A recent post dedicated to "lightening striking Stu Farnsworth twice," has prompted me to relate the same phenomenon striking me in mid-October. I was very fortunate to win one of 2fishin2/Woody Woodward's wonderful auctions for a Blunt Nosed Torpedo Roller.
Woody's auctions have always been as good as they get. After the auction, I sent him an email to say, "thank you" for the opportunity, and to ask if he might have an extra Torpedo Roller to sell.
Woody wrote back, and said that he did have one available. I had been trying to add an example of that beautiful float to my collection for many years. After writing about the Torpedo's availability, Woody continued...,
"I have a few euros, but I think you probably have all the ones I have as I got them a long time ago. You do have an amber M egg float right?
I read that last phrase again: "you do have an amber M egg float right?" Then quickly wrote Woody to say...,
"I do not have an amber M Egg. If you've got one that's available, Man! I would love to get yours."
I did have one once, purchased from Dick Chitty.
Dick makes yearly buying and selling trips to outdoor sales in Norway. Many years ago, he returned with a number of Norwegian Egg floats, and began auctioning them on Ebay. His Egg float auctions were the first that I'd ever seen. I knew of the floats, because on the very first night that I sat down to a computer and Googled "antique glass fishing floats," a site came up that showed European glass Egg floats. I've never forgotten seeing the three photos of those uniquely shaped floats, or reading the too-few paragraphs telling of their age and rarity.
During Dick's first auctions, Woody (who at that time, was one of the foremost bidders for European floats) won Dick's amber M Egg. I wrote Dick to ask if he had another. He did have one to sell. The deal was struck, and for years, I enjoyed having that float in the collection. In the summer of 2009 Olaf Raabe and I began to send emails back and forth across the Atlantic.
Quickly, we began trading floats. One day Olaf wrote to tell me of a beautiful rare float which he had a double of. It was available to me if I could offer a good float to trade. It took a while to figure out what I could offer. I hoped to make an offer that would put a smile on his face, and return the excitement that Olaf's float would give me. It wasn't easy to come up with the right combination. One afernoon, as I was driving, the thought to offer Olaf my amber M Egg came to mind. I had enjoyed that float for a number of years, and while I knew that I would miss it, thoughts of the float that would take its place, gave me the feeling that I should make the offer. Olaf gladly accepted, and we have always been happy with that trade. But, in the passing of time, I found myself missing that float, and began the search for another.
I wrote Dick to see if he might still have one. He was kind enough to look for me, but did not. Dick said that he would keep his eyes open for another. He later found some beautiful Egg floats, but not the amber M. I began a new search by writing collectors who might have one, but again, no luck. Woody never crossed my mind. Years earlier, he had stopped collecting Euros, and devoted himself to building his incredible Japanese float collection. Never giving up hope, I continued looking. Olaf had been searching in Norway for me too.
"Out of the blue," Woody offered me a chance at the missing-from-my-collection Amber M Egg. Good fortune. A gift from a friend. Fate. Not only do I again, have an example of that wonderful float gracing my collection, I have Woody's which was Dick's.
The float arrived last Saturday together with the Torpedo and the Blunt Nosed Torpedo. Whenever I look at or hold the M in my hand, the early years of fun bidding for Euros, the people who have come and gone from the Ebay scene, beginning to build the collection - all of those memories are part of it. It's great to have floats that have a special history. It's great to have a story to relate to Stu, and you.
The photo of the Blunt Nosed Torpedo is Woody Woodward's.
The photo of Dick Chitty, was sent to the author by Dick.