January 22, 2008
Dwayne Anthony writes:
deadline for entries has passed and the selection process is complete.
All qualified entrants have been forwarded to Bill Meier for the
Wednesday drawing. You can read about the details
of this new raffle.
members have expressed interest in reviewing the many submissions that
were presented to me for consideration. I edited all submissions,
removing names and sensitive material that might identify the writers
(plus all the personal notes to me). I attempted to condense them as
much as possible, but a few were worth leaving in their near entirety.
What we now have for your reading pleasure, listed below, is a wonderful grouping of
anonymous snippets that express the passion for our hobby and especially
the people in it.
If I may
please, I’d like to comment briefly on one aspect of this secondary
drawing for the ICON/Al Way cobalt signal that was initially donated by
Ginny Way for the "primary" ICON raffle. One of my
initial thoughts while considering to re-raffle the signal was to donate
it anonymously to the Crown Jewels Benefit Auction. Several of you have
politely asked if I had considered this avenue. So as not to imply a
lack of consideration for the importance of this worthy cause, which I
personally support and respect immensely, I will briefly explain why I
chose the course that I did.
I felt that since so many collectors had supported ICON in 2007 through
donations for a chance at this
signal, I wanted to give some of those supporters a second chance.
However, it would mean so much more to me personally to see the signal
go to someone that really desires to own it, for some special, specific
reason in their life; maybe a deserving junior, a new collector or maybe
a collector with a tight budget that may otherwise never have the
opportunity to enjoy such a prize. Heaven forbid it end up in the hands
of a dreaded dealer that would sell it, or an auctioneer that would
profit from it! (Grinning) It was my feeling that if I had donated it to
the CJ raffle, the importance behind the initial expression that Ginny
had made in Al’s name as a fund raiser for ICON might be lost.
money would have been raised for a good cause, but where would the
signal have ended up? For example only: would the kid that worked all
week mowing lawns to buy a chance at the signal still have the same
equal opportunity? We know it would have ended up in the hands of the
highest bidder, but not necessarily the hands of the most appreciative.
It was with this thought process that I comfortably settled with my
final decision to ask for statements from eligible collectors, followed
by a selection process for the final candidates, which Ofelia kindly
assisted me with (nice to have compassionate female input, too). Based
on the heartwarming responses I received, I am convinced that this
method of finding a new home for this signal was the appropriate
decision to make.
“thank you” to everyone involved, your words have made this one of the
most uplifting experiences I have been involved in since becoming a part
of this great hobby 23 years ago!
Bill Meier comments: One of the people below will be selected
at random, using a procedure similar to the drawing of the "primary"
raffle. The number of raffle tickets purchased for the previous auction
has no bearing on the drawing for this auction...
of submissions below is in no particular order:
- I would like to receive the cobalt insulator so that I could
donate it to the ICON auction sponsored by the Correiro's. I believe
Ginny would be delighted to know that proceeds from the piece would
be dedicated to promoting the hobby in a way unique to ICON.
- I would like the Hemingray signal to contribute to Crown Jewels.
It would become the prize for a year long (12 month competition).
Only eligible members of NIA and they must be under a certain
age...I am thinking 18 or so. Youngsters would have to write an
article (include graphics, photos etc) of a quality to be printed in
CJ. Howard and Linda and you could be the judge of the winner after
the 12 articles are printed…
- I am fairly new to the hobby of insulator collecting. I have
enjoyed this hobby tremendously mainly because of the people I have
met! I would like to be considered for the cobalt blue insulator
since I do not own one in my collection…
- I'm 15, and my collection is just getting good. I have been
collecting for just over a year, and I definitely have the
"insulator bug." The Cobalt Signal would look great on my shelf of
insulators which is organized by CD number from smallest to largest.
