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Brad van Scriver
(1931-    )

Bradley Eugene van Scriver, the patriarch of three generations of mineral dealers (including his mother, sister, and sons), was born September 11, 1931 in his grandmother's house in Frankfort, Michigan. He is the son of Elizabeth "Beth" Holtrey and the adopted son of Canadian-born Laurencelle "Laury" van Scriver, a builder and construction superintendant. His middle name is for American playwright Eugene O'Neill, who was a good friend of his mother's. Brad's family moved to California in 1938, where he grew up living in Glendale. His paternal grandmother, Lulu van Scriver (1877-1963), became a prominent surgeon in the Los Angeles area. Living nearby was a young girl named Nancy Howe, who lived nextdoor to a Mr. Neuswander, an opal collector and lapidary hobbyist—he mentored her in rockhounding, and she soon became a mineral collector.

Brad and Nancy Howe married in 1952, and Brad caught the mineral collecting bug from her, an interest which he also passed on to his mother and sister. Brad's collecting interest focused on small minerals, thumbnails, toenails, copper, especially spinel twins, and Russian minerals. He attended Humboldt State College in Arcata, California from 1954 to 1958, majoring in Fisheries Biology. During that time his son Curt Forest van Scriver was born in Eureka, California on October 22, 1955. Upon graduation Brad took a job with Bendix Aviation, in the purchasing department. With mineral dealer Bob Winstead as their mentor, Brad and Nancy finally decided to become full-time wholesale mineral dealers in 1962, making their professional debut at the Glendale Mineral Show, and selling to most of the southern California dealers. They were soon attending all the major mineral shows, and became retail dealers in 1966.

Brad's mother, Beth Holtrey, was born October 10, 1912 in Frankfort, Michigan. She ran away from home at the age of 17 and married Clifford Emery, a prominent Chicago chef and later a chef aboard the Southern Pacific streamliner Lark out of San Francisco; they had two children: Brad and his sister, before divorcing around 1935. She next married Laurencelle van Scriver (her children adopted his surname) but eventually divorced and married Weldon D. "Gordy" Gordon (1908-2002). She managed apartment buildings while Brad was growing up, then opened her own retail business, Beth Gordon Minerals, around 1965. She especially liked Mexican minerals and brought to the market the wonderful acanthites of Guanajuato, the fantastic pyrrhotites of Santa Eulalia, the poker-chip calcites from Charcas, the Joe Cobre wulfenites from the San Franciso mine (and the ones dug there later by Curt), and many, many others. Her husband Gordy was not much interested in minerals, so she did all the work; Gordy just drove her to the shows and helped set up. Beth, always a heavy smoker, died of lung cancer on Christmas Eve 1984. Her thumbnail collection was purchased for resale by Tony Jones (q.v.) and Cal Graeber (q.v.), and her dealer stock (150 flats) was later purchased by Frank Melanson.

Brad's son Curt worked briefly after high school graduation in a silk screen company, but his parents objected because of all the harmful chemicals. Curt started on his own as a wholesale mineral dealer in 1974. His first ventures were field collecting with Mike New and Tony Jones, who mentored him. He named his company Midnight Minerals because so much of his collecting took place covertly in the dead of night, in mines where they would not have been too welcome in the daytime. As time went by he also did a great deal of field collecting with Stan Esbenshade. This experience led to his specimen-mining operation at the San Francisco mine from 1976 to 1977. Curt, who was universally well-liked, died tragically in an auto accident on September 7, 1982.

Brad's son Star (born March 25, 1964 in Long Beach, California) traveled as a boy with Beth to mineral shows and to visit mineral dealers every summer when he was in his early teens. He wanted to join Brad and Curt in their mineral business as soon as possible, but Curt insisted that Star finish school first. Sadly, Curt died before the three of them had a chance to work together. Curt's untimely death hit Star hard, and he wandered for a few years trying to decide what to do with his life, but ultimately he joined Brad in the business and has been an active dealer for many years. [email address:].

Beth, Gordy, Brad and Nancy lived together in Glendale from 1952 to 1962, then (following a violent altercation with his step-father), Brad took Nancy and their children (Curt, Star, Kim and Crista) to live in Garden Grove. Brad and Nancy divorced in 1982, and six years later Brad married Karen Meuller, but they divorced in 1992. Brad moved his business to Sofia, Bulgaria, in 1992, where he married Eliana Mihailova in 1993. He changed his business name to Heliodor in 1993 and moved the business to Prague, Czechoslovakia. His current plans call for eventually relocating to Denver, Colorado.
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[Citation format for this entry:
WILSON, Wendell E. (2019)
Mineralogical Record
Biographical Archive, at]
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The Mineralogical Record - Brad van Scriver Brad van Scriver
(ca. 1986)
The Mineralogical Record - Brad van Scriver Beth van Scriver Gordon
The Mineralogical Record - Brad van Scriver "Gordie" Gordon
The Mineralogical Record - Brad van Scriver Curt van Scriver
(in 1979)
The Mineralogical Record - Brad van Scriver Star van Scriver
(Tucson Show 1989)
The Mineralogical Record - Brad van Scriver 51 x 73 mm,
California address
The Mineralogical Record - Brad van Scriver 50 x 69 mm,
Tucson (Rio Cancion) address
The Mineralogical Record - Brad van Scriver 51 x 69 mm,
Tucson (Bandanna Way) address
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