Thursday, July 4, 2013

Flint Paintings: Birth of an A.C. Spark Plug

Some eBay auctions are more compelling than others. Right now you can bid on this original oil, painted by one Bill Bowman in 1964, entitled "Birth of an A.C. Spark Plug." FYI, the minimum bid is $45,000. The painting immediately brought to mind Crowbar Charlie Koziol, the grandfather of media artist and cinematographer  Eric Koziol. In an earlier profile of Eric, I wrote:
Eric traces his interest in film and video back to Flint. His grandfather, Charlie Koziol, was a master mechanic at AC Spark Plug known as “Crowbar Charlie” for his ability to fix the massive machinery at the plant. But Charlie also loved shooting film, starting with a Super 8 before moving on to 16 mm and, eventually, video. Charlie used to show 16mm films outdoors in Ballenger Park, and he set up the P.A. and lighting system for the polka bands at the Polish Legion of American Veterans summer fests. He introduced his grandson to the equipment, and Eric quickly put it to use in a project for an American history class at Power’s High School.


  1. I worked with Bill at AC (Mfg Dev Eng Dept). He and others in our design dept laid claim to many talents and exploits, some better discussed over a beer in a loud bar. Bill was a kind person and a gentleman. I believe he retired around 1976-79. Good luck with that minimum bid.

  2. Minimum bid is $45,000...


    Additional guffaws from the ebay listing:

    "Condition: Please, no complaints, since you Know you are buying a very dirty, dusty, almost 50 year old painting." "18 x 24 inches."

  3. I'd love to have this painting, but the $45k minimum bid cracks me up. In a moment of weakness I might offer up $100, then regret it when some other bill comes due.

  4. All Flint Expats need to pitch-in and buy this painting for Gordon as a showing of our appreciation. $45,000 is a paltry sum- equivalent to the total value of all of the remaining homes of Jane Ave.

    C'mon, I pledge a thousand. Somebody with some 'puter skills better set up a Kickstarter or Paypal or something for this


Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at