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Please contact me at JarLegends@BallJars.net if you would like to be a part of this and in the process give back to our wonderful hobby.

Folks, it's because of the tragic loss of long time fellow collectors as well as many other instances of long time collector friends and acquaintances passing too I am now doing this series of articles entitled "Legends of the Jar." This is my way of giving back to the hobby and at the same time hopefully generating interest and enthusiasm for the fruit jar hobby in general. Call it what you want, “15 Minutes of Fame” or whatever but the truth is simply this, most long time collectors deserve it.

It’s far better if I visit with an individual to do the story since the article is partly a first person account of my experience of that same visit but that isn’t really an absolute necessity. If I can be provided clear, decent high resolution photos of the collection and various important individual jars, I can always do an interview with anyone over the phone.

These articles are first appearing in the Midwest Antique Fruit Jar & Bottle Clubs publication "The Glass Chatter." For those who don’t know, that is the Club that sponsors the only Fruit Jar Show in the country in Muncie, IN. Then afterwards selected articles will appear in the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors magazine, "Bottles and Extras." After each and every articles initial publication in the Glass Chatter, I then put the article on this Web Site for the general public to view.

But I still need many more collectors’ stories for future articles. It doesn't matter if you don't have four $$$$ or five $$$$$ figure jars in the collection. What really matters is if you've been collecting for at least twenty years and love this hobby. Most likely anyone who has put that much time in has contributed in some small way to the hobby we all love and enjoy and most importantly has a story to tell.

Of course one of my rewards in all of this is getting to live for a small period of time vicariously through the person or persons I’m doing the story on during the visit but the ultimate reward is seeing the fruit jar hobby positively portrayed to the collecting world at large.

I am not a professional writer or photographer by any means but I have received nothing but positive feedback on these stories/articles. Those who collect fruit jars are part of one of the greatest hobbies in the world IMO so why not show the world what they’re missing.

   
July 2012

Jerry McCann

Does Fruit Jar Paradise exist in Chicago land? Well, from what I could tell from my fist hand experience being there, indeed it does! Jerry McCann’s collection is simply mind boggling and incredibly beyond the pale of what you normally would see in most people’s collections.

This Article was also published in the following Publications:

July 2012 Midwest Glass Chatter. The official publication of the Midwest Antique Fruit Jar & Bottle Club.

July - Aug 2012 Bottles and Extras, The official publication of the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors.
May 2012

Jim O'Connor

I first met Jim way back at Winter Muncie 2008. Both he and his son John were walking the halls with a couple of outrageous colored jars in their hands. My first thoughts were holy cow; one of those jars is exactly what I’d love to have. I really enjoyed talking and visiting with Jim. He’s a good ole boy with a great sense of humor and he not only knows how to tell a good story, he has plenty of them to tell.

This Article was also published in the following Publications:

May 2012 Midwest Glass Chatter. The official publication of the Midwest Antique Fruit Jar & Bottle Club.

May - June 2012 Bottles and Extras, The official publication of the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors.
March 2012

Chuck Erb

 

I’ve known Chuck for a few years now and at Winter Muncie 2011 I kind of naturally gravitated to Chuck’s room because in my opinion Chuck is not only a very unique person but it’s hard to find someone as bubbly and fun to be around. It was at that time I asked if I could visit with him in Iowa, do a story and see Iowa from an Iowan’s point of view. Of course he said he’d be delighted if I came by anytime but wasn’t sure he merited a “story” but IMHO he is a true “Legend” more than worthy of a article.

This Article was also published in the following Publications:

March 2012 Midwest Glass Chatter. The official publication of the Midwest Antique Fruit Jar & Bottle Club.

Mar - Apr 2012 Bottles and Extras, The official publication of the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors.
 
Nov 2011

Darrell Plank

Darrell Plank has most likely THE Best "Rare" colored Fruit Jar Collection in the world bar none. In doing this interview with Darrell over the phone I came away actually quite impressed with the man. There is a whole lot more to him than meets the eye and rare fruit jars. Darrell is very laid back and down to earth but also very articulate, outgoing and personable. He’s an incredibly intelligent person and extremely knowledgeable about his jars too.

