FLOAT ABOUT... © Copyright August 21st, 1999 Issue #21
Everyone afloat? Not all of us were fortunate enough to travel to exotic places this summer. To compensate, I am determined to make issue #21 of Float About the best ever. Besides, 21 is my luckiest of numbers and we will soon step into the 21st Century. My luck remains untarnished. With a lot of help from my friends, scouts and collectors over 50 new designs have been added to the list. Some old favorites have returned as well.
Yes... the Yogi Bear & Boo Boo pen is finally back in stock (under Advertise). It's entirely possible that I might be over compensating for my own missed vacation, but I am pleased that you will share in my indulgence. Let the celebration begin!
THE GREAT COCA-COLA GIVEAWAY... is for everyone. One of my most sincere and avid supporters has presented me with a gift. I have received three Coca-Cola pen designs. I've been instructed to give the pens away to my customers or trade them with my fellow collectors. This is the deal of the Century... the 21st Century.
Design #1 Red/white panel truck crosses Atlanta cityscape; Coca-Cola logo in foreground.
Design #2 Red/white panel truck makes it's way to the World of Coca-Cola
Purchase any 5 (non-Olympic) pens from my list and receive design #1 free of charge.
Buy a total of 10 (non-Olympic) pens to get designs #1 and #2 free.
Buy a total of 15 (non-Olympic) pens to receive the set of three Coca-Cola pens.
The pens will NOT be offered for sale, but they are available for trade. The Coca-Cola pens are in limited supply. Only one set per collector can be spared. I want everyone to have a chance to own this set. When placing an order or arranging a trade be sure to mention that you want to participate in the Great Coca-Cola Giveaway.
Good fortune continues... I have made a special purchase of 1996 Olympic pens. Originally there were 35+ designs created to commemorate the 1996 event. You will find seven Coca-Cola Olympic designs under the Advertise column of the Main List. Pens that represent specific events are listed under the Olympics category. Note the special $2.75 price. You can take advantage of the nice price now, or kick yourself when they list on Ebay two years down the road. I have 50 of some designs... as few as 5 of others. Don't wait. Buy 10 or more Olympic designs and the price drops to $2.50 per Olympic pen.
MEDIA SIGHTINGS... were a bit skimpy, but there is good news for cable viewers. Remember Personal FX-The Collectibles Show? It aired on the FX Channel. The show was canceled at the end of the 1998 season. Many felt that was a mistake. Apparently PAX TV agrees. Monday, August 9, PAX TV aired the first episode of Treasures in Your Home with John Burke as host. John had been the co-host on PFX. Yes... it was John that interviewed me for the float pen segment. Good to see him on-the-air again.
TIYH revolves around collectibles and antiques. The one hour program includes interactive auctions, chat rooms, contests, and professional appraisals. They also cover special events and visit the homes of outstanding collectors. Unlike PFX, the new TIYH chooses to utilize the www to the max. If your cable doesn't carry PAX TV... no need to worry. You can catch it live on the internet.
It's fun. It's educational. It's for collectors of all ages. Children are often featured with their collections. Register at their website (NOTE: April 2015- Website closed years ago) so that you too may participate in the action. The show is on every week night at 7pm (Eastern). Pull up a chair. I know I will be watching.
A related note... Judith Katz-Schwartz and David Maloney appeared as guest appraisers the entire first week of the program. If you spend any time in the collectibles section at your book store, Maloney is probably a familiar name. David just released the 5th edition of the highly-acclaimed Maloney's Antiques & Collectibles Resource Directory. 880 pages of resources. Need more information? Check out the website (NOTE: April 2015... site long gone).
It was a joy to see Judith Katz-Schwartz offer her expert advice and professional appraisals. She is also a collector and retailer. Judith publishes an on-line Antiques & Collectibles Newsletter free to subscribers. Contact Judith at (NOTE: April 2015 - Email defunct) to arrange for your subscription. Elvie Guy and Deb Dzurilla directed me to Judith's newsletter. Thank you ladies.
SCOUTS... they keep us afloat. Behind every collector I've known there is an army of scouts that hunt and find pens to add to their collection. Few of us work alone. Without scouts, a collection would grow ever so slowly. These pen hunters are often family members, friends or co-workers and our collections are dependent on their pen tracking abilities.
