Mom makes sure dino T-shirts won't become extinctMy son...

SUNDAY SNAPSHOTS

October 10, 1993|By Rob Hiaasen

Mom makes sure dino T-shirts won't become extinct

My son, Jeb Biemiller, may be a suitable subject for your "Sunday Snapshots". . .

A two-page handwritten letter appeared in our usual mound of press releases from people asking us to write about some body or thing. On a legal pad, John Biemiller's 74-year-old mother wrote us about her 39-year-old son's T-shirt business.

His Dinosaurabet T-shirts -- silk-screened dinosaurs for every letter of the alphabet -- sell at the Maryland Science Center and on Ocean City's boardwalk. A lot of people make T-shirts -- but not many people use their mom as a marketing method.

"She's just like that. She likes being involved," says John Edward Biemiller III -- Jeb, for short.

In 1991, Jeb started his business of designing alphabet shirts -- featuring sharks, cats and dogs. And this year he introduced his dinosaur design. Finding 26 species was a stretch. The first version of Jeb's Dinosaurabet shirt had the cute but bogus X-Ray-saurus. In the name of authenticity, Jeb found a paleontologist who contributed Xenotarsosaurus.

He runs his alphabet shirt and poster business out of his house in Westminster. He and his dad (John Edward Biemiller II) run business errands together. And his mom, of course, writes letters to goose Jeb's business.

Obviously, it's a strategy that works. Who could resist responding to this plea:

Oblige his mother --

( Reba Alexander Biemiller Mildred Stine has the 260 antique items used in the filming of "Gettysburg" carefully listed in a spiral notebook.

Egg roaster, wooden trencher, wire mouse trap, two cannonball beds.

For filming of the movie last year in Gettysburg, Pa., set decorator Barbara Haberecht sent a truck to Gilbert and Mildred Stine's farm in Keysville in northwest Carroll County to pick up "everything we could give them," Mrs. Stine says. The 260 items were rented for the production.

Wash tubs, wag clock, half-trunk, tiger maple ladder-back chair.

Mrs. Stine, 75, has been collecting and selling antiques for 50 years, and Mr. Stine, 76, has been at it almost as long.

"My wife was collecting before we were married," Mr. Stine says. "Then she collected me 47 years ago, and we've been collecting together ever since."

Ms. Haberecht says the connection grew from meeting Mrs. Stine in Emmitsburg at the Antique Mall, where the Stines have two booths.

Reflector oven, trivets, biscuit bakers, goose neck iron tea kettle.

"It's very unusual to get so much from one source," she says. "Usually, I'm running all over the place looking for things. They had wonderful small things, like kitchen items, hard to find anywhere. They saved my life, or at least my job."

Most of the items went into furnishing the two battlefield headquarters of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and Union Gen. George G. Meade on sets to represent Gettysburg farm houses.

Ironstone pickle dish, dyspepsia tablet box, amber demi-john.

"We lost a milking stool, and a shaving mirror was broken," Mrs. Stine says. "But that's all."

The Stines visited the filming twice. They haven't seen the completed film, which opened Friday in Baltimore, but one shot they saw was enough to thrill Mrs. Stine:

"One segment showed Martin Sheen, who plays Lee, sleeping in our chair."

Wayne Hardin

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