This Article was also published in the following Publications:

Nov 2011 Midwest Glass Chatter. The official publication of the Midwest Antique Fruit Jar & Bottle Club.

Nov - Dec 2011 Bottles and Extras, The official publication of the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors.
Sept 2011

Dave Hinson 

I’ve never met Dave in person but I have known him since I joined the Fruit Jar Group on Yahoo back in Feb 2003.

In 2004 Dave, who is the “Owner” of the Group queried for an assistant Moderator and this humble author gladly accepted that responsibility. Dave and I are still Moderators.

This Article was also published in the following Publications:

Sept 2011 Midwest Glass Chatter. The official publication of the Midwest Antique Fruit Jar & Bottle Club.

Sept - Oct 2011 Bottles and Extras, The official publication of the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors.
 
July 2011

Dick Bere

 

There comes a time in everyone’s life when they actually get a chance to meet someone who is really rather special.  Actually in my humble opinion, this person is extraordinary to say the least.  I haven’t known Dick for very long but after spending the entire day with him, seeing his fabulous collection and hearing from others about his life and personal passions, I agree that he is somewhat remarkable. And mind you, it is not because he is a former President of The Kroger Co, the largest food retailer in the country bar none.  It is because he unselfishly gives of his money, time and energy to benefit the least of those in Cincinnati, OH.

This Article was also published in the following Publications:

July 2011 Midwest Glass Chatter. The official publication of the Midwest Antique Fruit Jar & Bottle Club.

July - August 2011 Bottles and Extras, The official publication of the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors.
March 2011

Dick Harris

My visit gave Dick at least a nice period of time to temporarily display many of his wonderful jars once again after many years in storage.

This Article was also published in the following Publications:

March 2011 Midwest Glass Chatter. The official publication of the Midwest Antique Fruit Jar & Bottle Club.

March - April 2011 Bottles and Extras, The official publication of the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors.
February 2011

Fr. Patrick Wilhellm

Talking with Fr. Pat I quickly realized that he was more than a character; he was actually very animated, hilarious and quite personable. Plus a very important message came through to me loud and clear too, when it comes to fruit jars; “it’s not what you know that really matters but who you know that ultimately matters, including God Almighty.”

This Article was also published in the following Publications:

February 2011 Midwest Glass Chatter. The official publication of the Midwest Antique Fruit Jar & Bottle Club.

January 2011

Bill Dudley

Bill was at one time called "Mr. Wax Sealer."  He is now and has been known for many years in the collecting community as "Mr. Hemingray."

This Article was also published in the following Publications:

December 2010 Midwest Glass Chatter. The official publication of the Midwest Antique Fruit Jar & Bottle Club.

Jan - Feb 2011 Bottles and Extras, The official publication of the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors.

*Sad news! Bill Dudley passed away Sunday, Feb. 20, 2011. The bottle collecting hobby has lost a "True" legend, and he will be missed and fondly remembered by many.

June 2010

Norm Barnett

Unfortunately, I was never able to get to Norm's place and actually see his fabulous Fruit Jar Collection. I put this together with scanned materials.

This Article was also published in the following Publications:

June 2010 Midwest Glass Chatter. The official publication of the Midwest Antique Fruit Jar & Bottle Club.

July - Aug 2010 Bottles and Extras, The official publication of the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors.

*Note, since doing this article Norm passed away on Monday Oct 25, 2010 at the age of 84. Norm was quite a character and will be missed by many Collectors in the Hobby..

May 2010

Mason Bright

I was never sure whether Mason had the best Ball jar collection in the country or not because that’s a subjective argument but what am sure of is that he had one of the best overall display environments of any collection I am yet to see and that’s saying a lot.

This Article was also published in the following Publications:

May 2010 Midwest Glass Chatter. The official publication of the Midwest Antique Fruit Jar & Bottle Club.

