way of this board. I think it is all great! I figured that I would throw something out, put to paper what went through my mind & see what happens with the various responses. The words are about collecting.

I collect 1950's - 1960's ceramic TV lights in the shape of a stalking panther. I got about forty of them and am now looking for a red and a blue one. My wife hates them and I can only display one. The rest are packed away. I love my wife but some things are just hard for her to understand. Most panther lamp colors colors can be found at garage sales for $5-$10 but I have paid $150 for one before because I wanted another one and somebody had it. I like to collect stuff and maybe even obsessively sometimes. I think there may be others out there like me too. I also collect US postage stamps, once collected coins and have accumulated plenty of other stuff that most would see no value in. My main passion for the last 25 years has been toy marbles. I started wanting nothing but old handmades but someone had figured out before me that they were worth keeping and I could not accumulate enough of them to make me happy due to the price they were commanding. I moved to vintage machine-mades as they were easier to find and affordable for a while. I coveted old boxes too but most of what I wanted was out of my reach. I then discovered Jabo & Vacor and found that I could buy thousands of them for virtually nothing. I got deep into Jabo because every spring & fall the colors were different and every so often could find a few that were, in my mind, special and limited. I liked them Jabo marbles as well as any Peltier or Akro I had. I started selling some of them to be able to purchase more marbles and keep my happy home as my wife thinks they are nice but does not understand having a few hundred thousand pieces of round blobs of glass around the house. My first marble show was Amana, I rented a room and brought some older machine-mades & Jabo's to sell. It was a funny experience. I discovered that some folks did not like what I liked and they were vocal about it. There were Republican & Democrat marble people. I had more Jabo than any other marble and 9 out of 10 people that came into the room would say.....Oh! he just has Jabo lets go to another room. This was bad for my self esteem and made me feel bad about my taste. This was my first experience with marble people. I was unemployed, trying to see some marbles, buy some marbles, sell enough to get food, gas, pay for the room and get back home. Some folks were either visionary or felt sorry for me as I sold about $700 worth of Jabo. Mostly they liked the Tie Dyes and a common red/yellow marble called a Hot Tamale. I was at the factory a few days after the Tie Dyes ran and I would estimate that there were 80,000 - 120,000 of them made. I traded a gallon bag of loose Tie Dyes to the Moon Marble guy to get one of his jobber boxes of Mega Michaelangelos & hear him play his blue harp. Where did all those Tie Dyes go? I only have a few of them now. I estimate that there were 2,000-3,000 pounds of black/orange Harley's but I never see any being sold. The common red with a hint of yellow called Hot Tamales were really made in quantity too but today they are hard to find. I just said that there were probably a half a million marbles made in three different colors and you can hardly find any of them today. I own a bunch of the new "Special Run" marbles but because they are all exploding in my basement due to bad glass chemistry, I doubt that I will be able to contribute to flooding the market with them. I enjoy the passion and strong opinions on marble stuff, good/bad, floods/drought, old/new and enjoy reading it all. It entertains me. Collecting marbles entertains me. Sometimes I sell some and that entertains me. Some folks buy them and they are entertained too. Go figure! When I do decide to part with some and they bring a dime a marble, that is what they will bring. I give many marbles away everywhere I go to folks and kids that do not collect marbles and they love the one cent Jabo's and the $10 Jabo's all the same and they do not know the difference. They are entertained. It is all OK. One hundred years from now, we will all be dead and nobody will read or care what we said here about marbles. But somebody in the future will end up with the marbles and they will love them or hate them. The ones that want them will be happy and entertained. They might even feel lucky. My dad told me that it is because of this that they make different kinds of ice cream. Enjoy your choices. If something is or is not for you, it is or is not for you. For all those folks that get horse poop under the Xmas tree and are excited because they think that there has to be a pony close by........let them think that as it is better than the flip side.

Your comment please.

Thanks,

Mike

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I really enjoyed reading this

( the ending was the best! In our house the horse poop usually means someone forgot to wipe their feet!) I tell my teenager all the time that these marbles ( new and old) will be her estate someday and that wealth is in the eye of the marble holder! Jabo has some beatiful marbles and some day they will all be antiques!! ( if they don't explode in the basement first!) I recently advertised that I was wanting to by marbles and got a reply from some people who lived in a very small shack on the edge of town. They had about 30 marbles all new. I gave them $20 bucks for them knowing they probably needed the money, but I like the marbles regardless. They have a story to them, and someday will be a new story for someone else.

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Right on Mike, very nice to know that I am not a sigularity. I collect because I love glass and I love Jabo's because it was something I could be involved in or atleast rub eblows and here the stories of those that were involved long before I came along. I would love to talk to someone who made Cac's or Pelts and even see them being made today but that is just not in the cards. To me, or imho as some say, Jabo's are just as beautiful as any other marble ever made, whether it was over a hundred years ago or just last week. I can only encourage others to get involved with Jabo's special runs as well.

For one, Jabo marble runs are as fun as heck and you will have a great time with great people. Secondly, no matter how many runs are done, they are all different and unique unto themselves. And each run has it's very own history, and stories as well as the people involved. That makes it all the more special and beautiful in so many ways. For me, it's not about an investment. I really don't understand the whole investment concept at all. Maybe it's just me, but if your collecting to get a return on your investment, where is the passion? Unless your passion is making more money? Marbles and glass are my passion, it's something I could live, dream and breathe everyday for the rest of my life, and God willing, beyond.

I can see where those folks are coming from when they talk about the possibility of their investment not turning over as good as they had hoped for any number of reasons. But there is no passion for the art that I can see. Passion is loving something no matter if it's priceless now, or someday in the future... Or if it doesn't have a monitary value any higher than that horse poo under the Christmas tree and may never have. I suppose collecting marbles is a love for me and for some others out there, and let's face it... love is unconditional, it's also blind, and it has nothing to do with money.

May you all find your passion in life and run after it with all your heart, soul and strength!

God Bless,

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