Jim Melton (International Air Transport Assoc-Geneva), Ken Orth (Boeing representative to the International Civil Aviation Organization-Civil Aviation Environmental Program), Bob Solaimani (Boeing Noise Engineering), John-Paul Clark (professor at MIT), Erik Nielsen (Environmental Director, Copenhagen Airport) and Gerry Mack (Boeing Brussels Representative), who are these people? They are La Nea Conner's personal scout troop.
These individuals are willing to take time out of their busy schedules to hunt for float pens. Since all these guys are engineers, and naturally into 'details', they make great floaty scouts. They are careful to choose attractive colors, check for bubbles, and make sure each pen is trade-worthy. This isn't always easy.
Ken was in a souvenir shop in Italy examining a handful of pens. The owner, a little old lady, walked up to him and grabbed the entire lot from his hand while yelling something in Italian. Ken was not intimidated. He picked up yet another handful of pens only to have the woman remove them again. After several attempts he was able to pick and choose some very nice pens for La Nea's collection.
There are sometimes annoying consequences. Bob recently attended meetings in Atlanta. On the morning of his flight back to Seattle he decided to pick up pens at the Coca-Cola Museum. Everything was going great. He found the museum, picked up the pens and headed back to the airport. But, traffic turned vicious and he was 30 minutes late for check-in. The airline had given away his seat and he had to wait 4 hours to catch another flight that would take three hours longer! Bob is a dedicated scout.
La Nea would like to take this opportunity to send a big 'Thank You' to all of the dedicated floaty pen scouts out there. Without their help, collecting and trading would not be nearly as much fun. Thank you all!
I am glad La Nea shared her scout stories with us. They serve as a reminder to us all... appreciate and treasure your scouts. They may be future float pen collectors.
After a long day of meetings, Ken (left) meets up with Bob (right) in a hotel room in Madrid to compare float pen bounty.
COLLECTORS NEWS... On August 17th Miranda Wittebol was interviewed for a weekly women's magazine called Vriendn. The article will explore three special collections and their owners. Miranda said the interviewer was pleasantly surprised and amazed by Miranda's collection and her story. Ms Wittebol was quick to express her loyalty to Eskesen products. She also shared stories about her trading buddies. They even discussed how Miranda's boyfriend, Dik, feels about her collection. Next step is a photo-shoot scheduled for Friday the 20th. The story should appear in an October issue. I will keep you posted.
Collections flourish ... As many collectors are approaching and crossing the 100 pen count, Kristen Marino announced she just reached 600. Her excitement is understandable. Miranda Wittebol has gathered 3,700 pens. Miranda and I usually stay very close in numbers, but I suspect she has passed me. No matter how large or small... every collection is distinctive.
Patricia White... tells me that IMAX theaters are showing a movie entitled The Mysteries of Egypt in their many facilities across the country. Hmmm... is it possible the Egypt pen I have for sale is actually a pen used to promote a movie? I honestly do not know.
Patricia noticed the symbol on the pen is identical to the symbol that appears on the movie poster. Now pen owners will need to decide how to categorize the pen. Should it be under Locations/Egypt or Advertise/Mysteries of Egypt? I choose the first. In your personal collection you should choose the category that works best for you.
Rosemary O'Malley... makes a special trip to shop at the Big Apple Store in Colborne, Ontario, Canada. She is not alone. The store boasts over 500,000 visitors each year. With all they have to offer it's really no wonder. Over 2,000 pies are baked fresh each week in their pie factory. The observation window allows everyone to watch the bakers in action.
It is so much more than just a store. The Big Apple is a massive facility that is located on Canada's Apple Route. All tour busses following the route make it a point to stop. Children enjoy the mini golf, petting zoo and playground areas. In addition to fresh baked pie, the store offers upscale fast food to satisfy it's hungry visitors. Everyone enjoys climbing up inside the biggest apple in the world. Enjoy the audio visual display on your way to the 35' top of the apple. When you get there... oh what a view!
