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My first Estie


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#91 Windwalker

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 06:07

Here are numbers 2 and 3, number 1 is another gray with a 2668 nib. Number 2 carrys a 9314M from Brian, (still trying to get used to this one), the nib that came in it a 9556, is now in the copper. Unfortunately the copper has 2 cracks in the cap, you can see one in the picture. After a search, it seems that replacing is the way to go. They both could use a good polishing. I resacced the copper, and number 1 needs one as well, as soon as I can find it again. We just moved and this will teach me to leave the packing to someone else. :embarrassed_smile:

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#92 mdoering

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Posted 09 February 2010 - 20:46

Esterbrooks were among the first additions to my collection... I have several of them, two are fully functional (the solid black and left most grey one) and the rest are mainly in need of new sacs(one is missing the bottom "jewel") The colors are vibrant on these pens and none of them have any cracks. Hope you enjoy the pics.

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#93 fpman

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 03:41

My first Estie was a olive and chrome mystery pen I got rather cheaply from eBay. It had what I eventually found out it was an Aerometric filler and thanks to the terrific Esterbrook.net site I found out it was an M2. Then I overspent on a similar grey and chrome pen that turned out to be a CX-100 sans cartridge. Thanks to some creative knife work with the wrong end of a standard international cartridge I got it to work, sort of. Both wrote very very nicely. Now, in short order, I have four more Esties and am eyeballing nibs (some attached to still more pens). A short, slippery slope to becoming a C.
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#94 dinomium

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 04:56

my first Estie is my first vintage find!

I was strolling through an 'antique' mall today trolling for valentines' day gifts for the wife and just started keeping an eye out for fountain pens for me. This one of those places that have many stalls of Elvis plates and Rose's tea animal 'collectable' figurines, so I was not holding out hope for something for either of us. But in an old Timex display case filled with pocket knives, non-vintage spinning reels and dime store dishes, on the bottom shelf I spied something shinny. Since I am such a n00bie, I really didn't know what I was looking at. I flipped the lever and it looked clean, so I bought it.
It is gray and has two black ends.
I logged on here and found out that my new acquisition is really J Double Jewel Esterbrook and it works! It is really fantastic looking a writes so incredibly smooth. I feel very lucky to have just grabbed a random pen and have it work out...

#95 OcalaFlGuy

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 15:35

my first Estie is my first vintage find!

I was strolling through an 'antique' mall today trolling for valentines' day gifts for the wife and just started keeping an eye out for fountain pens for me. This one of those places that have many stalls of Elvis plates and Rose's tea animal 'collectable' figurines, so I was not holding out hope for something for either of us. But in an old Timex display case filled with pocket knives, non-vintage spinning reels and dime store dishes, on the bottom shelf I spied something shinny. Since I am such a n00bie, I really didn't know what I was looking at. I flipped the lever and it looked clean, so I bought it.
It is gray and has two black ends.
I logged on here and found out that my new acquisition is really J Double Jewel Esterbrook and it works! It is really fantastic looking a writes so incredibly smooth. I feel very lucky to have just grabbed a random pen and have it work out...


I hadn't thought about it before, but if there could be any more of an enjoyment than KNOWING you wanted a certain Estie and looking to find it (and finding it) the better one might be NOT knowing anything about Esties, finding a nice one and getting it and THEN discovering what a great pen you'd found.

Good on ya Dinomium!

Bruce in Ocala, FL

#96 HenryLouis

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 16:03

My only estie is a grey transitional J which i got with a NOS 9668 nib... It's a bit thick, but it's a nice pen...

I'll have to get another one soon, probably a clean red or dark blue J... with a finer nib.
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#97 redbike

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 01:36

My first and only is a transitional J style in red with the flat top and the three hash marks across the jewel on the cap. It came with a 9556 nib, which felt too fine at first but I'm getting to like it the more I use it. I purchased it from another member who re-sac'd it and really got it into very good condition. I'm very happy with it.

#98 IWantThat

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Posted 28 March 2010 - 20:14

My first Estie, which I've ordered but not received yet, is a fully restored J in blue with nickel-plated trim. The nib is defined as very rare - an 8668 Posted Image

Edited by IWantThat, 28 March 2010 - 20:14.

