Float About #41...
© Copyright Fri/Sept 12, 2003
a bi-monthly newsletter dedicated to Eskesen floaty pen collectors
My apologies... for being so late. Our summer show season has been brutal, but it will soon come to an end. Bill and I have an art fair scheduled this weekend in Cleveland. Our next event isn't until early in December. Whew! I am so looking forward to the break. Since this issue is weeks past due, I don't want to waste another moment. Let's jump right to pen news.
First, a quick note. Collectors have said they often get sidetracked, lost and even trapped on other sites when they use the links included in my newsletter. It does happen. I could remove the links and list them at the bottom of each issue, but I have an idea. Links that are going to take you away from my website will be bracketed in pink ( ). Save those links for later, after you have read the entire newsletter. If that doesn't help, please let me know. I will take further steps to keep you on the Float About path.
In the most recent Float Along I mentioned that I had purchased several pens from Canada. There are a dozen designs available and they are genuine Eskesen .
Many collectors have expressed their disappointment after a visit to Niagara Falls. From what I hear the American side has next to nothing and the Canada side has a lot of Italian and Chinese made floaties. The impostors started creeping in to the souvenir shops in that area about three years ago. It's a sorry trend. I am pleased to offer you Eskesen pens that represent Canadian sites.
Musician Doug Yeo... has released his second custom floaty pen. Douglas is a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. I don't think his affection for the floaty will ever interfere with his passion for music, but they sure compliment one another. His appearances with the Symphony take him all over the world, where of course he scours airports, museums and souvenir shops for float pens.
Nancy Nerenberg at Float Art assisted Doug with the design and execution of his latest pen. While the artwork hasn't changed, the caption panel is brand new. For those of you that passed on his first pen because it was in the twist n click style, Doug chose the classic style for his latest edition. It is available on my list and Doug is selling them from his website too. In fact, Doug has an entire webpage dedicated to the history of his pens and an explanation of the items pictured. It's an interesting read. I had never heard of a serpent in reference to a musical instrument until I was introduced to Doug. The site is also a personal expression of Doug's commitment to music and a tribute to his talent. Visit today.
Description of pen design. Doug enters the Boston Symphony Hall carrying a trombone but emerges with a Serpent, a rare musical instrument. ( Doug's Pen Page. )
Tina DeSalvo ... emailed to ask 'Is the cartoon couple in the Edie & Carleton wedding pen Darrin and Samantha from the old Bewitched series?" Yes Tina... it is! You were really paying attention.
The House of Blues Company Stores... can be found in major cities across the country. Michigan floaty collector, Betty Murphy, reported a major find. She purchased this Jake and Elwood pen at an HOB in California. You can use this link to find the HOB (NOTE: Pens long gone; Site moved; Removed link May 2015) nearest you. Several of the stores have sold out of this pen. If you have a store in your neighborhood, I suggest a walk-in to check availability. Otherwise they charge a stiff fee for shipping. Because not everyone has a store in their area, I bought these via mailorder. I had to pay retail plus tax and shipping, thus the $5.25 per pen.
The pen is in the original twist n click style with a black wire clip. Choose an opaque black or translucent blue barrel (while colors last). If you reserved the Blues Brothers pen when it was introduced in Float Along... your order is still on-hold.
Jake and Elwood dance past a police cruiser. The backdrop reads ‘IN BLUES
WE TRUST’. Bookmark the HOB link for future visits. Their stores carry some fabulous blues merchandise.
Media Sightings and Pen Finds...
The film, ‘How to Deal’... is out of the box. It has already come and gone from many theaters across the USA. I offered a free float pen to the first person to see the movie and provide a report. Carol Santos contacted me on July 21st. She is the winner of the free pen and she wasn't even aware of the prize. I am going to step aside and let Carol tell her story. “This is my first float pen sighting! How exciting. I went to a movie last night called How to Deal with Mandy Moore. The float pen scene was as follows: The boyfriend had left unexpectedly and when he returned he went up to his girlfriend and said ‘I'm back’. He was carrying a handful of float pens and a t-shirt. You could see the colorful tops.”
The float pens were purchased from Float About nearly a year ago. There was talk about using a pen to represent each state that was included in Mandy Moore's on-screen journey. I wish they had incorporated pens into more scenes, but even a glimpse is better than nothing.
When I asked Carol if she liked the movie, she replied “I would recommend it at two and a half stars out of five. I think teenage girls would really like it and give it a higher rating. I went with a friend my age (forties) and we were entertained and amused. It had some cute spots, but was a little choppy in character development. A light, romantic summer movie. There you go - I always wanted to be a movie critic.” For many of us it is too late to catch the flick at the theater. No doubt it will surface on video rental shelves before too many months go by.
