Featured Collector - Glen Preble
(from the December 2005 Dump Digger's Gazette) by Rick Sinner
As I thought about the re-birth of the "Collector Series", I wondered who the ABCC members would enjoy reading about the most. Even though there are many members who mean so much to this club, choosing one member for this first article was actually an easy choice for me. It's one that I wanted to make back in those earlier years when I was the Gazette editor. So, I quickly packed my tape recorder and digital camera and drove over to Glen Preble's house. Once I arrived, I was immediately impressed with his massive collection. You see, Glen has had almost his entire life to collect things. In fact, he explained to me that at an early age the collector gene was present in his body. Glen said that he was always a very tactile kid and that he always wanted to touch the artifacts and not just look at them in a display case. Glen was born and raised in Denver and attended Saint John's Lutheran Elementary and later attended Lutheran High School. After graduation he went to the college in Pueblo to play football and spent approximately 2 years there. He then transferred to CSU in Fort Collins to become a teacher. Glen has a masters degree from CU and also took classes in Denver at the Auraria Campus. It was there at the Auraria Campus that he fell in love with the old Tivoli Brewery, which started his interest in collecting. Glen taught PE, Science, Social Studies and Special Education for 19 years at Stein Elementary and then moved to Powder Horn Elementary. He was with the Jefferson County School District for 30 years before making the move to retirement and hasn't looked back. Glen married his high school sweetheart, Linda, who also attended CSU. They have 3 beautiful daughters: Amber, Shannon and Kelly and also boast about their 4 grand children. Glen says that he wouldn't know what to do without his grand kids, and at present is building them a playhouse in the backyard. He's building it sturdy enough for him to live in if Linda kicks him out of the house for mentioning the word "Book" to her again. The word "Book" actually refers to the two books that Glen has written. As most of you know, he edited our club bottle book entitled, Impressed In Time Colorado Beverage Bottles, Jugs & Etc. 1859-1915. He is also the author of a more recent book entitled, The Rise & Demise of Colorado Drugstores 1859-1915. Glen became involved in the Impressed In Time book in those early days when volunteers were desperately needed.
He comments about how the book deal works. "You say to yourself, I wouldn't mind helping on this book, but once you get started, you quickly realize that the other volunteers start dropping like flies." He wanted to just be part of the process, and then he realized that if the book was ever going to get finished, he'd have to do it. He wants everyone to know how much Bob Hanson contributed to the jug part of the book, and he's very grateful for all his hard work. To Glen, the book started off as a labor of love, and it quickly turned into just labor. He forgot how much work that book really involved when he started his next endeavor concerning Colorado drug stores. Once he started, he realized that the book just kept growing and growing. He comments that there are always things that a person would do differently that at the time seemed like a good idea. There were 400 hard-bound copies and just under 100 softbound copies printed of Glen's drug store book. At present, the ABCC has 12 softbound copies and approximately 50 hard bound copies left for sale. Besides being an author, Glen is also an avid collector. Glen's first love in the early collecting years was his beer collection. When he realized how cool the history of Tivoli was, he fell in love with the old brewery and started collecting advertising. He is quick to point out that Tivoli spelled backwards is "I Lov It," and he truly does. He has a glass in his collection that advertises that very thing. He thinks some wise advertising executives realized that fact and capitalized on it. When Glen's collection started to get stagnant because he wasn't finding anything new, he became interested in Colorado hutches. He has now turned his love for hutches into a 250+ collection. He then started collecting 1/2 pint milk bottles and has over 300 behind glass in his house. From there, Glen realized he had an interest in drug stores and has put together one of the best collections of Colorado drug store bottles in the state. I'm not sure how amassing over 800 drug store bottles relates to writing a book, but Glen is relieved that it is finished and out in print.
Glen has been a huge part of the ABCC for many, many years. He has been club President, Vice President, Secretary and also Treasurer. Glen has also been Show Chairman, Program Chairman and was on the buying committee for club inventory, along with the writing of the 2 books mentioned above. Glen's advice to collectors is to "Collect what you love and love what you collect. Don't collect things based on the speculation that it will be worth a fortune someday because 9 times out of 10 you're going to miss your guess." Glen sees his collecting days as pretty much winding down and will try very hard to not collect anything else. He's going to stay busy trying to fill the gaps in his drug store, hutch and milk bottle collections. When asked about his favorite piece, he mumbled something about his collection being too extensive to pick just one. He then commented about his "cremains" being put into the "Enlich & Good." Thanks for allowing us to take a peek at your collection and your life, Glen. We now just want to know where that bottle will be buried.
Click on Bottles and Tray for an Enlarged View