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#99 Sesheta

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 11:05

My first Estie is a little red SJ which came with a 2550 nib and an Osmiroid soft medium Rolatip (which is a lovely smooth writer). It's currently sporting a 9555 nib which I'm getting used to in preparation for using it for shorthand. I'm in love. It's a lovely little pen, the perfect size for my rather small hands and lovely and light. It's my first full size (almost full size) vintage pen (I've got two Peter Pan pendent pens) and it's georgeous. I've already got a list of nibs I want - I'm waiting for an Osmiroid left handed nib and drooling over a whole list of other ones - 9048, 9128, 2442, 2048, 9134F...for starters anyway.
I'm also waiting on a big brother for this little red one, a copper J that might even be an LJ in need of a new sac.

#100 79spitfire

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 03:32

I got sucked in to the Estie thing just today! I bought 2 desk pens they were only $5 each! One appears older perhaps the front section is hard rubber? it has several bug bites and #2556 nib, the other is in better shape, likely newer, has a #9550 nib and I can't tell if the nib section is hard rubber or plastic. Does the direction of the name and numbers make a difference in vintage? The 2556 is across the nib where the 9550 is lengthwise down the nib. They both have had sacs replaced at some point, the 9550's is nicely done and appears to have been a professional job, where the 2556's wasn't "shellaced" in place and appears to be too long for the pen body, kinky folds at the bottom.

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#101 Rabbit

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 04:17

I got sucked in to the Estie thing just today! I bought 2 desk pens they were only $5 each! One appears older perhaps the front section is hard rubber? it has several bug bites and #2556 nib, the other is in better shape, likely newer, has a #9550 nib and I can't tell if the nib section is hard rubber or plastic. Does the direction of the name and numbers make a difference in vintage? The 2556 is across the nib where the 9550 is lengthwise down the nib. They both have had sacs replaced at some point, the 9550's is nicely done and appears to have been a professional job, where the 2556's wasn't "shellaced" in place and appears to be too long for the pen body, kinky folds at the bottom.

Nice finds!

I'm not 100% sure about this, but judging from several observations I've made, I have concluded that the numbers going across the nib, like your 2556, are how Esterbrook made them for the majority of their production, and then in their later years (mid 1950's perhaps?) they started doing the lengthwise numbers. I don't know the exact year though, and would love to find out the answer to that. For the longest time I thought this was exclusive to the 9xxx series of nibs but then I ran across a couple 2xxx nibs that were also lengthwise.

I agree, if the sac is scrunched up, it was probably too long or the wrong size. As you get more and more pens, you'll find some really horrible repair jobs. ;) It would be a good pen for you to repair if you're new to pen repairs! (I only own a few desk pens and haven't bothered restoring them, but if I had to guess, I'd say the sac size is 16, but someone else can verify that for you.) While you have the pens apart, I'd be sure to test the other one with water to make sure the seemingly good sac is leak-free.

Did your pens come with pen bases/holders? You can find them on eBay often if you need one or two.

Enjoy!

--Stephen

#102 79spitfire

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Posted 06 April 2010 - 06:37


I got sucked in to the Estie thing just today! I bought 2 desk pens they were only $5 each! One appears older perhaps the front section is hard rubber? it has several bug bites and #2556 nib, the other is in better shape, likely newer, has a #9550 nib and I can't tell if the nib section is hard rubber or plastic. Does the direction of the name and numbers make a difference in vintage? The 2556 is across the nib where the 9550 is lengthwise down the nib. They both have had sacs replaced at some point, the 9550's is nicely done and appears to have been a professional job, where the 2556's wasn't "shellaced" in place and appears to be too long for the pen body, kinky folds at the bottom.

Nice finds!

I'm not 100% sure about this, but judging from several observations I've made, I have concluded that the numbers going across the nib, like your 2556, are how Esterbrook made them for the majority of their production, and then in their later years (mid 1950's perhaps?) they started doing the lengthwise numbers. I don't know the exact year though, and would love to find out the answer to that. For the longest time I thought this was exclusive to the 9xxx series of nibs but then I ran across a couple 2xxx nibs that were also lengthwise.