I only have one CD 162, and one with color would be nice…
- As a full time college student, it is hard to amass a
breathtaking collection, but I have to say that it happens one piece
at a time: It is for the exhilaration of bringing true history to
the present and preserving that history to make it timeless... It is
for the hobby that brings these like-minded people together in
camaraderie; to honor them by saving history for the years to come
is why I would like to try to get this beautiful signal in my
- I do not own, nor am I likely to possess many quality pieces at
this time. My "signals" of quality are limited to a whiskey piece,
in very experienced condition. I do however use my collection and
interest, to mentor new collectors and give presentations on the
- I'd suggest selling it and giving some or all of the funds to [a
charitable] organization… I think that would be a very noble thing
- I would like to add this to my collection because it's
beautiful, and I don't already have one. I would like to win this
because I can't afford to buy one unless I switch tactics to buying
only 2 or 3 nice pieces per year…
- I'm not interested in adding my name to the "I want the blue
signal for my collection" list...but instead, I'd like to substitute
the name of a young person I've been mentoring for the past several
- I've been gradually thinning my collection down to the true
"keepers" -- insulators that I'm not willing to put on the
sell/trade block, for whatever reason. In some cases, this is
determined by quality; in others it's nostalgia, association of the
insulator with special people, events, or circumstances of the
piece's acquisition…I believe that this cobalt signal would be one
of those pieces.
- I would like to be in the second pool, because I love signals,
my neighborhood utility poles still have old aqua signals on them, I
have a small shelf of signals, about 10, and I don't have any cobalt
insulators and would dearly love one.
- I must admit, my reason for "wanting" to win this baby has
changed-upon reading this email. Now, my reason is simply the fact
that it would be a dual-honor, not only to have a killer cobalt
owned by the late, great Al Way, but also one relinquished by
a…collector such as yourself…
- I have never had the money to buy a really nice insulator for my
collection. I have only been to two or three shows in the last three
years. I have always given my time and money to my family and
enjoyed a meager collection because I really love insulators. But
since 1995 when I had to start buying insulators I have not had the
money to buy any really nice pieces. I hope you pick me for one of
the finalists so I can at least dream of owning a nice insulator.
- I really don't need aforementioned insulator. It would be nice
to have, but, not necessary. I would like to nominate a young
collector in my stead… Every now and then, a youngster comes along,
that disproves senior's broad concept of the youth of today…
- As to my interest in the raffle piece, I gave up some time ago
on getting any expensive insulators as I set a limit of $100 on any
one piece. As a result, I have been mostly bidding or buying foreign
ones for the last couple of years. Adding a US insulator would be
real frosting on the cake.
- Wow, is this a great hobby or what?!...I would like to win the
insulator because: I have been a collector since I retired about
five years ago. I collect because I love the history and beauty of
insulators. However, living on a fixed retirement income, this is
the only way I will ever own a beauty like this.
- First of all I am relatively new to the hobby...I guess about
three years now...I do 99% of my collecting in the wild, so there is
zero chance of me finding a Cobalt anything still shining high up on
a pole…I have nothing of color except a couple of yellow-green
145s…And lastly...I would just love nothing more than to have
something so shiny and pretty in my collection so I can watch the
sun shine through it. It would certainly be the crown jewel of my
collection!...I think this group of people are a great bunch!
- I really don't need this insulator, but…Well I would submit half
of it's value or more to CROWN JEWELS of the WIRE magazine to
continue the color printing…Maybe even donate some of the other
value to ICON...I'm on disability and it's is very hard to buy
anything like what I had when I was younger...I'm sure you know how
the social security works...you live in poverty
- I was trying to win the Cobalt Blue insulator and give it to my
14 year old son…[He] has his own insulator collection, and I was
hoping to surprise him with it as a birthday present when he turns
- Although I've been collecting for going on four decades now, I
don't have a true cobalt insulator and I have to admit I was hoping
I might hold the winning ticket for Als Hemingray 19. …the thought
of being a curator for the cobalt piece Al had owned was appealing
- I already have a cobalt signal, so I don't want my name in the
hat. What I would like to do is nominate someone else, namely a new
collector…I met him recently at a [insulator] swap meet, seemed like
a really nice guy. Wants a cobalt something terrible, but isn't to
the price stage where he can / is willing to spend the cash.
