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Another Marble Collector Passes..... Stan "the Marble Man" Brown


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we just got the very sad news that Stan Brown was killed in an auto accident yesterday.

anyone that collected marbles or went to shows here in the west, knew Stan brown. He loved the marbles and the people as much as anyone could. he shared his enthusiasm with children and adults alike.

I have some pictures of Stan in a file somewhere, I will find and post tomorrow. Children knew Stan as 'the marble man'. with his top hat, infectious smile, and specialty marbles, he was always surrounded by kids. And he loved to teach kids how to play!

He will be deeply missed.

E&D

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That is sad! I visited him every time I was up in Astoria, Oregon. He was such an enthusiastic person and reaaly got kids into marbles. He had local tournaments, was at flea markets and other events besides his own shop in Astoria, dedicated to marbles (probably one of the few in the US). He was working on a marble alphabet game last time I talked to him - kind of along the lines of scrabble and similar games. He will be missed by many. Here's an article from the local paper last Spring. I couldn't pull the picture from the article so just added one form the Portland Marble Show a couple of years ago (he loved the kids).

Everyday people:

Astoria man takes his shot introducing the game of marbles to kids

By KARA HANSEN

The Daily Astorian

Stan Brown’s pockets rattle with the sound of a pastime he never experienced as a child.

But he’s making up for lost time, and hoping he can bring some fun to children who may never have played the ancient-rooted game of marbles.

“The marble business is about kids,” Brown said at the downtown Astoria marble store he opened less than two years ago. His own kids are all grown up. “It’s about encouraging interaction and pulling them away from computers a little bit.”

Until he was 46, Brown worked in the moving business, most recently in Spokane, Wash. But he decided to retire and go back to college, where he studied environmental science. He picked up a few marbles at one point and began to play with them, gaining interest from fellow students and fostering his love for a game he didn’t play when he was younger.

“What did you not receive as a child that you want to give back as an adult? I want to teach young people marble play,” Brown said.

Eventually, it became clear what he should do. He had already fallen in love with Astoria, because it reminded him of a small-scale San Francisco, where he was born. He opened Marble Mouse House and has been promoting marble play ever since.

It’s an “earth-friendly” sport that doesn’t cost much to play, he said. “No gear required.”

And it lends itself well to wider horizons. Brown found that he loved the concept of painting and screen-printing on marbles, of fixing a permanent image to curved glass. He now has hundreds of the tiny works of art at his store, thanks to help from Doug Anderson, who he said pioneered the technique.

He also likes to fish and was an umpire for many years, an activity he’d like to continue, if he has the time.

“It’s hard to find time in between,” said Brown, who spends any weekend he can at Astoria’s Sunday Market and at the Saturday Market in Ilwaco, Wash., where he may soon host a weekly tournament. He’ll also lead games at the Astoria-Warrenton Crab and Seafood Festival at the end of April.

Pockets rattling with the little balls of glass, Brown often hands out “lucky marbles” to passersby, whether they’re adults or children.

He hopes people of all ages can find something to enjoy in the pastime, which dates back to ancient Egyptian and Roman games.

“I’ve seen grandparents sitting at card tables shooting marbles with children,” Brown said. “I’ve played marbles with kids ages 3 and up ... Anyone can do it.”

— Kara Hansen

post-60-1164689909_thumb.jpg

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thanks for that link al. but I cant access it, darn!

here's a couple pictures as promised. these were taken after the Seattle show, 2004.

stan.jpg

playing with marbles with hubby and julie... he was so dang much fun to be around.

stan2.jpg

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Damn.... I'm so sorry to hear... I didn't know Stan, but I know what his friends are feeling and it's a tough thing....

It's one thing for a person to grow old and pass on to an affliction of old age. But, to be still so vibrant and taken away, makes it very hard to deal with...

Wasn't Stan in a movie or video of some sort?? I remember seeing something about a person being in the background of a scene, who seems to fit his description???

Al, I'm being told that I have to be a subscriber to access the article... Is it possible for you to download it?

