Retired trooper keeps tabs on cans
By RICHARD F. BELISLE
Staff Writer, Waynesboro
GREENCASTLE, Pa. - If John Ridge wants to sing the children's ditty "Ninety-Nine Bottles of Beer on the Wall," he'll need a lot of breath to sing his way through the 10,000 beer cans stacked up in his basement.
Ridge, 49, of Molly Pitcher Highway, a retired Pennsylvania state trooper, has been collecting beer cans and "breweriana" since 1972, the year he and a buddy drove to Las Vegas and gathered beer cans on the way for a mutual friend who collected them.
"I thought I'd see how many I could collect. I never stopped," he said.
There's a canyon of beer cans in Ridge's cellar, stacked neatly in boxes.
On one side are 4,000 of his "traders" - the cans he takes to collector shows to trade or sell. In the middle are 4,000 boxes of his "keepers," the pride of his collection. Next to them are 2,000 empty soda cans, his latest venture.