A Gift From a Friend and Fellow Lighter Collector From Serbia
After reading an article in the Lighter Club of Great Britain magazine Blaze I became very interested in a lighter collector from Serbia. He had written an article about the only cigarette lighter ever manufactured in Serbia - (Prvi Partizan). The author's name was Vladan Radic and I could tell from his article that he was a very passionate young lighter collector.
In his article he mentioned how difficult lighter collecting was in Serbia. Lighter wicks and flints were almost impossible to find there and he was making replacement wicks for his lighters out of shoelaces. Ebay and any other Internet lighter sales were not available to him because Serbia does not have Paypal or any way to make payment for Internet items. The only lighters available to him were ones that he could find at a local flea market and on a Serbian auction site, these both being very limited with lighters. Most of the lighters there were not in very good condition with most being very well used.
I decided that I wanted to meet him and also to help him with his lighter collection. I got his email address and sent him an email about myself and my collection. In the email I also asked for his mailing address so I could send him some wicks and flints. After only a couple of emails I knew that we were going to become good friends. I started sending him a few small gifts of wicks. flints, lighters and lighter books.
In return he sent me some very nice Prvi Partizan lighters and some other things from his country. He also kept telling me how he wanted to do something special for me and in January he told me that he was working on a special project for me. Little did I know how very special that project was going to be.
In mid May a package arrived from Vlad and I was totally blown away when I opened it. There was this unbelievable trench style book lighter that Vlad had made for me by hand in his apartment. Not only was there this great lighter but also a book he had made documenting the entire process in making the lighter with pictures. The lighter was so well thought out and so well made I was just in shock.
It took Vlad over 100 hours on the making of the lighter alone. Not to mention all the time on the design process. On the cover are my initials and the back of the book a 7 point buck representing the one I had gotten last hunting season. The idea of the book lighter came about after I told Vlad about a lighter I once had and regretted selling.
Knowing how much I like Bakelite he also found an old WWII era Bakelite box and made a presentation case for the lighter. When you look at the pictures you will see what an unbelievable craftsman Vlad is.
It is also very hard to believe that this is Vlad's first attempt at making a lighter. You will also understand why this lighter is now the most valued in my collection. Not only have I received an unbelievable gift from another lighter collector but I have also gained a very special friend.
Thank You Vlad for such a wonderful gift and your friendship.