The gift shop sells a variety of Canadian and Big Apple souvenirs. Rosemary was tickled to find two different Big Apple float pens. The first is a conceal/reveal clicker style. The image alternates from a big red apple to an apple core with the tip of the pen. The second pen is a classic photoramic (shown above). Find both pens under New Arrivals.
If you are shopping for a Canadian vacation call 1/888-275-7688 for information about The Apple Route. To learn more about the Big Apple Store visit their website (Note: April 2015 -Site closed).
Linda McCormick... and her daughter collect float pens. Linda Sienkiewicz and both of her boys enjoy and collect float pens. It isn't unusual for husbands and wives to have a joint collection, but I find it especially endearing when parents and children share the same collective passion. What a fabulous and fun opportunity for parents to spend time with their children.
Now that she has stepped out of the collectors' closet, Linda McCormick's co-workers are very aware of her float pen fixation. She introduced a co-worker's daughter to float pen collecting. It was a proud moment for Linda when the child's grandmother asked what the girl would like her to bring back from Europe. The child requested float pens. And why not? They are the perfect coollectible.
Janice Vega presented her 5 year old nephew with his very first float pen. She chose a Curious George design. Perfect. Just a few weeks ago Gwen Garabedian became a grandmother for the first time. I can easily imagine Gwen and Lulu hand-in-hand hunting for float pens. Have you encouraged or inspired any young collectors? Why not?
Correction... regarding the article about knitting needles that I mentioned in the last issue. The article actually appeared in the Fall issue of Family Circle's Easy Knitting magazine NOT the monthly Family Circle. We were unaware of the special knitting publication. The article begins on page 15 and continues through page 19. Sources appear on page 101. We have received many inquiries and several orders as the magazine staff gave Bill's needles a very favorable review. Sorry you were misdirected.
And finally ... a question from Kristen Marino. Kristen has two pens with identical caption panels and pictures, but one of them is a twist n click style and the other is in a classic style. She wonders if they qualify as two different pens within her collection?
Personally, in my collection, there has to be a difference in either the caption panel or picture panel. The difference can be minor, but I do not count the style of pen as a 'difference'. In my opinion, the character and uniqueness of the pen is established by the artwork. The style of pen or color of the barrel falls under packaging, therefore incidental. I feel we should avoid attributing too much importance or emphasis on style and concentrate on the artwork. What do you think?
Art captured in float pens ... was a short topic in the last issue of Float About. Many art museums have commissioned a float pen to highlight a specific piece of art from their own gallery. Even Mona Lisa's smile has been memorialized in a float pen. I doubt I could find an adult in the USA that would not recognize the name and works of Norman Rockwell. He is most famous for his ability to capture American lifestyle on canvas. The Norman Rockwell Museum is dedicated to the life and works of Mr. Rockwell.
The museum chose to have a custom float pen made for their visitors. Norman's 1967 Stockbridge Main Street at Christmas is a long and narrow painting that lends itself well to the float pen format. Just like the original painting, the pen is delightful. A fresh cut evergreen is being transported on the roof of a red car. The car floats down Main street where people shop and carry packages.
The Norman Rockwell Museum is just minutes away from historic Stockbridge, MA and open year-round. Call visitors services for reservations and program information 413/298-4100 ext 220. Visit their website www.nrm.org
Rockwell's studio was moved from behind his home to the 36 acre museum site. It is open May-October. The museum features changing exhibits, many famous works by Norman Rockwell, outdoor sculptures by Peter Rockwell and more. Explore the scenic grounds, enjoy the Housatonic River Walk, picnic with your family. Don't forget the gift shop.
Although it wasn't intentional... it was kind of dinosaurs to leave tracks and traces so that modern man could bear witness to their existence. In 1966, Edward McCarthy, a bulldozer operator, turned over a slab of sandstone to find a set of six large, three-toed footprints. The Connecticut Valley has a long history of fossil track discoveries. Today the trackway at Dinosaur State Park in Rocky Hill, CT is one of the largest on-site displays of dinosaur tracks in the world and an established Registered Natural Landmark.
