Saturday, December 27, 2014

Playing ketchup with an old favorite: the world's largest catsup bottle is up for sale

 The Collinsville, Illinois tower dates back to 1949, and when the Brooks company relocated to Indiana in 1959, the bottle remained.

 In 1993, the bottle's owners wanted to sell the property and the Catsup Bottle Preservation Group was formed to keep it standing.

If you have $500,000 lying around and you're in the market for a 70-foot tall, 100,000-gallon water tower that carries bragging rights as the world's largest catsup bottle, have we got a deal for you. Bethel-Eckert Enterprises, the owners of the bottle, decorated in 1949 to resemble Brooks Old Original Rich and Tangy Catsup which used to be bottled at the plant next door in Collinsville, Illinois, just outside St. Louis, put the bottle and the property on which it sits up for sale last June and so far offers, much like ketchup pouring from a bottle, have been rather slow. It came as a surprise to us, and many other of the bottle's fans, that it was privately owned, as it has been on the National Register of Historic Places for some time and has been the source of a Catsup Bottle Preservation Group and yearly catsup festivals in Collinsville. A Mr. Mike "Big Tomato" Gassman, leader of the Preservation Group, is optimistic a sympathetic buyer will be found soon.

We hope so, too, because if the future of the bottle is in a pickle, we hope a buyer will mustard the strength to overcome doubt and relish it, if you catsup our drift.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Crocodile rock: The granite gator of Boynton Beach, Florida

Among the flora and fauna of the northern Everglades nature preserve known as the Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Preserve in western Boynton Beach, Florida sits a decidedly more man-made bit of wildlife. Artist CR Grey of Key West has fashioned an alligator made out of stones and wire that looks quite real at a distance is very amusing up front. He sits sunning himself, as if to say "Welcome to the Everglades, y'all." Good on you, Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Preserve for throwing in a bit whimsy with the rock our world and that's no crock!