Thursday, October 20, 2016

Missed it by that much; part dieu~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 A tale of two halves.

In the Spring of 1995 I was actively digging in Virginia City , Nevada. At that time, you could still dig there with written permission from the property owner and for a few years, the Bottle Gods were good to me.

On this particular permission, I was systematically digging a dump which encompassed an entire back yard, and it was difficult to dig in a neat and tidy fashion due to there being no “walls” to any defined pit. Over several months I dug some great glass alongside the homeowner who was also a collector of sorts. After digging some sweet glass ( deep cobalt early Dickey, a mega whittled J. Walkers, colored umbrellas, and some awesome western meds). I was working in to an area of stacked bricks about four feet down. The bricks were actually more of a buried pile, rather than a built wall. I moved each brick and surprisingly, behind this pile were bottles…not a lot of them but enough to keep me going. I was clearing out an area of what seemed like beach sand, and definitely not the natural dirt, and uncovered a deep lime green base. I immediately recognized it! It was a Lacour’s! I carefully worked up to the shoulders, and that is where the bottle ended. I was sick, but continued digging. After another five minutes, I uncovered a pile of Lacour’s…all the same lime green. And their bases were staring at me like a stack of firewood. I almost had a heart attack but took a breath and dug each one out. EVERY ONE was broken from the shoulder up with not one neck or top anywhere to be found. I was dejected but had a glimmer of hope when I saw a light yellow Lacour’s top and the side of the neck. My heart started palpitating again, as I gently wiped the sand away. This was not a Lacour’s, but a variant two Cassin.s! It was laying on it’s side and I gingerly uncovered the entire neck, and of course the beautiful  side panel began to show. This thing appeared intact! Inch by inch I wiped away the sand to reveal a perfect and pure yellow Cassin's Grape brandy Bitters. I sat there in total shock and decided to extract this beauty from the side of the trench. As I worked the bottle free, I was holding exactly HALF of a Cassin,s…the other half still staring at me in the compacted sand. That did it…I was wishing for a bus or semi-truck to drive down C St. so I could jump in front of it.

The homeowner and I glued the halves together and he kept the bottle. I do not know where it is today.

So…there you go. I still would rather have had that opportunity with the Lacour’s and that Cassin.s than any 1900 pit full of glass.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! Unfortunately these were the days before cell phones or I could have documented this debacle. I think I did have a cell phone but it was hard wired in to my vehicle.

Dale M.


Anonymous said...

Good digging story Dale my pop and me started digging VC in 1961 stopped in 64 never found anything like that we didn't know what we were doing just finding lots of bottles digging the ravines below town now it is all houses those were some fun days
Bill C.

robgarb said...

Just a thought after reading these sad ,inspiring stories ,as an aside ,include photos of some of these rare beautiful fragments ..just to make us feel worse.

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