I agree, if the sac is scrunched up, it was probably too long or the wrong size. As you get more and more pens, you'll find some really horrible repair jobs. ;) It would be a good pen for you to repair if you're new to pen repairs! (I only own a few desk pens and haven't bothered restoring them, but if I had to guess, I'd say the sac size is 16, but someone else can verify that for you.) While you have the pens apart, I'd be sure to test the other one with water to make sure the seemingly good sac is leak-free.

Did your pens come with pen bases/holders? You can find them on eBay often if you need one or two.

Enjoy!

--Stephen


I did test the "good" sac and it is leak free (w00t!) I hope to find at least one of the classic "8-ball" looking pen holders, I looked today and didn't find any bargains, I'll keep looking. Anyway, I figured the nib sections were worth the cash, didn't count on the rest of the pens being in usable shape, turns out they are! I'll ink them up one of these days for a test and see how they work.

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#103 stephl

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 15:30

Got my first Esterbrook FP today. I must say it writes really well. I enjoy writing with F nibs, but this one feels like EF and it writes really well. Steph

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#104 Rabbit

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 17:07

Got my first Esterbrook FP today. I must say it writes really well. I enjoy writing with F nibs, but this one feels like EF and it writes really well. Steph



Congratulations! The condition of your pen looks very nice. It's a transitional model J which were made during the transition period between the "dollar pen" models to the "double jewel" J models. The Dollar pens were made up to around 1942, and the "double jewel" version of the J models starting selling around 1948. Transitional models, like yours, were sold in that gap of about 1944 to 1948, with yours being toward the beginning of that. If the nib on yours is a 2048, then I think it actually is classified by Esterbrook as an extra fine. Nice find!

--Stephen

#105 kreinhard

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 01:01

Being new to the scene, I'm not sure if it is customary to include a photo of your first Esterbrook or not. If it is, I beg all of your pardons and will get one up after it's done soaking in a cool bath of weak ammonia and tap water.

My very first Esterbrook is a red M2 which I won on feePay a couple of nights ago for not a lot of money. It arrived in today's mail, but I didn't get a chance to open it until just about ten minutes ago. The auction pictures had me a bit worried, not knowing anything about the care and feeding of vintage pens. Other than some ink staining on the section around the nib, though, it is in excellent condition. No bite marks, no deep scratches or gouges, the cap (says Esterbrook on the lip, not on the clip) is bright and shiny with no dents. I pulled some tap water in to it and the ink that was still there was a gorgeous robin's egg blue. My wife even thought it was a great color; wish I knew which ink it was.

I think the sac is borderline, though, so once Esties number two and three show up (a black J double-jewel with a cool "BELL SYSTEM PROPERTY" embossed on the side and a minty-fresh looking M2 in olive green with the Dura 2668 label still stuck on it) I think I'll be picking up some shellac and sacs. Now, if I could just score a nice matching FP/MP M2 set in turquoise or navy or maybe a matching dark copper J FP/MP set... :embarrassed_smile:

#106 gregamckinney

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 03:56

...

I think the sac is borderline, though, so once Esties number two and three show up (a black J double-jewel with a cool "BELL SYSTEM PROPERTY" embossed on the side and a minty-fresh looking M2 in olive green with the Dura 2668 label still stuck on it) I think I'll be picking up some shellac and sacs. Now, if I could just score a nice matching FP/MP M2 set in turquoise or navy or maybe a matching dark copper J FP/MP set... :embarrassed_smile:


The M2 is an aerometric filling pen, and does not use the same kind of sac as a normal lever-filling pen like the J-series (and most other Esterbrooks.)
Even if the M2's filler looks bad, it is (IME) unlikely to need any work.

Regards, greg

#107 kreinhard

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Posted 17 April 2010 - 12:36

The M2 is an aerometric filling pen, and does not use the same kind of sac as a normal lever-filling pen like the J-series (and most other Esterbrooks.)
Even if the M2's filler looks bad, it is (IME) unlikely to need any work.


Thanks for the info, Greg. Actually, the sac was hardened on either side and split after about the fourth press of the bar. I have disassembled the pen for cleaning and am getting some replacement sacs. I was able to write a few lines using the leftover, reconstituted ink and I think I'm going to like that 9450 nib for writing in my journal.