So....I'd love to see it go to him.
- My collection consists of a few hundred commons with an average
price of around $ 1.25 .(Am retired on fixed income). Not a sob
story but the truth. Receiving the cobalt would be the biggest event
of my life. (after marriage).I would sign papers that I would not
sell it .It would remain in my collection for the rest of my life.
- As a new insulator collector, what an honor it would be to add
something as beautiful as this to my collection. I've never had the
privilege to see or let alone, hold one of these in person, so to be
able to actually own such a terrific piece would certainly give me a
feeling of being a child again. Those fleeting moments are few and
far between these days, and it would be something I would dearly
treasure and hand down to my son some day. He's actually getting
into the hobby with me, and at 13 years old, that in itself is a
rare thing these days. It's hard to pry children away from all the
violence on TV and video games, so it's so great to see him take an
interest in something with such great history and that we can share
- I would like to have the cobalt signal to add to my collection
and would appreciate very much because insulators like this are way
too much for me to afford.
- Wow... this reaffirms why I joined ICON in the first place, esp.
after reading the recent series of discussions. I'm a relatively new
collector and although the initial attraction was (and still is) the
insulators themselves, I've been amazed by what a fantastic and
helpful group of folks the hobby attracts. I've never won anything
in a raffle, and didn’t expect to this time either, but figured it
was a good cause and it would certainly have been a great 'gift' had
we won…it would be the centerpiece of our growing collection, and
that we would agree never to sell it.... if and when the day comes,
we'd donate it back to ICON or to NIA as a way of paying back for
what these organizations have provided us as new members of the
- There is only one Hemingray in my display...it is a 162 in vivid
cobalt, but has damage to most drips & a couple chips to the wire
groove... I keep it because of the fascinating color. I would be
honored to have Al Way's cobalt in my display and in turn sell mine
with the proceeds going to Icon.
- I would love to have the cobalt gem, but not for me. There is a
16 year old collector who has walked nearly 100 miles of abandoned
or long gone 'ghost' lines in the last two years hoping to find that
treasure piece. His entire collection probably amounts to less than
$500, most of them from our Hunts or that he has traded for. He has
very little money but spends hours scanning the ICON For Sale lists.
He is one of the smartest 'young' collectors you'll ever meet and a
good kid. The cobalt signal would be the absolute centerpiece of his
collection and easily the most valuable and damage free insulator he
has. Trust me, it would be proudly displayed and thoroughly
appreciated…You would be remembered by him for as long as he has a
collection, say maybe the next 60 or 70 years!
- On my wife’s birthday , we went to the casino for her free
buffet and they gave her 10 dollars to gamble with…She won twenty
dollars and split it with me and said now you have your ICON
donation. I was sure this lucky money would win us this raffle. And
it still might .....
- I would like to Give this piece of glass to…Due to
financial problems…I'm very sure that this would be A WONDERFUL
- I’ve been collecting for about 3 years and share this hobby with
my 12 year old son… We would love to add this insulator to our
collection simply because of the color. We have only seen two cobalt
blues in person, the first was at a fellow collector’s house…and we
immediately fell in love with the color. This insulator would
definitely have a place of honor in our collection.
- Please reenter me in the drawing for the CD162 Cobalt for the
following reason: Because speculators have driven the cost of a
CD162 cobalt insulator as high as it is, the only way I could ever
add one to my collection is to win one in a drawing.
- I would like to offer up my chance to be in the pool again to [a
collector]. I have had a few discussions with him about various
topics and I gather…he is having a rough time of it. I feel that it
would be a positive influence in his life if he got this cobalt. He
is a young guy…and looks like he could use a break. As much as I
would love to have this beauty in my collection, I think it would be
appreciated more by [him].
- In regards to the raffle, I would love a chance to upgrade on
this piece. [A collector] got me to buy one in an auction over
twenty years ago and it has a chip on the wire groove. I can't
afford mint pieces so this would be one way to possibly get one at a
reasonable price. I could then try to sell my old one at a good
price for someone who wants one to start with.
