Ball of 29,000 gum wrappers is career memento

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

When William Bolema conjures up memories of his career at the former Naph-Sol Refining Co. in Muskegon Township, he looks at an aluminum ball displayed on his living room table.

The 83-year-old Norton Shores man began working in the yard crew at the refinery in 1948. He created the artistic ball decades ago at the plant during his work breaks from thousands of aluminum foil gum wrappers.

Bolema tells there were only a few places to smoke so a lot of people chewed gum. News of his silvery hobby circulated around the refinery.

Soon, he says, everyone in the plant was saving him wrappers. But four years later, the plant shut down. Bolema planned to display the ball of more than 29,000 wrappers on his living room table.

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