CYBER DUMPING REWARDS
Although not a dumping story , this is a story on how I happened upon a cache of cans. I have always been a dumper and will always dump, but my job at that time, had me traveling all over the country .It left me little time to go out dumping. However, when I was in a city that had Rusty Bunchers or active BCCA members, I wouldn't hesitate to contact them for a visit. That was the great part of the job. That wasn't always the case and always had time to spare. Being away from home, locked into hotel rooms can be very boring. Thank Goodness for the laptop. But one can only spend so much time looking at stuff on Ebay. With the advent of Ebay and the escalating prices of good beer cans, I wondered how I could find some nice older cans. One can always scour antique stores but there you have to rely on someone else turning the cans up. A couple years ago after seeing Keith Norton's racetrack find of indoor cans from the 1930s-1940s, I was very envious. According to Keith, people would comment on how lucky he was. It took him a great deal of time and effort to be able to find those cans. Keith had a pat answer for that; YOU MAKE YOUR OWN LUCK. If you do nothing and wait around for beer cans to magically appear in your mailbox, you'll be waiting a long time. You have to go out and do something, wheather its dumping or another approach on finding beer cans.
One evening, I was in a city that didn't have any collectors in town and I had only my computer to keep me company (sorry Stew, porn wasn't an option!). Again after seeing all the shiny cans on Ebay, I thought about where those sellers had found those cans. I also thought about the people whose employment allows them into places that old cans are found. I remember a story that Rusty Buncher, Jerry Trowbridge, told of how a contractor gave him a sack containing 5 low profile flat bottom Burger cones that he had found while he was working under an old train station. I logged onto the Internet and did a web site search of plumbing and HVAC contractors. It came up with over 1000 websites. I made up a form letter, telling them about my hobby and if they had picked up any old beer cans. I tried to visit as many of those websites as possible and clicked on the "contact us" and sent them the form letter. I believe that evening I sent out over 100.
Out of the 100 emails I sent, I got about 10 replies. Most were stating that they hadn't seen any old cans but if they did they would pick them up for me. One guy wrote back that I shouldn't drink beer, as it was bad for my health. One smart-ass stated if he did find any old beer cans, I could bid for them on Ebay! A week goes by and I haven't received any new emails. Oh well, it was worth a try. I checked my answering machine and among the messages pertaining to work there was a short one from an old guy who had a collection of beer cans. He said his former employer had contacted him after they got my email. Right away I'm thinking ,they got to be aluminum cans. So I call him up and asked him if there were any conetops. He says, "well I'm holding a Lucky quart in my hand!" I ask him if he has any cans that required use of a churchkey and he says "hell, they have instructions on them on how to open the can" Holy sh*t!!! He had saved all the cans he came across while working. Now remember, I had sent these emails to companies all over the country, I had hit the lottery, as this guy used to live in Los Angeles (I specialize in California cans). I ask him where he lives now, he stated he's retired and resides about 100 miles outside of Las Vegas. He wants to get rid of all the cans and says he's got about 100! The trouble was , I lived in Kansas City , Missouri.
Well, as things worked out, I had a business trip to Albuquerque coming up so I used a frequent flyer ticket to get me to Vegas the following Monday. I would rent a car and drive on over. He gave me perfect directions and I arrived at a senior citizen mobile home community out in the desert. He was a very pleasant man and led me over to the garage where the cans were stored. They were stored in the rafters in cardboard boxes. He wrapped each can individually in newspaper. From what I saw there was a boatload of boxes. The first box I started unwrapping GB OI cans and some Pilsengolds OIs!! The rest of the boxes contained mostly flats from the 50s-60s with a sprinkling of 30's cans throw in. Lots of Luckys, Burgies , and Maier cans. There were also a bunch of Regal Pales including a cardboard six pack holder with BBQ recipes! There were a lot more than 100 cans. One box contained a real gem , a Balboa from Monarch in grade 1 condition. Also pulled out some Special Brew Ois . In another box there was a six pack of Maier cones! ,Another had Eastside cones! After about 30 minutes , I had this garage a total mess. I was down to the last box. Now at this point , with what was unboxed I was a very happy camper. But I still had this last box. I started unwrapping this can and every thing was like in slow motion. Almost like I entered another dimension of time and space. Like I was in the Twilight Zone. Anyhow I unwrapped it and out pops a beautiful AMBASSADOR low profile cone from Los Angeles. I grab another can , unwrap it and it is another AMBASSADOR cone . I pull another can and it too is an Ambassador cone!!!! There were less than 6 of these known and now I have 3 more staring me in the face and all in great shape. But I had to temper my excitement and make the guy an offer for all these cans. All in all there were over 400 cans. I made him an offer and he couldn't pull out his hand fast enough to accept my money. Luckily I had rented a pickup truck. I didn't request it , it just worked out that way. We wrapped everything back up in the newspaper and packed the cans in the boxes. I still had to travel to Albuquerque for work the next day. I drove to the nearest Mcdonalds. I had immediately thrown away about 50 of the cans. Believe it or not , the 30s and 40s cans were in better shape than the newer 50s and 60s cans. The stuff I threw away were grade 4 and grade 5 Luckys and Burgies and such. They were rusted and very humidity spotted. I then took the best case of cans and packed them in a smaller box. I then consolidated the rest of the cans and packed them in 4 larger boxes. Locating the nearest post office , I mailed the 4 larger boxes home. I would hand carry the best 24 cans with me. I still had a long drive back to the Vegas airport and a flight to catch that evening. I don't remember the drive to the airport, it was almost like a dream. That would have sucked had I woke up. I got to the airport with time to spare and washed the dust and dirt off the cans in the bathroom sink. You can imagine the looks I received but I couldn't have cared less. The Ambassadors were very nice. The blue had dulled just a tad and one had a little cement on the backside.
Remember , I had received the cans on Monday and wouldn't be home until Friday so these cans followed me wherever I went the rest of the week. I thought Friday would never come . Every night in the hotel room , I would stack the cans up on the desk and just stare at them. Friday finally arrived and I made it home without a hitch. Best of all , the cans I sent home through the mail were waiting for me. It was great fun to open them all up again and now I could compare for variations. All in all , I probably added or upgraded 20 new cans. It probably never would have happened without the pep talk from Keith Norton. Thanx again Keith ! I did get a few more cans from the emails I sent out. I got some more Eastside cones and one guy had some Burgermeister Ale OIs. I get some hits from the webpage but there if they find me , they have also found the other guys and it gets very competitive as they shop their finds. I guess I made my own luck as everything just fell into place.So get out there and search out those old cans via dumping or other methods but my point is DO SOMETHING , you'll be glad you did
Dan Scoglietti aka CanManDan
CLICK HERE TO SEE PICTURES