Monroe County woman's mug collection
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STROUDSBURG, Pa. — It's not a collection you see every day, but it's one Chrissie Kovacs of Stroudsburg in Monroe County has been working on for more than four decades.
"If you bought a mug, whether it be ceramic, glass, or (plastic), you could eat or drink all day," Kovacs said. "In those days, the drinking age was 18, so that's how I got started because it's a good time. You go to a wet down, it's camaraderie, fun, and then I just kept on going."
Kovacs collected mugs at each wet-down, parade, or fire convention in Pennsylvania and New Jersey she went to until the pandemic hit in 2020.
A wet-down is a ritual ceremony when a new fire truck or emergency vehicle is added to a fleet and washed down with a hose.
Kovacs started collecting in 1973 when she was part of a rescue squad in New Jersey. The collection grew in 1990 when she married her husband Joe, and he began going too.
"I think that's what kept us together was all this stuff and, you know, the rescue squad, the fire departments; when we first moved here, we were members of Marshalls Creek."
Each of these mugs is a memory, and with nearly 200 of them, she has a lot of memories.
"In 2001, Stroud Township had a huge, huge wet-down, and these are from that wet-down."
Kovacs says she'll always have the memories, but it's time to say goodbye to the mugs. She and her husband are moving to Georgia and can't take them all with them.
"They were a big part of our lives for a long time," she said. But if somebody else is going to enjoy them, I'm OK with that too."
Kovacs hopes these mugs full of memories will find a new home where even more memories can be made with them.
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