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I met Stan The Marble Man at the first marble show I attended Sea-Tac 1996, immediately thought, what a character! I didn't get to know him until Raelyn's marble dinner, three years ago. Stan & I talked marbles, politics, smoked a few phatties, and I traded him a doubie, for some Snoopy marbles. I love marble-people, and I'll miss Stan, as we shared more in common, than just being marble men. Real sorry to hear this bad news.

Scott

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Here's the article from The Daily Astorian on the accident:

11/28/2006 11:23:00 AM

LORI ASSA — The Daily Astorian file

'Marble Guy' dies in slippery accident in Washington

Stanley Brown, marble shop owner in Astoria, gave away free marbles to show his kindness and give people luck

By KARA HANSEN

The Daily Astorian

A 64-year-old Astoria man known to many as the "Marble Guy" died Saturday when his pickup slipped off an icy Washington road and plummeted into a ditch, settling upside down in several feet of water.

Stanley M. "Stan" Brown was headed south on the Astoria-Naselle bypass with his fiancée, Roshelle Jones, 41, of Longview, Wash., when he lost control of his vehicle near Bean Creek.

He was pronounced dead at the scene. Family members said Jones remained in a hospital Monday after suffering hip and neck injuries.

The owner of a marble shop in downtown Astoria, Brown had become a local fixture of sorts since moving to the area several years ago. He manned booths at Astoria's Sunday Market and at the Saturday Market in Ilwaco, Wash. He even appeared in the locally filmed "Ring II" during a market scene.

But sales weren't Brown's priority, family members said Monday. Whether at his store, at a market or walking along a downtown sidewalk, he insisted on handing out "lucky marbles" to anyone he passed. Brown's pockets rattled with the tiny glass spheres, and his store was filled with them, some also made of clay, metal, resin, rubber and wood.

His grandson Stuart, 16, of Naselle, said Brown likely gave away more marbles than he sold.

"He wanted to give away a million lucky marbles before he went," the teenager said. "I think he oversucceeded."

The "lucky marbles" offered Brown a chance "to show kindness and to give people luck, to get them back into marbles," said Stuart Brown. He often helped teach people to play marbles at his grandfather's booths, but the two also enjoyed road trips together through Washington and "adventures" in the forest, where they would watch birds, examine insects and discuss astronomy.

Stan Brown also liked to fish and was an umpire for many years. But life wasn't always so happy-go-lucky for the marble enthusiast.

Family members said Brown, a native of San Francisco, was a rowdy youth, earning the nickname "The Jumper" after a bar brawl or two in Fresno, Calif. He satisfied some of his early wanderlust by hitchhiking and by riding the rails - he was a skilled box-car jumper, family said.

Those behaviors bowed toward free love as he grew into adulthood. Brown eventually went through two marriages, raising a daughter, two sons, two stepsons and a stepdaughter. He started refinishing antique furniture before moving to Spokane, Wash., where he opened a moving business. But some of his younger years' unhealthy habits lingered.

Overcoming heavy drinking gave Brown a lot of pride, said his stepfather, Max Jones.

"He had a complete change of life when he quit drinking," Jones said. "It worked for him, and he'd tell other people about it, too. He liked to tell people, 'That's what you've got to do.'"

Camille Brown, a registered nurse in Naselle and the eldest of his three children, agreed her father was a strong advocate of 12-step programs, noting a memorial service will likely be held soon at an Alcoholics Anonymous club in Washington. But he helped many people throughout his life, she added.

"He'd offer food to the homeless," she said. "My dad never passed judgment on a single soul. He saw the love in everybody that passed his life."

After conquering his drinking problem, Brown, then in his 40s, attended community college in Seattle, where he studied environmental science. It was there he also rekindled an interest in marbles, teaching younger students about the game while selling tiny glass globes painted with Earths.

Those embellished orbs were among his most treasured. Using a technique that he attributed to Doug Anderson, some of his favorite painted and screen-printed marbles sit in the back of his shop, a miniature marble museum, which he opened when he moved to Astoria.

Joyce Compere, manager of Astoria Sunday Market, said Brown was also a strong supporter of local youths.

"Stan was remarkable with young people in this community," said Compere. "Young people who didn't fit in - he made a place for them; he put out his hand and didn't lose patience with them. He employed them, giving them job skills, social skills."