#108 Ed Ronax

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 21:51

Received my first Esterbrook today a fully restored copper J. I got it from a member here and its in wonderful condition with a 9450 nib which checking my references is a firm extra fine, filled it up and writes a treat staight away after its journey across the pond. Very impressed.
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#109 medici

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Posted 04 May 2010 - 14:52

I found my first Estie in a Missoula, Montana pawn shop last week. Of course I bought it (10 smackeroos, US). It's a nurse's pen: white with red jewels above and below. There's something about the pen that compels me to pick it up. Unfortunately, it needs a new sac, at least. The lever won't extrude and I am not forcing it. I will likely succumb to a nicer nib -- it comes adorned with a 2556 nib. There's nothing mint-ish about this pen. It just seems like a venerable well-used honest writing instrument.

Edited by medici, 04 May 2010 - 14:52.


#110 ZeissIkon

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 00:19

I found my first Estie in a Missoula, Montana pawn shop last week. Of course I bought it (10 smackeroos, US). It's a nurse's pen: white with red jewels above and below. There's something about the pen that compels me to pick it up. Unfortunately, it needs a new sac, at least. The lever won't extrude and I am not forcing it. I will likely succumb to a nicer nib -- it comes adorned with a 2556 nib. There's nothing mint-ish about this pen. It just seems like a venerable well-used honest writing instrument.


Wow, nice find. Put a new sac in that, and the nib of your choice, and you'll have a pen you can use for years and then, if you tire of it, sell for more than you have invested (the nurses' pens are desirable, at least to some).
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#111 Phormio

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Posted 05 May 2010 - 00:25

I got my first Estie today. I got it with a new sac off fleabay. And, as it has a gregg 1555 nib attached, I ordered some new nibs before the pen made it to my house.!!

Anyway I got a black SJ Estie and I am suprised how small the pen really is. It's sitting next to my M205 Pelikan and the Pelikan looks like it can beat it up!! The Gregg nib is as bad as everyone says so I'm waiting on the new nibs to really test this pen out and find out what you Yanks have been banging on about!
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#112 The Anachronist

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 17:48

I was in Seattle yesterday, and stumbled upon the second of two FP shops that I know of there. In the window they had several vintage pens. :puddle: There are a few I've got my eye on, but the one that really caught my eye, and was in my current spending money range was an Esterbrook. Immediately upon coming home I began doing research, and I think I have enough information to ask my question. It has been fully restored, evidently this store restores all their vintage pens prior to selling. I didn't know enough at the time to try it out, nor did I have the time, so I'm assuming it works fine. It is pretty immaculate, only the smallest bit of regular wear, it seems it either wasn't used much, or was very well taken care of! Beautiful it was! At any rate, it's a fully restored, red Esterbrook, what I believe to be a J as it was the larger of three otherwise identical ones there, it has a 2556 nib, they were asking $42 for it. I'm leaving for a weekend vacation, but was thinking of picking it up when I get back next week. Does this seem like a good buy? How does a 2556 nib write? I don't know what line size that would correlate to. I'm new to fp's in general, and this would be my first vintage purchase. Any info you wonderful experts could share with me would be great.
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#113 Rabbit

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 18:35

I was in Seattle yesterday, and stumbled upon the second of two FP shops that I know of there. In the window they had several vintage pens. Posted Image There are a few I've got my eye on, but the one that really caught my eye, and was in my current spending money range was an Esterbrook. Immediately upon coming home I began doing research, and I think I have enough information to ask my question. It has been fully restored, evidently this store restores all their vintage pens prior to selling. I didn't know enough at the time to try it out, nor did I have the time, so I'm assuming it works fine. It is pretty immaculate, only the smallest bit of regular wear, it seems it either wasn't used much, or was very well taken care of! Beautiful it was! At any rate, it's a fully restored, red Esterbrook, what I believe to be a J as it was the larger of three otherwise identical ones there, it has a 2556 nib, they were asking $42 for it. I'm leaving for a weekend vacation, but was thinking of picking it up when I get back next week. Does this seem like a good buy? How does a 2556 nib write? I don't know what line size that would correlate to. I'm new to fp's in general, and this would be my first vintage purchase. Any info you wonderful experts could share with me would be great.

That must be really nice to find an Esterbrook in a fountain pen store!