The remains of the animal that made the original tracks has yet to be found. Scientists agree that the trackmaker was a carnivorous dinosaur similar in size and weight to Arizona's Dilophosaurus. This is the creature pictured in the Park's custom float pen.
In addition to the dinosaur trackway the park features an arboretum, nature trails, picnic area, Friends' Bookshop, and gift shop. You will find the Dinosaur State Park just a few miles South of Hartford. For information about hours, reservations, educational programs or membership application call 860/257-7601. www.dinosaurstatepark.org
Kansas and Politics... what better combination? Many collectors are trying to obtain a pen from every state. Kansas is a tough catch. Ginny Hamme suggested that I contact the Eisenhower Center in Abilene, Kansas. The Museum was built by the Eisenhower Foundation, constructed of Kansas limestone and was dedicated on Veterans' Day 1954. The complex consists of five buildings situated on 22 acres. Visit the Eisenhower Family Home, Museum, Library, Place of Meditation and Visitors Center.
The Introductory Gallery features highlights of Ike's life beginning with his years as a young man in Abilene and ending with his funeral. Find changing exhibits, often of a current theme, featured in the Temporary Gallery. Mamie Eisenhower's personal clothing, jewelry and other objects are displayed in the First Lady's Gallery. Finally, the Presidential Gallery reflects the 1952 and 1956 Presidential campaigns. It includes gifts from heads of state, objects and photos related to the administration. Contact the Eisenhower Center at 785/263-4751 to obtain a copy of their catalog, or get information regarding programs, special events, reservations and hours.
President Eisenhower swings a golf club as he relaxes on the estate. Pen is under New Arrivals. Your only dilemma will be what category to stick it in ... KS/Abilene/Eisenhower Center or Politics/Pres Eisenhower? Your choice.
Craig Wilson... admits that his toy box contains View-Master reels, Scrabble, postal-related toys, 'Woodie' cars, Route 66 items, drive-in movies, Hitchcock postcards, advertising spokes figures, pop bottles, and books on pop-art. After viewing the list, Craig's wife Terri exclaimed... 'I married a pack rat!'. Terri collects snowglobe/music boxes, teacher related toys, letter openers and she has 'a very large dust collection and it takes every room to store it'.
When you amass so many different items, display and storage becomes a challenge. Craig found oversized corrugated file folders at a teachers' supply store. They were intended to be used for storing posters. Craig cut slits through the surface layer of cardboard so that he can clip his pens to the folder. Folders are sold separately. The file box has handholds, so it's easy to tote.
The box and folders are packaged as the File 'n Save Storage System by Trend Enterprises. He has also spotted them for sale at Staples Office Supply. I don't have a photo. Craig made several attempts to send an image to me via email. I failed to read the images. Sorry Craig... I promise I tried.
A NEW CATEGORY... has been initiated. Many of you realize that I only add new pen designs to my sale/trade list with the release of a fresh issue of Float About. In between issues, I try to remove pens that are sold out and add notations to pens that are 'temporarily out of stock'.
Until now, new pen designs have been inserted into the appropriate categories within the Main List. I marked them with a bold NEW so that you could spot them. My duplicate list is getting SO long I know it must be frustrating to wade through the entire list in search of new entries. I hope this new category will serve you well. The New Arrivals category will include pens that have never appeared on my list before. The pens will not be repeated within the Main List.
The New Arrivals category has been instated with the release of issue #21. When issue #22 is released, the previous 'New Arrival' pens will be inserted into the Main List and replaced with the utmost recent additions. Two other categories have been rearranged for your convenience. Related Products and Scripto Lighters have moved to the bottom of the pen list. Please let me know how you feel about these changes.
PEN LIST #21... has over 50 new designs of which 30+ are foreign. In addition to new arrivals 20+ 1996 Olympic pens have returned... while they last.
New Arrivals of the Advertise variety ... includes the Big Apple Store duo (mentioned earlier). Both Magma & the NASA Southern Great Plains 1999 Experiment pens are from Floatart, Nancy Nerenberg's studio. Both pens are in short supply. The Norman Rockwell pen is a must. A Quilters pen features a floating pair of fancy scissors. The crew at Underground Tours of Seattle has a new custom pen. This one features a black spider crawling up an intricate web that hangs in the foreground (pictured). Looks like the spider design will likely replace the old 'rat chases couple through tour' pen.
