Couple turns passion for glass into avocation

Myrna and Bob Garrison of Arlington have turned their 1948 elopement into a strong 55-year marriage, and their wedding gifts of Candlewick pattern glassware into quite a retirement avocation.

The couple are authorities on art glass and have released three books on the topic since the spring.Imperial Cape Cod Glass came out last month, and Candlewick: The Crystal Line and Candlewick: Colored and Decorated were published in March and April.The books build upon the six previous titles they have researched and edited since devoting themselves to their hobby full time in 1989."I must say, though, these books are pretty," Myrna Garrison said, a little embarrassed at bragging.

She should boast. The Garrisons traveled the country and took 2,800 slides of glassware to prepare the texts.

"They're so time-consuming to do," Myrna said of the collectors' handbooks. "We worked two years on these last three books, and we did all the photography."

Much of the glassware is theirs, collected in earnest since 1978 and numbering more than 2,000 pieces. The couple's first 100 pieces were wedding gifts, and by their 30th anniversary, the stuff had become much in demand, so Myrna and Bob began to acquire more Candlewick stemware, cups, saucers, dessert plates, candy dishes, candleholders, and salt and pepper sets.

The distinctive pattern with the beaded edge was manufactured by the Imperial Glass Company of Bellaire, Ohio, from 1901 to 1984.

The Garrisons spend most of their time going to glass collector shows and conventions across the country and speaking at hobbyist seminars. They have become recognized experts in the field.

"The people that we meet and the friends we've made are the best part," Myrna said. They even celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at an art glass convention.

Myrna hinted that they may not be through with writing and photographing.

"There's one idea tucked away in my memory," she said. "It would be an accumulation of small patterns."

Sounds as though Bob and Myrna had better stock up on film and batteries, and gas up the car.

600450 Couple turns passion for glass into avocation

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