Beverly Broadstone is an excellent... pen spotter. She relates her most recent sighting. “I don't know if anyone mentioned the tip n strip pen on According to Jim. Jim Belushi was looking through a junk drawer and found a stripper pen. He exclaimed, 'Oh, my nudie pen' and he was looking at it with the utmost interest. His wife said, 'Jim, it's only a pen!' as she grabbed it from his hand and took possession of it. He said, 'If she was 5 feet taller, you'd be out of here!' Then he digs further into the junk drawer, looking for a receipt, and he finds another nudie pen. He sticks it into his shirt pocket.” The episode is called The Receipt. I checked the listings. Looks like the program is down for the season, but it will likely rerun. Beverly has the most pen sightings to her credit. If you should see a pen anywhere in a book, magazine, on TV, anywhere... please report. Thanks for the tip Beverly B!
Anne Burke ... has reported her very first pen sighting too. Back in August she sent an email with the following message “I was just pursuing my favorite website, ( homestarrunner.com ), it's a cartoon. At first it seems weird, but once you get into it, it's very addictive! Anyway, on to the floaty connection. In their online merchandise store, they are giving away a free floaty pen with orders of $100 or more. This is a pen I would LOVE to have, but it is way too rich for my blood. There is a picture of the pen on the site. When you click on it the pen will tilt for you and show it's glorious floating action. I'm not sure if anyone is familiar with the site... it's a pen sighting none the less!”
I had to admit I was unfamiliar with the cartoon, but I did browse the HSR website. I would have to agree it is weird. Time didn't allow me to stick around long enough to get addicted, but the characters are kind of cute in a classic clip-art sort of way. There are several cartoons to see and the seats are free.
Coincidentally, this pen is on the new list. It features Stong Bad,
from the Home Star Runner cast of cartoon characters. You don't have
to spend $100 to get this one, but it is sure to quickly disappear.
The Summer issue of the Scandinavian Review ... magazine featured a fabulous floaty pen article. It includes nine pages of informative text, history and color photos. I was unable to find a copy of the magazine in Mansfield. A fellow collector has graciously provided me with color copies of the entire article. The magazine has a website where their articles are posted. To date, the Power of the Pen, Danish-style, by Leslie Gilbert Elman, has yet to make an appearance on the site, but it will. The spring issue has already posted. Check for updates at the Scandinavian Review. (NOTE: article no longer posted; link removed May 2015.)
Spam Connoisseurs Rejoice... Gwen Garabedian discovered Spam float pens on the world wide web. You may order them online. Two pens designs and one floaty toothbrush are offered.
The picture links on the Spam site are broken. I ordered two pens in each style. Delivery was immediate. I scanned them for all to see. Pens sell for $5 each and I was charged $5 for shipping my order of 4 pens. Gwen felt our Float About gang should get first crack at them before eBay sellers list them. That is so kind! Thanks Gwen. (Note: Spam pens long gone; Link removed May 2015)
$5.00 #6435 Pen design SPAM So Good It's Gone (classic style)
$5.00 #6454 Pen design Spam Town
(Twist n Click style)
$6.00 #6889 Toothbrush Design
The National Motorcycle Museum... is four hours west of Chicago between Cedar Rapids and Dubuque Iowa. This is Linda McCormick's home territory. Linda and husband Don stopped and shopped at the NM Museum this summer.
Linda presented me with the pen above. What a great ad pen or maybe I should categorize it as an event pen?! Either way... it's fab. The floater is a motorcycle, which is an unusual item.
Since float pen collectors are travelers, this seems like a worthy destination. I thought you might want to know more. The National Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame is in Anamosa, Iowa. The Museum boasts over 150 motorcycles from around the world. The Hall of Fame recognizes the men and women that have contributed to motorcycling through industry, promotion, leadership, or competition.
Admission is free to children 12 and under, when accompanied by an adult. Otherwise the general admission is $5/person. Summer hours are Mon-Fri 9-5, Sat 9-5 and Sunday 11-4. Winter hours are a little shorter on the weekends. The NMM website is open all the time. Visit for complete details before you travel ( National Motorcycle Museum ) . Can't make the trip? You can still get their pen. It does not appear on their web catalog, but you can contact them via email and order pens directly for $3 each. They charge a minimum $3 shipping fee, but that might cover more than one pen. No web access? Phone 319/462-3925 or Fax 319/462-3982. (NOTE: Museum is still there; Pens are long gone.)
While the Mini Cooper... is cute as a button, the float pen is a lot more affordable. While exploring the Mini Cooper website Tina DeSalvo uncovered a floaty pen. According to Tina, “It's cute but it's a bit pricey. The pen is $7.50 and shipping is $4 via Fed Ex.” I know... OUCH. But if this is a must-have for you, visit (NOTE: Link Defunct; Removed May 2015; Pens are sold out). Navigation: click on Gear Up, then Mini Motoring Gear, then Mini Fun (be patient while the products load). Finally, click on the picture of the floaty pen. The pen features a chili red Mini Cooper making it's way back and forth from Hollywood to NYC. Ideal Motion Promotion is responsible for the fine design. Sorry the scan isn't better. I borrowed the pic from the Mini Cooper site. Thanks for the pointer Tina D!
