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Marbles 2 Die 4

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Marbles 2 Die 4

(12 fictional stories based on facts from marble collectors and for your enjoyment)

by Rich Shelby

Have you ever had a marble, that special one, which has an interesting story that is personal to you? A marble that carries a memory of something that brings strong feelings that live inside your emotions?

The following are 12 stories that I have asked passionate vintage marble collectors to tell me about. I made a little coffin, painted it black, placed black foam at the top to keep the marbles in place and a coffin shaped foam board with twelve 5/8” holes to hold the marbles in place.

Now it is time to read the stories about the Marbles 2 Die 4 that are in the coffin.

Leo Contreras

My Marble 2 Die 4 is called a Parrot made by the Vitro Marble Company. At least I think so! For ten years I have owned this marble and for ten years this marble has been the center of an identifying controversy.

I know the name of this marble depends on the number of colors and what the colors are. I have had various interpretations about this marble. Some very passionate marble collectors have argued for over an hour what the correct name of this marble!

It seems to be a very controversial marble since the expert marble collectors can’t seem to agree to what the exact name of my marble is. They want me to accept the name they give this marble as a name given by consensus instead of actually knowing what the real name of the marble is.

This marble is going to be the death of me so I am giving it to you to go into the Marbles 2 Die 4 coffin box and now it’s your turn to carry on the task of finding this marble’s correct name – I am DONE with it!!!





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Dave Evans

When I was in my early twenties, I was very poor. One day all I had was 10 dollars in my pocket and had the rest of the day to find something to do that I felt was interesting and wouldn’t cost much money. I was strolling along and saw a flea market so I thought I could go look at stuff and not spend any money and it would be fun!

I wondered across a vendor’s table with marbles for sale. I scanned quickly and discovered the cheapest group of marbles was $30! Then I saw it – a mesh bag of green marbles that had green sparkles in a broad stripe on each marble. The sparkles shined in the sunlight. My eyes wouldn’t leave that bag. I was mesmerized and stood there staring for 10 minutes at that bag of marbles.

All the while, the lady that was selling marbles at her table was quietly looking at me, keeping an eye on me as she tended other people that were buying her marbles.

After 10 minutes of eyeing and desiring the marbles, I got the courage to ask her if I could actually touch the bag and check out the marbles closer. She let me hold and inspect the bag. They were beautiful. I was lost in the sunshine as the sparkles seem to put me into a trance. Time seemed to stand still for me.

Finally I snapped out of my dream and summoned the courage to ask her how much money she wanted for the bag of green marbles I was holding. My stomach seemed to be full of fluttering butterflies. She stood there just staring at me for a minute before she spoke. It felt like forever to me while I waited. It seemed the world stood still and I stopped breathing.

The lady finally said to me after a minute, “You are a young man and don’t have a lot of money - do you?” I said nothing but lowered my head. She waited another 30 seconds then said, “I’ll sell that bag of green marbles to you for $1.”

I couldn’t believe what she said and had to control my arm muscles not to jam my hand in my pocket to get the $1 and give it to her as fast as humanly possible. It took all of my inner strength not to jump up and down and start yelling at the top of my lungs how happy I was to get this bag of marbles. I paid her and, under the best control I could muster, I walked away but I heard her telling someone at the table, “It sure made that young man happy to get those marbles didn’t it!”

This marble I am donating to the coffin IS a Marble 2 Die 4!





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Jim Perez and Preston Norman

This marble is a Vacor marble made in Mexico, a foreign marble. The Vacor marble makers call it a Cub Scout marble.

What we feel is that it is a BIG rip-off! The color design is messy and shiny and that the original Peltier Marble Company is being ripped-off by this poor quality of a reproduction. We are tired of seeing poor craftsmanship like in this marble and wish they’d stop! We are tired of the copying of the old machine made marbles like this one that companies like this are doing.

It is true that when they make their own designs, the marbles look pretty good in all but copying just isn’t right.