Since the pen is fully restored, then the price is good, especially considering that you can pick the pen up and won't have to pay for shipping. Maybe the one thing to consider is some type of guarantee on their work. As far as I know, I think a professional restorer would guarantee the ink sac for 1 year. (it should last MUCH LONGER than 1 year, but 1 year is a standard "guarantee" period.)

Here's a little perspective on the price: An unrestored Esterbrook on eBay would cost about $10-15, plus $5 shipping. To have a professional restore it, that would cost $25-$30 plus shipping. To do the repair yourself, you would need to order supplies which would cost about $10-$15 plus shipping, and more than double that if you order supplies to polish the pen. (Most of those supplies will last for several pens though, which would be important if you plan to buy many more unrestored pens.) So factoring all that, $42 for an Esterbrook that is restored already is a very fair price for both the buyer and seller.

The 2556 is a "fine" nib and was probably one of the most popular Esterbrook nibs when the pens were sold in the 1950's. If the nib is unused or lightly used, it should write very well. The nibs that start with a "2" do not have any addtional hard tipping material though so if it has been used a lot, it could be worn down which would produce a line wider than fine or be scratchy. A good restorer would notice that though and would call it out or replace it with a new nib unit. (the nibs in Esterbrook pens unscrew and are very easy to replace. You can still find unused ones and they run $8-$20 for the more common ones and $25 or more for the harder to find ones.) Esterbrook nibs that start with a "9" are Esterbrook's premium nibs and have a harder tipping material and are thus expected to last longer. You have the advantage of inspecting the nib in person before buying it though, which is nice.

The red Esterbrook pens are very beautiful and almost seem to glow. Let us know if you decide to get it!

--Stephen

Edited by Rabbit, 12 May 2010 - 02:28.


#114 The Anachronist

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Posted 11 May 2010 - 21:07

I was very pleasantly surprised by this store, because of their stationary selection and service that was not the somewhat snobby kind I had come to expect after a few reviews. It was an older lady who bragged to everyone that came in after me how great she thought it was that I liked and used fp's and write actual letters. It was pretty funny. They had a smaller selection of fp's but of the vintage ones four Esterbrooks of various models, two 51's, some Sheaffer's and a Waterman's which I've assumed is different than Waterman and many others. I've been thinking of (read: obsessing over) this red Esterbrook since I saw it. I can't resist it any more! I'm gonna go get it. Is there anything I should know before I purchase my first vintage pen other than what I already do as stated above?
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#115 The Anachronist

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Posted 12 May 2010 - 01:36

Well I've come home with my first Estie. It's much different than the Lamy Studio M nib I'm used to, I'll also need a new nib it looks like, there are some nicks in it but still I love it. The nicks thankfully do not affect the writing ability. I'm really surprised how smooth and full of character this nib is! The pen is great! I'm curious though, how many pulls and should it take to fill the sac, and how full does it usually get? I've noticed different inks last longer than others, I'm using Waterman South Sea Blue in my Esterbrook, how long does a typical fill last? It is all quite a change for me, not being able to see the ink level!

Edited by The Anachronist, 12 May 2010 - 01:41.

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#116 bardolator

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Posted 18 May 2010 - 18:40

I'm in the process of buying my first--and I'm really excited! XD

#117 bardolator

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 22:09

Hm; can't edit. I apologize for the double post.

My first Esterbrook is a very deep, dark copper J with a new 9556 nib. It's the deep color some people call by the name of a soft drink whose initials are R and B. I'll post pictures when it arrives.


Is it weird that the pictures make me want to, um, lick it?

#118 OcalaFlGuy

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 22:24

Man! Lucky girl! :bunny01: That should be a nice nib too! You're the second person in 24 hrs I've heard is getting a Root Beer, and I *STILL* don't have one. :(

We'll be waiting on the pics!

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#119 Rabbit

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 22:35

Is it weird that the pictures make me want to, um, lick it?


Yum! I'm the same way with the red ones--when they are highly polished they look like red candy! :puddle:

--Stephen

#120 bardolator

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Posted 19 May 2010 - 22:46

Bruce--maybe I'll actually be able to make the next gathering and I can bring it. Thanks for your advice, btw. :)