She said she hired two young men through Brown for odd jobs. And she laughed recounting his initial proposal for a market booth, which she said took her off-guard.

"I said, 'Stan, I don't think marbles are a 21st-century product.' He said, 'No, just give me a chance and we'll have fun with this. We'll get kids involved,'" Compere explained. "And he did."

She said plenty of lucky marbles scattered throughout her drawers will help to remember Brown.

"He was quirky, and funny, loving and concerned about the Earth and the people on it," Compere said. "I will miss him terribly."

Brown often visited family in Spokane, in Rosburg, Wash., and in Naselle. He was headed back to Astoria from one of those gatherings when his truck crashed just after Thanksgiving.

When family members ventured out to the site about two miles from their home to place flowers in his memory, they found that Brown had left behind some of his familiar possessions.

In the ditch near Bean Creek where the 64-year-old perished, his grandson spotted a sack filled with little balls of glass.

"I found some of his marbles," Stuart Brown said.

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There has not been an obituary posted in the paper yet. If one is, I will post what it says for remembrances. The only address that I have is for his shop. I would guess the family would be picking up his mail from there or have it forwarded. That address is: Stan Brown, Marble Mouse, 354 9th Street, Astoria, OR 97103.

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Still no obituary but here was a letter someone wrote to the paper:

Letter: Memorable man

The following letter was received by the newspaper after word of the death in a motor vehicle accident Saturday of Stanley M. "Stan" Brown, 64, known to many in the region as the "Marble Guy."

We've only been here just shy of two years, but habits and routines are already firmly in place for our family. Without even knowing it, they began that first weekend we were here when we went to the Sunday Farmer's Market and my two daughters discovered the joys of getting a free lucky marble.

As the spring and summer wore on, I could always count on the girls to make the walk into town (about 20 blocks each way), if a stop by the marble shop was on the route. There, my girls could choose a marble out of a bin placed by the door if the shop was closed, or out of the Marble Guy's outstretched hand if the shop was open. If the latter was the case, we also went in, where he taught my eldest that a lot of ordinary objects could be marble stands. At 7, she found this endlessly fascinating, and soon things began to disappear around the house that turned up later as a marble display.

When the bin wasn't left outside, my girls would look through the flower bed in front, and there, among the oversized wooden fork and spoon, would be scattered small glass treasures. After my son was born, the Marble Guy made sure he had a shooter with his name, suspended on a chain, to keep for him later. We must have spent 45 minutes in the shop, sorting through the Brittanies and Barbaras to find that one elusive Benjamin.

Even when we were driving through town on our way somewhere else, we might be greeted with colorful pastel chalk swirls on the sidewalk, or his sandwich board. He always kept that corner interesting.

In fact, he kept Astoria more interesting, right up to Halloween, when, instead of candy, he stood at his door and handed out, of course, marbles. We talked again about how he should start a marble club at the shop to teach kids the rules. As I turned to leave, moving on to more trick-or-treating with my children, he stopped me and stretched out his hand, offering a marble.

"Here, Mom. Take a lucky marble for yourself."

CARRIE ANK

Astoria

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  • 1 month later...

Here's the posts on Pete's Land of Marbles Board about Stan some were from non-collectors that he gave marbles to and knew in other ways.

West Coast 'Marble Man' passes on

We lost a marble friend this past weekend. Here the article from the Daily Astorian (Astoria, Oregon). I would vist Stan each time I was up in Astoria. He will be missed.

11/28/2006 11:23:00 AM

The Daily Astorian file

'Marble Guy' dies in slippery accident in Washington

Stanley Brown, marble shop owner in Astoria, gave away free marbles to show his kindness and give people luck

By KARA HANSEN

The Daily Astorian

A 64-year-old Astoria man known to many as the "Marble Guy" died Saturday when his pickup slipped off an icy Washington road and plummeted into a ditch, settling upside down in several feet of water.

Stanley M. "Stan" Brown was headed south on the Astoria-Naselle bypass with his fiancée, Roshelle Jones, 41, of Longview, Wash., when he lost control of his vehicle near Bean Creek.

He was pronounced dead at the scene. Family members said Jones remained in a hospital Monday after suffering hip and neck injuries.