We feel that this marble deserves to be in the Marbles 2 Die 4 coffin.





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Bennie Jones

This marble is a Marble King Company Cub Scout with a thin band of oxblood color. When I first started gathering marbles, I had thousands of them. If I saw any marbles I just bought them without caring what their names were or what company made them.

One day at a garage sale, I met two men, Bud Cloven and Bo Stiff. They noticed I was buying marbles and they struck-up a conversation with me about the marbles. Soon they both realized I knew nothing about the marbles I had been buying.

We three got together on several days afterward, and Bud and Bo helped me to learn the names of the marbles I had and the marble company that made them. It was marble history coming alive to me!

A few weeks later I had the chance to buy out a storage building that had 30,000 marbles inside, among other items. I jumped at the chance to buy them, sight unseen. I separated the marbles as best I could and found around 1,000 of these Cub Scout colored marbles and placed them in a container for later inspection.

I finally got the chance, with the help of Bud and Bo, to go through the container and do final sorting on the Cub Scouts. To my surprise, I found only 4 Cub Scouts that had a stripe of oxblood color in them.

My Cub Scout collection had only .4% with the oxblood stripe so I am donating one of these marbles to the Marbles 2 Die 4 coffin because it is so rare to fine one!





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Mike Johnson

My marble is called a Ravenswood marble. I was at the Ravenswood dumpsite and there was a lake there. I was standing in 3 ½’ to 4’ of water in the lake, bending over, digging in the mud for marbles and marble cullet I was collecting.

Searching, focused and totally concentrating on gathering all I could in this waist-deep water, I didn’t notice a coal barge that was quickly passing by near my position in the water. Soon, without my noticing it, a big wave from the barge’s wake washed over me making me fall under the water. I couldn’t breath and fought myself up to the surface of the water to get air. I breathed in a little water into my lungs as I struggled to my feet but finally coughed it out after a while.

I was soaking wet but I had this marble still gripped between my fingers.

It IS a Marble 2 Die 4 because I almost did die for it!





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Wolfgang Mueller

As a professional geologist, I collect my rocks and minerals and I make them into perfectly round marbles. I am called a Mineral Marble Maker.

My marble is made from marble (metamorphosed limestone, consisting chiefly of recrystallized calcite or dolomite, capable of taking a high polish, occurring in a wide range of colors and varigations and used in sculpture and architecture).

My marble is from a marble quarry in the town of Marble Colorado in the United States. So, it is a marble marble from Marble Colorado!

What makes it a Marble 2 Die 4 is that the same marble that I made this marble out of is the same marble used in the making of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington!





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Bob Jackson

As a young boy, I saw many movies that had action scenes in them where the hero shot arrows at the bad guys. Because of this, I took up the sport of archery. I practiced and practiced and practiced taking my trusty bow and arrows out almost every day to shoot at the bullseye target in the back yard. Each day I worked on steadying my breath, aiming at the bullseye target and making my arm stronger and stronger so I could shoot better. After 2 years, I still couldn’t hit that darn bullseye! I gave up on the sport but still wanted to hit the bullseye.

As an adult, I started collecting Agate marbles called Bullseye. For years I looked for a perfect Bullseye mineral marble where the rings were concentric circles showing off the various colors in the marble.

The marble I put into the coffin box is a Bullseye Marble 2 Die 4!





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Bill O’Connor

One Saturday morning in 1985, I had to go to the Amador County Dump to off load a truck full of trash. It had rained a lot the night before I made my journey to the dump so there was mud on the road leading to the place where one dumps trash there.

Without paying too much attention, I stepped out of the truck and my foot mashed this marble way down into the mud. I reached down and carefully dug down trying not to get my hand too dirty and pulled up this marble.

The marble is called a game marble and was most likely used in playing Chinese Checkers. I was so excited to find this marble, I started to search the mud for more of them but someone that worked there yelled, “Sir, you are not to take anything from the dump! You can’t scavenge here!” He didn’t know I had already pocked this yellow marble.