New Arrivals includes ... four foreign event pens. Travel from caveman-spaceman. The Journey to the 21st Century pen depicts peoples throughout recorded history. Pen is attached to a colorful display card. Britain celebrates the upcoming Millennium with two pens: London Party 2000 and Millennium 2000. These two pens are also displayed on cards. The cards are in good, but not mint condition. Pens on cards will sell for $3.75 each. The Scotland Millennium 2000 pen is the fourth entry, but it is not attached to a display card.
Take a tour of Britain... via float pens. Did I get lucky! Foreign pens galore. I'm sure there are designs in this grouping that you will need in your collection. I think you will appreciate the nice price. I am offering the Britain pens for just $3.50 each. If you are online... every new pen has a picture link so that you may take a good look before you buy. Scotland is also represented (see the smiling Nessie). All of these pens appear in the New Arrivals category. When you finish browsing, you will feel as though you've toured Britain and you came home with a suitcase full of float pens.
British Humor... silly, but fun. Six sheep approach a resting shepherd in the Humor/Britain/Sheep pen. It's a nice design, but it's the caption panel that is most curious.
New USA Location pens... include these already mentioned: CT/Rocky Hill/Dino State Park, LA/New Orleans/Jazz Band & Riverboat designs, but there are more. PA/Harrisburg/Vintage car, Puerto Rico/Frogs, SC/Peaches, and WI/Dells/Boat on Lake. Bill and I were in Chicago for an Art Fair in July. We stopped at the Shedd Aquarium long enough to raid the gift shop before leaving town. Lucy, a clerk in the gift shop, helped me round-up float pens. Isn't this a beauty?!
Discontinued and revised pens... Did I tell you that the Mt Rainier Brewery has closed their doors? If they aren't making beer anymore, you can bet they won't be producing anymore float pens. I bought several the last time I ordered, so I will be well stocked for awhile. When the
Adv/Mt Rainier Beer Bottle with legs pen is sold out... it will be forever.
With the end of President Clinton's term his float pen will also retire. If I had known this in advance I would have stocked up for the future. As it stands I have a handful. If you already have this pen in your collection, please leave the remaining inventory to those that have not.
The Welcome to the World Little One pen has been revised. The new version has the same picture, but a brand new caption panel. All four LA/New Orleans pens have been refreshed. Two of them were introduced as 'new' in issue #20. The street car and jazz band pens appear on the New Arrivals list in issue #21. Consider all four of the old designs endangered. Be sure to specify 'old' or 'new' when ordering LA/New Orleans pens.
FAQ's... a couple of questions to address. No, the float pen book that has been in-the-works for several years doesn't appear to be any closer to publication. I know, it is discouraging news. 2,000 would be a great year for the release, keep your fingers crossed. As for the upcoming Olympics... I haven't heard anything about pens for the event. Might be a little early to start looking for them. I will let you know if I hear anything.
Bill and I are winding down... from a long hot summer and feel it is quickly slipping away. Even though we really like turkey breast sandwiches with ranch dressing and baco-bits, we have tired of the summer menu. As the temperatures drop we are drawn to foods that offer warmth. Time to dust off the cauldron and fire-up a pot of chili.
Did you acquire many new float pens for your collection during the tourist season? Don't worry, it's not over yet. You still have a few weeks to hunt and gather. Don't hesitate though... autumn approaches. In the meantime, browse the list. You won't be disappointed.
Our craft show season has started to peak. The month of September begins with a show on Labor Day followed by three consecutive weekends at Yankee Peddler. Our son Josh will join us as a demonstrator. We couldn't do the show without him. It is the largest Colonial recreation craft event in the country. I will do my best to keep up with pen biz in between. Please forgive me if I run a little slower than usual. Due to the hectic schedule it will be late October, possibly early November before issue #22 is released. When next we meet there could be snow on the ground... brrr. Before that happens try to find time to enjoy one last fall float about.
I'm ready to go pen shopping! Pens for Sale
Back up to Issue #20 please
Continue to Issue #22 please
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