The owner of a marble shop in downtown Astoria, Brown had become a local fixture of sorts since moving to the area several years ago. He manned booths at Astoria's Sunday Market and at the Saturday Market in Ilwaco, Wash. He even appeared in the locally filmed "Ring II" during a market scene.

But sales weren't Brown's priority, family members said Monday. Whether at his store, at a market or walking along a downtown sidewalk, he insisted on handing out "lucky marbles" to anyone he passed. Brown's pockets rattled with the tiny glass spheres, and his store was filled with them, some also made of clay, metal, resin, rubber and wood.

His grandson Stuart, 16, of Naselle, said Brown likely gave away more marbles than he sold.

"He wanted to give away a million lucky marbles before he went," the teenager said. "I think he oversucceeded."

The "lucky marbles" offered Brown a chance "to show kindness and to give people luck, to get them back into marbles," said Stuart Brown. He often helped teach people to play marbles at his grandfather's booths, but the two also enjoyed road trips together through Washington and "adventures" in the forest, where they would watch birds, examine insects and discuss astronomy.

Stan Brown also liked to fish and was an umpire for many years. But life wasn't always so happy-go-lucky for the marble enthusiast.

Family members said Brown, a native of San Francisco, was a rowdy youth, earning the nickname "The Jumper" after a bar brawl or two in Fresno, Calif. He satisfied some of his early wanderlust by hitchhiking and by riding the rails - he was a skilled box-car jumper, family said.

Those behaviors bowed toward free love as he grew into adulthood. Brown eventually went through two marriages, raising a daughter, two sons, two stepsons and a stepdaughter. He started refinishing antique furniture before moving to Spokane, Wash., where he opened a moving business. But some of his younger years' unhealthy habits lingered.

Overcoming heavy drinking gave Brown a lot of pride, said his stepfather, Max Jones.

"He had a complete change of life when he quit drinking," Jones said. "It worked for him, and he'd tell other people about it, too. He liked to tell people, 'That's what you've got to do.'"

Camille Brown, a registered nurse in Naselle and the eldest of his three children, agreed her father was a strong advocate of 12-step programs, noting a memorial service will likely be held soon at an Alcoholics Anonymous club in Washington. But he helped many people throughout his life, she added.

"He'd offer food to the homeless," she said. "My dad never passed judgment on a single soul. He saw the love in everybody that passed his life."

After conquering his drinking problem, Brown, then in his 40s, attended community college in Seattle, where he studied environmental science. It was there he also rekindled an interest in marbles, teaching younger students about the game while selling tiny glass globes painted with Earths.

Those embellished orbs were among his most treasured. Using a technique that he attributed to Doug Anderson, some of his favorite painted and screen-printed marbles sit in the back of his shop, a miniature marble museum, which he opened when he moved to Astoria.

Joyce Compere, manager of Astoria Sunday Market, said Brown was also a strong supporter of local youths.

"Stan was remarkable with young people in this community," said Compere. "Young people who didn't fit in - he made a place for them; he put out his hand and didn't lose patience with them. He employed them, giving them job skills, social skills."

She said she hired two young men through Brown for odd jobs. And she laughed recounting his initial proposal for a market booth, which she said took her off-guard.

"I said, 'Stan, I don't think marbles are a 21st-century product.' He said, 'No, just give me a chance and we'll have fun with this. We'll get kids involved,'" Compere explained. "And he did."

She said plenty of lucky marbles scattered throughout her drawers will help to remember Brown.

"He was quirky, and funny, loving and concerned about the Earth and the people on it," Compere said. "I will miss him terribly."

Brown often visited family in Spokane, in Rosburg, Wash., and in Naselle. He was headed back to Astoria from one of those gatherings when his truck crashed just after Thanksgiving.

When family members ventured out to the site about two miles from their home to place flowers in his memory, they found that Brown had left behind some of his familiar possessions.

In the ditch near Bean Creek where the 64-year-old perished, his grandson spotted a sack filled with little balls of glass.

"I found some of his marbles," Stuart Brown said.

---------------------------------

11-29-2006 #2

Nadine

What a sad, yet wonderful story, you can't help but miss people like this.

Nadine

--------------------------

11-30-2006 #3

catfish

Montana Marble Hunter

I have goosebumps. Thanks for sharing that Al.

