Newsletter #166

January 4, 2002

Greetings Accumulators!

And a happy, healthy and prosperous new year to you! On the occasion of a new year, pundits of all stripe seem to want to take stock of where we are and where we've been. This year I noticed a preponderance of writers who devoted their time and space to discussing how we've all been changed by the events of September 11, 2001. I prefer to ponder those things that have remained unchanged. I've always counted myself lucky to be an American, lucky to be born here, to have grown up here, and lucky to have enjoyed all the benefits and opportunities that come with being here. That hasn't changed and it will never change. I'll tell you what else hasn't changed: New Yorkers. For one thing, we have our own language. No, I'm not referring to the "New York accent". As all New Yorkers know, it is you, and not we, who have an accent. I refer, of course, to our stubborn refusal to call that avenue nestled between Fifth Avenue and Seventh Avenue "The Avenue Of The Americas", even though we know our government gave it that name eons ago. New Yorkers simply do not acknowledge that which doesn't meet with our approval. It's "Sixth Avenue", and that's that. We also refer to Central Park as "the park", and to The Statue of Liberty as "the statue". And, we refer to the borough of Manhattan as "the city", even though there are five perfectly good boroughs within the city limits. There are subway stations in Brooklyn that have signs pointing to the tracks, one track going to "Coney Island" and the other to "The City". So, if two New Yorkers met one morning in, let's say, Queens, and one asked the other, "what are you doing today?", and the response was, "I'm going into the city. I have some shopping to do on Sixth Avenue, and then I'm going to the park, and in the afternoon, I'm going to the statue", the only logical question would be, "Why are you going to the statue so late in the day?" I've once again meandered far afield, so now for some news.

In an obvious attempt to illustrate where the term "mad Russian" came from, Alexander Afanasyev is building a home made completely of empty champagne bottles, according to Pravda. He collects the bottles from dumps near Vesely, where he lives. Afanasyev, who is unemployed, has already tried out the bottle building technique by adding 9,000 bottles to his existing home, tied together and grouted. He says it is strong and warm, and that his family is comfortble there, so he is building an entire new house from the bottles. He claims the bottle house requires much less fuel to keep it warm. Talk about one man's trash being another man's treasure! No word on whether the Dom Perignon and Clicquot labels are turned outward to impress the neighbors. Also, no word on the rumors that those very same neighbors have begged the Afanasyevs to "please put up some drapes, willya?"

Okay, if you're a student of people like me, then you can't have helped noticing that Barbie has been wasting her life on that no-good Ken. Actually, you didn't have to notice it yourself - I point it out all the time. He's been stringing along this phenomenal woman for more than thirty years, and has never popped the question. I'm so sick of miniature commitment-phobic men! Now there's news and a free offer from some folks who appreciate the guy with whom Barbie really should be. I refer, of course to G.I. Joe. Now, that's a man! The Hasbro G.I.Joe Collectors Club is offering anyone who purchases a membership in their club a free collectible action figure. The Club is offering a "clear," super-articulated G.I. Joe to anyone who purchases a membership by February 10, 2002. All current G.I. Joe Club members (as of Feb. 10) will receive the limited edition figure. Membership in the club is $36 annually and includes 12 issues of "Master Collector" and the "G.I. Joe Collectors Club Newsletter." Members also receive access to the club's members only website and they get a free classified ad each month in "Master Collector." For additional information on the G.I. Joe Collectors Club, call 817-448-9863 or visit Now, we all need to pool our resources and buy a membership for Barbie.

A Pennsylvania artist named Edward Shank has produced a sculpture as a tribute to the heroes of the September 11th attacks. The strange thing is that Mr. Shank's medium is butter. He spent 50 hours molding over 800 pounds of butter into a sculpture depicting a firefighter, a police officer and a soldier holding flags. He worked on the sculpture, entitled "American Heroes", in a refrigerator, for obvious reasons, and it will go on display at the 86th annual Pennsylvania State Farm Show in Harrisburg this weekend. No, don't tempt me. I'm not going to say a word.

So, Accumulators, time to make something nice for Artie's dinner. Tomorrow we trek up to the frozen mountains to continue the interior work on the house. I have a whole mess of radio interviews coming up. On this Sunday, January 6th, I'll be doing the nationally syndicated show, "Clear Across America", at 4:15 PM Eastern. On Tuesday, January 8th, I'll be on the Don Weeks Show on WGY in Albany, New York (810AM) at 7:20 A.M. On Wednesday, January 9th, I'll be doing "Talk Of The Town" on KORN (1490AM) in Mitchell, SD at 8:40 AM Central. More coming! If you're within earshot of any of these, please tune in. Some of these shows have call-in features, and I would love to hear from Accumulators on the air. If you want details on these and other near-future appearances, here's a link to the upcoming events page of my website: LINK. One last thing: if you haven't yet bought my book, please do. Sales of the book help me afford to write and send this newsletter, which I dearly love to do. Have a great week, Accumulators, full of great finds and great laughs. Happy hunting!

RIP George Harrison. Thank you for the many gifts you've given us through the years.

2002 Judith Katz-Schwartz. All rights reserved.
Antiques and Collectibles Newsletter #166
U.S. Library of Congress
ISSN 1520-4464


Your comments, as always, are welcome. If you have something to say, write to me.
To subscribe to the free short weekly email newsletter, send a blank email to





Any questions? E-mail us at

1996-2002 Judith Katz-Schwartz. All rights reserved.