Wednesday, July 16, 2014

WHERE TO FIND YOUR MARBLES

A lot of people worry about losing their marbles, but now I can tell you where to go to get new ones, if you need them.  The place is called the Moon Marble Company, and it's in a small town called Bonner Springs, Kansas, just west of Kansas City.  Last Saturday Mom and Aunt LaDene went there.  The Moon Marble building is long and skinny.  It is on a long, skinny piece of land between the highway and the railroad tracks.  Just beyond the railroad tracks is the Kansas River.

The front door

The Moon Marble Factory was started by a man named Bruce Breslow and also some other people.  They were making wooden toys and game boards, but they couldn't find the kind of marbles they wanted to use with these toys -- the kind of marbles they had played with as children.  So they opened the Moon Marble Store, and brought in lots of machine-made marbles in all colors.  And they sold them there, along with other toys.


Then Mr. Breslow started learning how to make marbles himself, and now he makes and sells them at the Moon Marble Factory.  He gives demonstrations there to show people how a marble is made by hand, because most people have never seen that.


I wish I could have gone to visit the Moon Marble Factory, but dogs aren't allowed there.  Well, Mom said she didn't see any sign that actually said a dog couldn't come in, but she was pretty sure she would get in trouble if she brought me there.  Also, it was really crowded, and I could have got stepped on.  But Mom took lots of pictures and told me all about the place.


Anyway, when Mom and Aunt LaDene got to the room where the demonstration was, there was no place left to sit.  So they just stood in the back and watched the end of the demonstration.

Bruce Breslow making a marble

People watching Bruce Breslow make a marble

After all the people cleared out, Mom and Aunt LaDene got seats in the front row and waited for the next show to start.  While they were waiting, Mom took a few pictures of marbles that Mr. Breslow had already made.  They are very pretty and if you want to buy one in the shop, it costs $75 or so.



The designs inside the marbles are made with colored glass from little rods.  Here are some short rods:


And here are some longer ones:


The glass has to be heated up really, really hot so that it will melt.


Mom thought maybe Mr. Breslow said 1600º but it might have only been 1400º.  Anyway, you would not want to touch the marble until it has cooled off a whole bunch.


After the demonstration, Mom and Aunt LaDene went shopping in the store, and Mom bought a paperweight.  Mom has decided that she will start collecting paperweights, but I don't know why she would collect such useless things.  She says they are pretty, which I guess they are, but it would be better to collect dog toys or dog treats or at least dog statues, if you ask me.


You can't tell from this photo, but Mom's paperweight is 3" in diameter.  Mom went to the Moon Marble place thinking she would buy one of their smaller, $40 paperweights, which she had seen on their website.  However, she ended up stupidly wasting $125 on one of the expensive ones.  And it wasn't even made at that factory.  It was made by somebody in Seattle.  I thought maybe the paperweight had worms in it, like those bugs that are inside a chunk of amber, but Mom said they are not worms.  She said they are pieces of colored glass rods.  I guess she's right, but they still look kind of like roundworms to me.


Besides expensive glass stuff, the shop had tons of toys.  The toys were what you would call "traditional," instead of being modern, digital video games or anything like that.



I think my doggy siblings would really like playing with these toys, but I have to admit I'm not too interested in toys, personally.  I'm not sure why Mom didn't buy any toys for us dogs, or at least some marbles for the cats to play with.  I think maybe she was just being selfish.  Or maybe she read this warning that was on the wall in the bathroom:


Another thing Mom saw in the bathroom was an old print of some boys playing marbles.  You can see from looking at the print that one boy has been to the market and is supposed to be taking the vegetables home to his mother.  Another boy should be delivering papers, and a third one is going to school or coming home with his books.  Meanwhile, a girl watches the boys play, but you can just bet that the boys will never ask her to play with them.


It seems like boys always have all the fun, which is so totally not fair.


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