__________________

HAPPY COLLECTING,

DERRICK

----------

Hello, I met this marble man on a trip from Canon Beach to buy fresh fish for dinner. He sold me some marbles and he then gave me one of his shooter logo marbles which I am looking at right now. It says Marble Mouse House on one side and the biggest little marble store west of the mississippi on the other. I remember one of his daughters being there as well, and she was showing me her latest find of marbles in a sack. There were some old Acros and a few older Vitros. She was just beaming. I was completely surprized at how nice and laid back these two buisness people were during my visit to the marble store. Yes, he 'learned me' a thing or two about the subject, and I just can't believe he is gone. My deepest Sympathy goes out to the family. Warmest Regards, Roger Alfrey

Unregistered

-----------------------------------

3 Weeks Ago #6

schmoozer

We have a place on the Long Beach Peninsula in Washington and traveled into Astoria on a regualr basis to go antiquing. I stopped in his shop once and he gave me a free "world" marble, which I still carry in my car. He struck me as a very genuine, caring person, one who was always willing to talks to stangers. I hope someone carries on the business.

__________________

Still learning the game...

schmoozer

--------------

3 Weeks Ago #7

lstmmrbls

Super Moderator

He was one of a kind. And will be missed by all that met him. Peace,Galen

lstmmrbls

3 Weeks Ago #8

nervisnjerky

we have friends on the peninsula,also,and this summer my wife went up there to visit and to get in some antiquing in Astoria.She brought home this lucky marble from Stan. I wish I could have met him.We are both saddened by his unfortunate passing.God bless him.matt and deanne reilly

Attached Images

nervisnjerky

-----------------------------

2 Weeks Ago #9

Unregistered

i knew stan since 1984 he gave me my first job. stan was an amazing person looked like us grant on the fifty dollar bill all i can say is the world has lost a great man and a true friend hard to believe of all the things that almost killed stan over the years i never would have guess it would have been in a car several years ago stan had heart surgery six veins had to b replaced and he told the doc the day he was there can i come back next week im busy with a marble show to the freinds and family of stan my friend wow im sorry my name is mark perry junior thanks for reading

Unregistered

------------------------------

1 Week Ago #10

Unregistered

My name is ShelliDawn. I owned an espresso cart in Auburn,WA from1992 untill 2005. Stan Stan The Marbel Man was a cherished friend and very much a part of local culture at the cart. I met him for the first time in the early 90's when he approched me with his marbels and advertising ideas for my business. Over the years he brought me marbels with a varrity of sayings from "call for the best coffee in town" to "for a drink and a weink" and several that had nothing at all to do with business. He even made commenorative marbels for the 10th anniversary of Sorellas and of course attented the anniversary festivities. He must have just returned to WA from San Francisico for the party, because he brought some of the BEST Pastry I ever tasted from a bakery owned by his sister and brother inlaw who lived in the Bay Area. After I sold the espresso business a couple of years ago Stan still stayed in touch. Last spring he stopped by my house in Tacoma on one of his trips. My mother was staying with me as she was ill suffering from cronic bronchitus. Stan went to the store and came back with ginger root and honey and showed me how to make tea for my mother. My mom showed remarkable improvment and avoided taking antibiotics for the first time. Before Stan left he gave me a hand full of various size marbels printed with my signature. I was shoched at first at seeing my signature and then recalled several years earlier signing a peice of paper for him. He told me of his idea of using marbels for calling cards and obviously he had not forgotten about it as I had.

I could go on and on with many more storys about enthusiasm and kindness, integrity and warmth, this man exemplified. He was smart and tallented. Once I was visiting him at his marbel warehouse in auburn and just before we walked out the door he sat down at the piano and started pounding the keys and belting out a song from sometime in the 30s or 40s. I had never known anyone to play or to sound as good as he sounded and apparently he did so "off the cuff"

I only just heard the news a few hours ago and my heart is heavy with the feeling of loss. I know my loss is but a speck in the enormous loss to the his family and to the world. What a wonderfull if encentric

individual. He will remain with me always in spirit as I can only aspire to be half the person that he was.

Unregistered

 

 

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