Kristen & Eugene Marino... are expecting a baby girl on October 7th. In her 8th month of pregnancy Kristen is “completely exhausted and completely swollen”. So, her pregnancy is right on track! Other than swollen ankles she is feeling fine, just a little anxious.
A few weeks ago, Kristen was watching a rerun of MacGyver on TVLand when she spotted a float pen. Kristen relates the episode... “MacGyver's friend and supervisor, Pete, was trying to locate MacGyver and this weeks' damsel-in-distress. In a search of the damsel's home, Pete knocked over a mug of pens and picked up a floaty pen. The pen had a shark floating in it and the caption panel read ‘Shark Submarines Inc.’ It was a twist n click. Of course, the pen led Pete right to MacGyver.”
Kristen, thanks for the sighting report and baby update. Hang in there! October 7th will be here before you know it. Be sure to let us know when the new addition finally arrives. Best wishes from your fellow pen collectors.
In issue #40 I announced Sarah Garrett ... and husband Dave were expecting their first baby. You might remember this couple from their wedding pen? Baby Nathaniel James Garrett arrived on Sunday, August 17th. This is really cool. You can see his birth pictures by visiting the hospital's ( Welcome Center ). Log on to the site. Click on 'Visit a loved ones welcomesite'. You will be prompted for this info: Mom's name is 'Garrett', password is 'babynate'. What a great service. Congratulations Sarah and Dave. Baby Nate is truly beautiful and destined to become a floaty fan.
Debbie Hoesly ... shedds some light on the bicycle. Ever since The Beatles Anthology pen was released, collectors have been asking about the floating bicycle?! What is the significance? I didn't have a clue. Debbie put it all together. The pen was obviously inspired by the artwork from the cover of The Beatles Anthology book (pictured left). According to Debbie, “It is a painting by Klaus Voorman.”
She copied this info from his bio “In 1996, Neil Aspinal, of Apple Records, asked Klaus to create an image for the Beatles Anthology Project. In competition with seven other artists he got the job and did the final artwork with his friend Alfons Kiefer.” Mystery solved. Thanks Deb!
Debbie's info prompted a response from Keith Bartlett, an avid pen trader and collector in Britain. Keith has a floaty site that is constantly updated. He wanted me to know he recently introduced a ( what's new ) page. Keith has a fair amount of duplicate pens for trade and provides the latest pen news from the European front. Stop in and say ‘hello’.
Mr Zanat, the famous French floaty collector... now has a website. That's right. Many of you have traded with Mr Zanat over the years. It used to be a complicated task. There is the language barrier and until about a year ago, he relied on snail mail for all correspondence. It really is a new Millennium. Mr Zanat has Internet access and a personal place in cyberspace. Tell him ‘Diana sent you’. ( simscollection.free.fr/ )
Danish collector, Finn Sørensen... purchased some pens via eBay from Linda Zieter, a Texas collector. It so happened Linda planned to visit her sister and family in Galion, Ohio... about 11 miles from me! It really is a small world. Linda, sister Debbie, niece Abby and myself met at El Campesino's in Mansfield on August 13th for a delicious Mexican meal. A great time was had by all. I highly recommend getting together with other collectors. My experience has been we are like old friends from the moment we greet one another. Try it sometime.
Gina Carlson is an active ... trader. She recently updated her trade list and I promised to mention it to you. Request her current list via email.
Miranda Wittebol is getting the best... out of her vacation time. She has three new pen designs in-the-works and she has been cataloging her collection for several days. The end is in sight and she will have all 7,800 floaty pens in her personal collection accounted for. Way to GO Miranda! Just 200 short of 8000. Will she get there by January 1, 2004? Maybe with your help.
Mary Engelbreit fans... heads-up. Floaty collector Ruby Kuegeman, Beverly Broadstone's sister, found copies of Mary Engelbreit's Home Companion: Collections at Border's Books in the Los Angeles area for $3 per copy. I also found copies at the Half Price Books store in Columbus, Ohio, but they were $5.98. Original list was $12.95.
It is packed with cool collections and display ideas, but there is one section of particular interest to floaty collectors. Globe Trotters Souvenirs begins on page 67. Page 69 (pictured right) has a pic of pens exhibited in a wooden rack. The caption reads, “If you crossed a lava lamp with a snowdome, you'd probably get a floaty pen...” Other collectibles featured in the book are bakelite, clocks, buttons, pales, USA pottery and so much more.
