Rare bottles

On Thursday there was a garage sale in our neighborhood.
As I drove by with my daughters, we decided to stop and take a look.
An old man, who reminded me of a train conductor (hat, overalls, etc.), greeted us.
He had a lot of junk for sale, but nice stuff, too.
One of the things that caught my eye was a set of cobalt blue beer bottles sitting on a table, which I thought were rather interesting.
“What’s the story behind these bottles?”, I asked him.
I thought perhaps they were from a day long ago.
“Oh, these are really rare, and quite expensive” the old man remarked.
“They’re very special. I  cleaned them up good [he had washed off the labels], and people can use them as flower vases.”
He then showed me how to do this with a bunch of fake flowers, which he was also selling.
As he finished with his flower trick, I turned over one of the bottles and I saw a stamp that read: “Best by 6-30-2012”
“Aren’t these the new Bud Light bottles?”, I asked.
He looked up at me, knowing that he had been caught, and said, “Yes, that’s right.”
Our friendly conversation quickly came to an end.
He went on to helping someone else, and we got back in our car and drove away.
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2 Responses to “Rare bottles”


  1. 1 Anne Ryan May 20, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    I like this tale of the everyday business model. The only part that filters down.:-)

    • 2 Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert May 21, 2012 at 9:15 am

      Thanks, Anne! Glad you liked the story. I hope to do more of this kind of writing throughout the summer. Later in the day we went to a grocery store and saw cases and cases of these “rare” bottles…and these ones came with beer!


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© Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert and BEYOND THE MESAS, 2009-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert and BEYOND THE MESAS with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

About the author

Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert is enrolled with the Hopi Tribe from the village of Upper Moencopi in northeastern Arizona. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of History and a Dean's Fellow and Conrad Humanities Scholar in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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“‘The Hopi Followers’: Chief Tawaquaptewa and Hopi Student Advancement at Sherman Institute, 1906-1909”, Journal of American Indian Education, (Click image to download article)

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Click to listen to KUYI On-Line

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