Sunday, April 21, 2002

Prize Possessions


Seals get woman's flippers flapping

By Marsie Hall Newbold
Enquirer contributor

        Who: Beverly Stover, 39, of Milford, a clerk-typist at Lincoln Heights Elementary School who is enamoured with seals. (The carnivorous marine mammal kind.)

        What: Her collection of 93 seal related items.

        Where: Lounging on the dining room table of the condo she shares with her husband, Brian, their dog, Buster, and hamster, Caramel.

        “We recently moved house,” she explains. “So, I haven't really put them on display yet.”

        Number one: Mrs. Stover received her first seal in December of 1992.

        “It was a Christmas seal,” she says. “He's sitting on a glacier with a red and white peppermint striped scarf around his neck. But, the one that started it all was a very small pewter seal. It was a gift from Laura Back, the daughter of one of my friends. She was a Girl Scout and their slogan back then was "Sealed With a Kiss' or something like that.”

        “After that,” Mrs. Stover continues, “It just snowballed. But, that was the one that made me fall in love with seals.”

        Seal-appeal: Since then, Mrs. Stover has acquired many more including: candles, carved wooden seals, stuffed animals, a Koosh Ball, a snow globe, blown glass figurines and ceramic knickknacks. She also owns sand-sculpture seals, two pairs of bedroom slippers, a Swarovski crystal seal, a seal sitting on a piece of driftwood and a jeweled pendant depicting a seal balancing a pearl ball on its nose.

        Say “cheese”: Mrs. Stover can't get enough of seals. On her last trip to SeaWorld, she spent half a day at the seal display.

        “I took two entire rolls of film,” she says. “I couldn't help it. They are beautiful and graceful. They just fascinate me.”

        Love tokens: Through the years, Mrs. Stover has only bought six seals for herself. The others have been gifts from family and friends.

        “People that I am close to know how much I love seals,” she says. “That gives them an extra-special meaning.”

        One of her favorites is a wooden plaque from her younger brother, Rodney Allen.

        “He made it with a wood burning kit,” she explains. “He did the drawing free hand. It is of a glacier with a harp seal sitting on top of it.”

        Near-seal experience: Mrs. Stover's collection includes two manatees and an otter.

        “My mother brought back the manatees from Florida,” she giggles. “She thought they were seals. The otter was from a friend. She also thought it was a seal.”

        “They do look like seals,” she points out. “Regardless, I treat them all the same.”

        Share your prize possessions with Marsie Hall Newbold by mail: c/o The Enquirer, 312 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202: e-mail: marsolete@aol.com.

       



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