If your Border's and Half Price Books fail you, Border's website is offering this book for $5.99. When you visit their site you have the opportunity to look inside the book. They also include reviews from readers. Border's on-line recently teamed up with Amazon. This is a direct link to the item and 215 other ME titles. ( Home Companion: Collections ) .
Speaking of other collectibles...
When Australian floaty fan, Susan Baker, told me she also collects leather bookmarks, I was perplexed. Even after she attempted to describe it, I was lost. It was something that I had never encountered. Susan sent a sample.
8 ¼ inches long by
1 ½ inches wide
I expected something thick and stiff. The material is genuine leather, but soft and pliable. The images are embossed in metallic gold. It reminds me of items found in trading posts and souvenir shops in the 50's. Anyway, Susan has a real hankering for them so if you know where she can find them, please let her know. firstname.lastname@example.org
Kim Dougherty and Beverly Broadstone... share a love of penguins as well as float pens. In fact, Kim's penguin collection took an Honorable Mention at the Orange County Fair this summer. The girls have have yet to meet, but they communicate via email on a regular basis. Beverly ventured to the fair to see Kim's exhibit. She assures me Kim should have taken a grand prize. There is always next year! Think about it. Beverly could put an impressive pen collection together and Kim could pump-up her penguin collection. They could both be winners in the 2004 event.
The October Country Home magazine... is out! So why all the excitement? Page 27 (pictured) is a ball of yarn with knitting needles made by my William. We were tickled when the magazine contacted us and asked for samples. The same photo, in a smaller format, appears on the contents page too. Bill's cherry needles are pictured on page 28 and our contact information is provided on page 174. This is the kind of advertisement we could never afford to buy. I am so proud of Bill and his fine woodworking.
Odds and Ends...
I haven't had any contact with the factory... in Denmark for months. It was a long and hectic summer. Bill scheduled five events back-to-back between July 11th and August 9th. We haven't attempted anything that heavy for many years. As we look back it's really no wonder Bill had a mini-stroke (in his eye of all places) on July 3rd. He is just fine now, but I am convinced it was stress induced. All of his tests came back AOK and he has no serious after effects. The doctors prescribed a cholesterol blocker and an aspirin a day. Life is good and Bill goes on.
Now that things have calmed down I can stay in touch with Eskesen and my pen distributors. I feel very out of the loop these days. I am not aware of any new products, but Miranda said she found tip n strips with translucent barrels in Amsterdam. Have you seen them? When the new translucent barrels were first released you could see the inner workings of the pen, mostly the refill. Have you noticed that the refills are now jacketed in white? The addition of a thin white tube placed over the refill lightened and brightened the translucent colors.
Many collectors do not realize that I have refills for sale. I mention this because if you need refills for your classic style translucent barrels, be sure to specify 'refills with the white jacket'. Refills for the classic style pens are available in black or blue ink. The price is just 4/$1. Add refills to any pen order and it will not increase your shipping charges. If you place an order for refills only, there will be a $1 charge to cover postage and the cost of the padded envelope.
I was truly surprised ... how many collectors commented on the cost to buy one of every pen included on my pen list. Seems many got a kick out of the bottom line. I have decided that whenever I publish a new list, I will recalculate. The figure will appear at the very bottom of the New Arrivals list. The current figure is $1,898 for 553 designs. Be sure to give me a couple of days notice before you place your order. A purchase of that magnitude could take days to pack. (hee hee)
This is what happens when the newsletter is a month late. It becomes a saga. The next Float About should be ready by mid-November. In the meantime, urgent and time sensitive news will post in Float Along. Bookmark the link and visit to keep current in between issues of Float About.
I hate to post and run, but we do have an art show in Cleveland this weekend. I didn't want to delay this issue another 4 days. I will be processing orders through Saturday afternoon. Then we have to go. Remember, orders are processed and filled on a first come - first served basis. Don't wait for me to come home. Send your orders right away. I will get back to you ASAP.
Your email inbox is flooded with absolute trash mail too... right? I spend five to ten minutes every morning trying to find the few pieces of personal mail buried in the trash heap. It's criminal. This morning I had 67 pieces of new mail. Two of them were personal. Filters. Yes! I did set up some filters, but they eliminated some important mail, so I only have a few filters in place. When you communicate with me via email, please include something in the subject line to get my attention. ‘Float pens’ or ‘Floaty pens’ always works. Are you having the same problem?
The show through Sunday, but if the weather is nice, Bill and I will stay over to attend the Hartville Flea Market on Monday. We only get a chance to go there once a year. Either way, I will be back in the office no later than Tuesday morning.
Enjoy autumn and all the beauty it brings...
FLOAT ABOUT... Diana Andra, 1676 Millsboro Road, Mansfield, OH 44906-3374
phone 419/529-8876 or (11am-Midnight EST)
Copyright © Sept 2003 Float About... Diana Andra