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Not only does Delbert Fourman have a lot of horseshoe pitching awards and memorabilia in his possession, he has also been collecting numerous other things.
The collecting habit started after he married the former Edna Metzcar nearly 57 years ago. The couple, who will celebrate their next anniversary on Sept. 19, both have collected At one time, she collected salt and pepper shakers.
Her husband began accumulating books of matches followed by collecting key chains, little semi toys, tractors and Cracker Jacks products.
He would collect the match books in his travels but indicated he cannot get them anymore because they’re unavailable. Fourman already has five milk cans filled with the match books.
He noted that he has an estimated 3,000 keychains. His favorite is a keychain from a Greenville Horseshoe Tournament in 1999. Many of his keychains are on display on a peg board but can also be seen in jars and other containers on shelves throughout the house.
His favorite things to collect now are those made with full metal instead of plastic.
The highest he has spent on a keychain is $17.
However, he is wishing he could get some Olympic chains and has been unable to do so.
He has more than 50 articles, including three lunch buckets, in his Cracker Jacks collection, “I didn’t know they were that scarce,” he said.
He spent $45 on a Cracker Jacks box that included the history of the product.
Fourman’s goal now is to acquire the Cracker Jack mascot, Sailor Jack, which he is having a hard time finding.
Where does he get his collectibles? He’s always on the lookout for something and noted he attended a big flea market in Florida and bought three or four things but never found that sailor man.
The Cracker Jack Company, according to historical accounts, was purchased by Borden in 1964 after a bidding war with Frito-Lay and was manufactured for years in Northbrook, Ill. Borden sold the brand to Frito-Lay parent PepsiCo in 1997, and Cracker Jack was quickly incorporated into the Frito-Lay portfolio. Frito-Lay transferred production of Cracker Jack from Northbrook to Wyandot Snacks in Marion, Ohio, soon thereafter.
Another things he has in his possession is a bullet from a missile which he wants to present to a veterans organization.
Fourman’s horseshoe pitching began when he and his wife played and competed at the campgrounds 30 years ago at Tall Trees near Lynn, Ind. He then joined the National Horseshoe Pitching Association and the Darke County Horseshoe Pitchers in Greenville.
“Edna and I won a lot of trophies,” he said. “After we quit camping, Edna didn’t play anymore.”
Fourman said he won at the county level six years in a row and was a winner of the World in Class B2 in 2017. He has been to 11 world tournaments and quite a few times went undefeated in various tournaments.
He said he could write a book about his travels to Utah in 2020.
“The flight was all messed up and we didn’t get our luggage,” he recalled. “I pitched the first day without my horseshoes. I had to use someone else’s and came in tenth. We, Brian Fisher of New Paris and I, came back the same way.”
Fourman, who had underwent two shoulder operations four or five years ago, loves competing in horseshoes because he doesn’t have a partner.
At age 77, he is the fourth of eight children who grew up east of Butler School, where he attended classes for 10 years before graduating from Arcanum High School in 1962.
Delbert and Edna have two children, Roger, who will be 56 on Oct. 29, and Michelle, who will turn 50 on Sept. 21, and six grandchildren.
He’s not sure who will inherit or want his collections.
He worked at Lewisburg Container while in high school for two years and then worked at Vindale, now Benchmark, for 16 years before going out on his own and forming Fourman Construction.
“Now, I mainly work with other people,” he said.
I am a Darke County native living in the Ansonia area with my son. I have been in journalism 50+ years and enjoy what I do.
Contact Darke County Now Media Correspondent Linda Moody @ firstname.lastname@example.org or 937-337-1955.