That same Saturday in the afternoon I was at a yard sale looking at things they had for sale. What do I see but 6 glass jars full of marbles!

Finding the yellow marble plus finding 6 jars of marbles on the same day was too much for me to ignore – it must have been some type of sign that I should start collecting marbles again so I did start collecting old marbles again.

This is why it is a Marble 2 Die 4.





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Kirby Manon

My marble is an Akro Corkscrew. This marble cost me $100 and was the most expensive marble I had ever bought at the time. ¾ of the marble fluoresces when a black light is shined on it. It was my pride and joy of all the marbles in my collection. I showed my son and because he loved this marble so much it got him interested in collecting marbles. His interest in marbles made me very happy.

One day my son and his friend wanted to play marbles together. My son needed a special shooter so, without me knowing it, he went to where I kept my cherished marbles and got my special marble because he thought that marble would bring him magical powers over his friend and would allow him to beat him and win all his marbles.

It seemed to work as my son won all the marble games he played. My son won all his friend’s marbles this day to add to his own little collection. My son felt that the Dad’s shooter marble had to be the reason he won because he never beat his friend before!

It’s 10 years later. I was talking with another marble collector friend and something he said reminded me about my Akro Corkscrew marble. I went to my place where I kept my special marbles in my collection and looked for my $100 marble.

Can you imagine my surprise when I saw it and I saw 2 different places that were damaged beyond repair? One side was 1/5 chipped off and the opposite side had a smaller chip! I can’t tell you how angry I was to see this $100 marble now worth $0 because of the damage. I had no inkling what happened to my precious marble.

When my son got home later that day, I wanted to show him the marble he and I loved so much and to show him the damage. He saw how much I was upset, he lowered his chin, not looking at me, and owned up to what he did 10 years ago and why. How could I be upset with my own son because of the reason he wanted to use my magical marble? Anyway, what can a dad do ten years later to his adult son to punish him?

I feel this marble belongs in the Marbles 2 Die 4 coffin box.





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Bud Cloven

This marble is a Double Ingot marble made from two peewee marbles. When a marble drops onto the rollers it occasionally touches another marble and they stick together making a single, bigger marble. As these marbles are joined together, they begin the process of rounding out. The problem is, the machines are adjusted to make peewee marbles and this marble is twice the size the machine is set for. As a result, there is a separation line that does not totally close up going around the circumference of the marble.

These two marbles will be joined together in a forever lasting time and never will be separated – this is so romantic in the world of marbles.

This marble deserves the right to be included into the Marbles 2 Die 4 coffin box.





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Jay Vargas

My marble is a white wire pull type marble. On a vacation in Rome I went to a flea market. It was a grand market place where there were many lovely things to look at and purchase. I loved the ambiance in Rome. The sights, buildings, the clothes they wear and the history.

I chanced upon one vendor where I saw this marble sitting there in a little wooden cup. The vendor was an old man dressed in the old style Italian clothes that you see the older men wear in the movies. I had to posses this marble.

It softens my heart to think that these two little marbles will always be together forever and ever.

This marble needs to be in the coffin box Marbles 2 Die 4.





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Windy Turpin

My marble is named after my sister Gail. Gail was one special woman – always upbeat and positive – everyone loved her. As an adult, she was battling pancreatic cancer. One of my friends, Steve Sturtz, found a special marble for Gail from his collection and gave it to me to give to her. He called it her “Gail Marble.”

Gail would take a few marbles to her chemo appointments and share them with the other people that were being treated there. I still can see the smile on my sister’s face when she saw how much her marbles meant to the other patients.

Gail passed on July 22, 2009 but will never be forgotten for her unselfish and caring ways.

This is marble deserves belongs in the Marbles 2 Die 4 coffin box.





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To my readers – this brings us to the close of the twelve stories. There are many wonderful stories out there in the vintage marble collecting world and I hope you too have one story that is special to you. I hope you have enjoyed reading these stories and you too own a Marble 2 Die 4.



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