May - June 2010 Bottles and Extras, The official publication of the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors.

*Note, since doing this article Mason's collection has been sold to another collector and has passed into the annals of history.

 

April 2010

Paul Shoecraft

Paul is considered an expert on Australian jars most notably by many of those very people who live and collect fruit jars in Australia. Paul read at one time that there is a direct positive correlation between intellect and collecting something no matter what it is and he definitely is a fruit jar collector of the extraordinary kind.

This Article was also published in the following Publications:

April 2010 Midwest Glass Chatter. The official publication of the Midwest Antique Fruit Jar & Bottle Club.

 

March 2010

Don Burkett

Sometimes it takes unfortunate circumstances in order to accomplish extraordinary positive things. I was feeling a bit down and the weather was really lousy on a Friday morning in late October 2009 and through my fogged and gloomy thought processes a brilliant idea came to light. Why not take a trip and visit with some other collectors especially some old timers. I made the 545 mile, 9 hour trip to visit with "Mr. Mason" Don Burkett and I must say wholeheartedly I am that much the richer now for the experience.

This Article was also published in the following Publications:

March 2010 Midwest Glass Chatter. The official publication of the Midwest Antique Fruit Jar & Bottle Club.

March - April 2010 Bottles and Extras, The official publication of the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors.

November 2009

Jeff Harper

They say everything is bigger in Texas, well Jeff & Mary Harper's hospitality is huge.

I had a wonderful time with Jeff & Mary and touching and seeing all of the incredible Ball Stuff was great.

This Article was also published in the following Publications:

November 2009 Midwest Glass Chatter. The official publication of the Midwest Antique Fruit Jar & Bottle Club.

October 2009

Dan Corker

Phil Alvarez and I had a wonderful time visiting with Dan and Judy Corker. It was like being at a Fruit Jar Bed & Breakfast.

This Article was also published in the following Publications:

October 2009 Midwest Glass Chatter. The official publication of the Midwest Antique Fruit Jar & Bottle Club.

January - February 2010 Bottles and Extras, The official publication of the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors.

September 2009

Bo Trimble

After the July Adamstown Show, Phil Alvarez and I visited Bo Trimble's house for an afternoon visit to see his really nice collection.

This Article was also published in the following Publications:

September 2009 Midwest Glass Chatter. The official publication of the Midwest Antique Fruit Jar & Bottle Club.

August 2009

Phil Smith

I stopped by Phil Smith's home on July 8, 2009 before going to The Last Summer Muncie Show. I had a great time and he has a fabulous fruit jar collection.

This Article was also published in the following Publications:

August 2009 Midwest Glass Chatter. The official publication of the Midwest Antique Fruit Jar & Bottle Club.

November - December 2009 Bottles and Extras, The official publication of the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors.

June 2009

Bob Clay

Here's a story of my long time friend Bob Clay. At one time Bob had THE Best colored Ball jar collection (.)

This Article was also published in the following Publications:

June 2009 Midwest Glass Chatter. The official publication of the Midwest Antique Fruit Jar & Bottle Club.

May 2009

Dick Watson

Back in April I took a day trip to Dick Watson's Home (which IMO is actually a museum.) I had a great time although it was far too short and I'm  planning on another visit in the middle of July. I was completely Awe Struck by Dick's collection.

This Article was also published in the following Publications:

May 2009 Midwest Glass Chatter. The official publication of the Midwest Antique Fruit Jar & Bottle Club.

July - August 2009 Bottles and Extras, The official publication of the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors.

March 2009

Phil Alvarez

Recently I managed to spend some time with a long time friend of mine and go to the March 2009 Baltimore Show with him. I stopped by his home first and spent a morning there taking pictures and talking about his collection.  Phil has a stupendous collection and is a down right nice guy too.

This Article was also published in the following Publications:

March 2009 Midwest Glass Chatter. The official publication of the Midwest Antique Fruit Jar & Bottle Club.

March - April 2009 Bottles and Extras, The official publication of the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors.

   
 

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This site was last updated 06/30/12