Newsletter #212

March 15, 2003

Greetings Accumulators!

It looks as if the deep freeze of winter in New York is just about over. Hallelujah and good riddance to the worst winter in recent memory! I keep wanting to grab the edge of the calendar, though, and tug hard on it, holding it back, so it won't advance to March 17th.

We've discussed Gary Duschl and his strange obsession in this newsletter before. He is the Virginia man who has been making a chain of chewing gum wrappers since 1965, when he was 11 years old. We're talking about him again because his local newspaper, the Virginia-Pilot, has announced that his collection has reached the one million wrapper mark, and moved on. So, he hasn't just been folding them, he's been counting them as well. The gum wrapper chain now stretches just over eight miles, or the length of 29 Empire State buildings laid end-to-end. It's current weight is now almost 600 pounds. He holds the record for the world's longest gum wrapper chain. The president of Wrigley's even wrote to him to say: "Very few people have the ability to 'stick' with a project as long as you have.'' Quite a jokester, that Wrigley's president. Gary, who lives with his apparently either very tolerant or very crazy wife, keeps the chain in eight boxes, and adds about 72 wrappers a day. And what motivated him to start the gum wrapper chain in the first place? He started the chain as a boy, when his schoolmates began making them. "I wanted to have the longest in the class. Then the longest in the school. Then the longest in the area,'' said Gary. Hmmm. And I'm sure you have the - um - longest one now, Gary. And you probably don't have all that many teeth left, either. Which may be why Gary maintains a web site on which he urges people to send him gum wrappers to add to his chain. At least his wife knows what he's doing out there in the garage all the time. LINK

All you vintage clothing collectors, get yourself over to Berlin. Or not. A retired fashion designer/fashion editor there wants to give away her collection, housed in 3,000 (yes, three thousand) trash bags. Josefine Edle von Krepl has spent her life collecting them. Von Krepl, 58, told the Berliner Kurier newspaper: "I bought these things from people who wanted to throw them out. These days, who has got any clothes from the 1920s or 1930s?" Her sons don't want any part of the dresses, hats and shoes, which span seven decades, so she is looking for someone "willing to continue the work". Part of her collection will go on display at Meyenburg castle in Brandenburg in April. With vintage clothing, as with all collectibles, some stuff is worth collecting, and some is just stuff. You may want to read my article, "Grandma and The Schmattes". You can find it at LINK.

Another story from those tasteful folk in Germany. A moldy glass once used by Britney Spears will be the star attraction at a German exhibition. The glass, from which the pop diva drank orange juice during her visit at Eins Live radio station in Cologne in January 2002, will be exhibited at the pop paraphernalia show in Bochum following a nationwide tour. The show also includes an ash tray used by Robbie Williams during his visit to the station, a pen used by Kylie Minogue to sign autograph cards, and a water bottle Mick Jagger drank from. The station says the exhibition "takes place in the no man's land between pop culture, art and irony. Everyone can decide for himself whether ordinary things assume a certain aura once they have been touched by a celebrity." The exhibition will stay in Bochum until March 25, then travel to another four German cities. All of them apparently located in No Man's Land.

The actress Shelley Taylor Morgan, whom you all loved to hate on General Hopsital, was co-host of "Treasures In Your Home", on which I also appeared. Aside from her great looks and delightful personality, one of the things most likable about Shelley is her penchant for collecting. And she has wonderful taste. Shelley, along with her talented husband Greg, have decorated their apartment to showcase their collections, and it is stunning! Now, Shelley has created a web site that consists of a tour through their lovely home, and she is permitting me to share a rare glimpse of their domain with you. Bear in mind, as you wander around this gorgeous place, that Shelley and Greg did everything in their home themselves. Amazing! LINK.

If you belong to a collectors' club, or if you'd like to join one, this is the site for you. Filled with news, contact information, a resource library, discussion forums and show schedules, it's your all-purpose location for anything relating to collecting and collecting clubs. LINK.

I've kept you long enough, Accumulators. It's time to go out an enjoy your weekend. We have various social engagements to attend to, and we hope to get some browsing in there as well. Enjoy the mild weather, if it's mild where you are. If not, think of the spring and summer to come (not you Aussie Accumulators, of course, who are facing the end of summer). Whatever you do, have a great week, Accumulators. Happy hunting!

2003 Judith Katz-Schwartz. All rights reserved.
Antiques and Collectibles Newsletter #212
U.S. Library of Congress
ISSN 1520-4464


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1996-2003 Judith Katz-Schwartz. All rights reserved.