- I would like to nominate [a collector] for this signal. He
emailed me a while back about a colored signal…but I don't think he
could afford it. He is a new and young collector…
- ...the great honor it would be to own this piece from a
Gentleman [Al] who gave so much to so many people in the insulator
community! A dream come true would sum it up the best from someone
who will probably never have a Gem like this in their minimum wage
- Please, Please, Please, Please. I could look at it every day and
be reminded of the great generosity of Ginny and yourself and the
memory of Al. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, Thank You
- What a privilege it would be to accept the 162 from you
personally. I have not had the pleasure of meeting you nor the
opportunity to make the springfield or national shows. What a great
sport this is and I'm a Proud ICON member.
- I'd like the cobalt signal because I collect bright
colours and I don't have a signal with that embossing.
- Even though I don’t really collect insulators any more it would
be a nice memory of a fellow I once knew and go with the peacock
color I have had for many years.
- I have a great story to convey to you--win, lose, or simply
priceless memory for me. First of all, let me inform you that I have
spoken personally with the individual mentioned herein and she
authorized me writing you and this over the Internet or to all of
ICON members for that matter…Approximately three years ago, I spoke
with a young female adult [client] about my hobby of collecting
insulators, and how I used to climb poles to get the insulators at a
very young age. She seemed fascinated by my story and the hobby
itself. Soon thereafter, she was diagnosed with [an ailment] that
she continues to survive and defeat to this day. She is an extremely
bubbly, energetic individual whose medical illness steered her into
registered nursing school (presently, she's in her last year or so)
to help others less fortunate than her. Additionally, she holds down
a part-time job to help with school expenses and fulfill her dreams.
A few months ago, she came to the office with a sack to give to me
and excitedly explained to my staff and me about her hiking vacation
out West. She spotted a line going to an observation post with
insulators on poles, climbed the poles, and retrieved a light green
Hemingray toll, an aqua Hemi-9, and two Hemingray aqua 12's. Each
insulator was carefully wrapped in newspapers, and she dramatically
used her hands and facial expressions as she told her story about
her hunt. She exclaimed, "All the easy ones were already gone, these
were way up there and really hard to get--I climbed up there with my
bare hands to get them !". Since then, I have given her a forest
green Hemi signal as a token of my appreciation for her gesture to
give me the aforementioned insulators. She proudly displays the
signal in her windowsill. Undoubtedly, she is hooked and told me her
future vacations certainly will include time for insulator hunting.
She told me she would love to have this cobalt insulator for her
collection. Should I win this cobalt signal, I will give it to her
with its history of exactly how and why she is now the proud owner
of such a very special piece of glass. Given the overall scenario
thus far of this insulator, I truly think Al, Ginny, Bill, and you
would love this young lady to have it.
- Many years ago when I was but a tyke... ahhhhh heck I just
like the colour, since it's a gift now I won't be selling it in the
future…that's how I do my gifts as well now I ask that they not
resell the pieces, but they can trade them if they like... Got a box
full of freebies minus shipping, going out to another fairly new
young collector…on Monday.
- I've put together a pretty varied collection in my four years in
the hobby. Lots of styles and colors but nothing in cobalt blue.
I've told more than one person that the only way I'll ever get a
cobalt blue (even a banged-up one) is if someone GIVES me one…
- I am so excited about your kind offer to give the blue signal to
a deserving member. I don't want to sound too pathetic but I am a
disabled 45 year old man with an inoperable [ailment] that causes
chronic pain that doesn't allow me to work. But I am fortunate to
have the best wife in the world. She has been very understanding,
helpful and came appreciate the beauty of my hobby When she asked me
what I wanted for Christmas I said "nothing" not wanting to create
any more pressure on her than she already has, I said "I already
have the best wife in the world what else could I want". But that
wasn't good enough for her, so she bugged & bugged me until I
finally relented and since I have been an ICON member for the last 3
years and had been unable to make a contribution. I showed her the
information on the raffle and she sent $30.00 to Bill and gave me 8
raffle tickets for Christmas. We didn't win but I felt good knowing
that we had contributed to the cause. She doesn't know about the
re-raffle and would crap her drawers if she came home one day and I
had that little blue beauty in my hand. Thanks for your
- I'll be surprised if you haven't had 200 responses already with
this message: If I won the cobalt signal I'd donate it to the CJOW
benefit auction. Howard and Linda contribute a vital part to this
insulator hobby and are not proportionately rewarded. We all want to
see color printing continue in this fine magazine.
- Oh, the stories that insulator could tell. I rarely look at my
collection from a monetary standpoint...and when I do it is for a
relative assessment of rarity, not desirability. I enjoy insulators
with history and character. Being from the Way collection, this
insulator would seem to fit the bill. Alas, as I save up money for
college, most insulators of its beauty are beyond my reach. In
short, this insulator's inherent beauty and "story" intrigue me. If
I were to own it, I would be interested in its provenance prior to
being in Mr. Al Way's collection (if possible).
- A cobalt blue signal insulator is one of the more sought after
insulators and winning it would be special for any insulator
collector. However, for me the insulator would be very special as it
would complement the signals that I inherited from an electric
lineman… who passed away about 11 years ago. I worked with… about 20
years ago and his wife gave me a number of signal insulators, none
of which are cobalt blue. In tribute to…I am currently building a
lighting scheme for the insulators…
- I have been collecting insulators since I was about 11 years old
and I still have in my collection a few pieces I acquired over the
years from collectors who are no longer living. When I see these
pieces on display, I'll think of those seemingly trivial encounters
at a show and how the actions and stewardship of the individual
nurtured and encouraged my collecting which continues and thrives to
this day. I can't honestly say I knew Al Way but I knew his presence
at a show. Sadly, I know more of his collecting in his passing then
when I had the opportunity to ask him about it. This piece would
hold a special spot in my collection as a reminder not of those who
I had the chance to talk to but those that I never got around to and
wished I had.
- I would like to submit in this raffle for my son …He is 4 and
has about 30 insulators of his own including an ice aqua "other
patent" mickey. He loves the insulator shows and I know that he
would be absolutely thrilled to have this in his collection.
Obviously I would be the custodian of it and it would be kept in my
cabinet until he got a bit older to understand it's historical value
and actual collectors value…this piece is not for resale but would
be for him.
- I have a modest collection of insulators. By far the most
expensive insulator I own happens to be....a cobalt Hemi. But if one
is good in a collection, then two has got to be twice as good! Maybe
if I had two of these, I could put them in a dark closet and they
would reproduce. It's just a long shot, I haven't had the chance to
- My husband, _____, and I started collecting this passed year. We
attended our first show - Springfield - what an unbelievable
experience!!!! We are going back every year!! If I am fortunate
enough to win the raffle I would love to be able to give my husband
an unbelievable gift of glass for his birthday...It would blow him
- If I had it, it would really enhance my window sill (I've never
had the chance to own a Colorful signal because I'm only 16). So,
Dwayne, who ever you choose, I hope they have what they wanted and
that it enhances their collection.
- Do I need this signal......not really. Would it look good in my
collection.....absolutely! My insulator collection is dynamic in
that some of it constantly changes. My interests are varied. Not
destined to be a super collection, but always bringing a smile to
me. But some things will never leave my shelf as these are my
favorites. They are valuable in that I can put an insulator hunt
with a specific piece.....or the item is associated with the
previous owner. The McMicking with the huge graphite bubble…A wooden
EC&M "replacement" piece that my wife and I drove all night to get…A
cool porcelain multipart from the UP... A Pyrex CD122 with a black
string of goop in it that was found on a hunt...These (and others)
pieces will never leave my collection. They are the reminders that
the real Crown Jewels are the people of the hobby and the time that
we get to spend with them adds to our life. When I look around my
insulator room I see the past, the present and the future of the
insulator hobby. That is when the smile comes to my face. That's my
story........and I'm sticking to it. :-)
- I can’t really think of any reason that would make me more
deserving than any other collector to have it, but I would certainly
appreciate it as much as anyone…I would absolutely love to add this
awesome cobalt signal to my collection….it would be a dream come
true, because for years I have longed to have one of those
magnificent jewels…..one that I can hold and admire and gaze at
every day! When I started collecting several years ago and found Al
and Ginny Way’s remarkable website, I was amazed at the awesomeness
of all those gorgeous colorful signals…..especially the cobalt
ones!….but alas, I still don’t have a sweet cobalt beauty in my
collection because, like my insulator collector buddy has told
me….”you’re just a hard working country gal with champagne tastes on
a beer drinker’s pocket book”…and I would certainly appreciate that
dazzling cobalt signal as the champagne of the insulator world! "
- When I bought my first insulators 4 1/2 years ago, one was a
CD162, they were my favorite. Now meeting and making friends is the
best part of collecting, never had the pleasure of meeting Al but
wished I could have. I am a collector of friends and glass and would
NOT sell the cobalt 162.
- I thank you very much for this opportunity to try and get
this insulator for a friend that just started collecting last
year....I am pleading on his behalf without his knowledge and here
is the story why. ____is so excited over insulator collecting. He
has that "new guy in the hobby" air about him. You know the type.
The ones whose eyes bug out at even finding a worthless, chipped 154
Whitall Tatum on the ground. … I decided to call him one day and get
him out of the house to go walk that line as I knew there was some
glass still on the ground. I figured he would have a ball doing
that. Needless to say... he jumped at the opportunity and off we
went. I was finding myself pointing to glass in the distance that
was shining in the sun and obviously still up on an arm. [He] was
straining to see it but he claimed he could eventually see what I
was looking at. Anyway... we plodded along toward that "gem" that
was shining back at us. [He] fell 3 times in our attempt to get to
it. We finally decided to give up…We had a ball that day… We did
manage to find a couple of small porcelain pieces for [his] new
collection and he was as thrilled as the day was long… It has been a
pretty neat friendship and I am SO grateful that I met him. I don't
trust folks too easily anymore but ____ I can trust with my life.
You see... I have learned that [he]e has MS. I was not aware that he
could not see well at all. He hid that very, very well. I was also
not aware that he can hardly lift his right leg. That part I knew
but hey... most of us have a little gimp in our gitty-up-go, right?
I never thought much of that until that day on the railroad. He fell
3 times because he couldn't lift his leg high enough and tripped on
the stuff that you and I walk over and never think twice about.
Nothing stops [him] though. He still plods along and wants to be a
part of the "hunt".... the "thrill" of it all. … That special glass
that consumes the soul of every one of us collectors. It has a magic
about it that one cannot explain.... just like the friendship I now
have with a person that was a complete stranger to me just a year
ago. [He] would display this piece and never sell it. I know that in
my heart. It's just a given. He cannot afford to ever buy something
like that so I know it would be the top piece in his collection and
nothing would ever top it... I'm sure of that. Thank you for reading
my letter. I hope it finds a place in the running. You have no idea
how much I would love for him to receive this piece…
- I started collecting insulators when I was seven, and quit
when I started college in 1984. Even though I had collected for
several years, all that I had were common insulators. I had never
even seen a cobalt signal ( or any other color besides aqua or clear
) until just the last three years. In the last few years I have been
actively building my collection and adding insulators that I never
knew existed. If I was to win this cobalt signal I would place it on
my top shelf were I would it would be proudly displayed. I really
love this hobby, and am so thankful for ICON… This is truly a great
amazing stories. Gives you a feeling for how passionate some of the
members are for the hobby.
the drawing for the one winner is Wednesday, January 23, 2008. Watch
ICON and the web site for the latest updates!
to the ICON Raffle page
Written Tuesday, January 22, 2008