|Vol. 15 No. 5 May 2015
|Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club News
|Member Club of
Written by Allan C. Holden
Special Speaker Mr. Gordy Hubenet
The 2015 Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Show is now a footnote in antique bottle collecting history! I for one enjoyed every minute! We sold a total of 88 sales tables and the items up for sale were absolutely amazing! It was a super quality show!
For whatever value it is, let me start off with my own personal observations. Located in the back corner of the show area, I have a pretty good view of the show and I can see the entire show at a glance. My helper and I were paying close attention to the general traffic flow. At what were normally peak hours of the show, it seemed somewhat subdued.
My helper, Mike Walker, and I noticed that most of the folks we saw around 12:00 to 1:00 were wearing dealer name badges.
That being said, we also noticed that several dealers around us commenting to each other that they were very happy with the show overall and were having good sales numbers.
I am at a loss when it comes to getting larger crowds through the doors, but I think we need to assign a person to take charge of getting the club listed on as many community event calendars as possible.
We had a good contact from the Kalamazoo Chamber of Commerce, who was supposed to be a clearing house for getting the information provided to all the local event sites, but I don't think that connection was made . . . I'm saying I don't know.
I contacted Tamara Skidmore from the Kalamazoo Library, and she listed the show in the Kalamazoo Activities List, and that may have reached the Chamber of Commerce people, but I am not certain.
I did contact several of the local news media web sites and I posted the show on their community event calendars. That is getting harder and harder to do! At first I would draft a short to-the-point listing, then copy-and-paste it to each web-site's e-mail address and they would take it from there.
That only worked for a couple years, then they went to a "membership access" type web-site where everyone must fill out a personal information form (which is a valuable commodity to sell). With that system each user must create a user-name and personal password. Even keeping a one-fits-all password is impossible because each web site requires a certain number of letters, numbers and lower case upper case letters!
So, you could still simply paste your data to the web master's clipboard. But sadly that wasn't the end to hope & change!
Then, they decided to try and outdo each competitor's web site with their own date recording technology. That put a dead-end to cut-and-paste! Every detail, like the date of the event must be selected from a scrolling wheel, with every detail separately entered! Items like event start date and end date, start hour and ending hour. . . . it sounds simple enough but it is SO time consuming!
This would be nearly impossible for someone working from a tablet or an I-Phone! It would need to be done from a desktop PC, and it should be handled by someone with plenty of time to dedicate to it.
To sum up my feelings about the show; I think it was a great show! I saw several folks at the show who I had invited to come down for the free bottle appraisals, and they all stopped in to tell me how much they enjoyed the show!
However, little did I know, we had a little storm brewing. Perhaps this has happened in the past, but it never came to light before. In the past, we usually have a little cooling-off period before the meeting. This year however we had our club meeting only a couple days after the show, and some grievances were still fresh in some minds.
Being a group of friends and professionals, we talked things over and made plans to avoid the same issues again. We also talked some about the uncertainty of the show's future in view of our aging membership. We all seem to be getting older and I sure am one! Finally we all agreed that we just need to take it one day at a time for now.
At the last meeting we all agreed that we need to do better in the show sign department and we certainly need to do a better job of directing folks to the display room. I am ashamed to admit that I have a sign I made up for the Kalamazoo area bottle display, but that does very little good when I forget it every year. I will try to dig that up and check the condition on it. Perhaps we should freshen that one up, then get it into the hands of someone more responsible.
We also agreed that we need a central sign, one that we can place at the show entrance near the ticket table. We need one sign that will be free-standing and direct show traffic to the main show arena, and one to the display room. I am picturing a sign like in the old Roadrunner cartoons where the sign-boards are in the shape of arrows pointing out the direction and perhaps even the distance like (30 paces) I may be able to get the signs made up by a friend of mine who likes to barter. Or, if we decide exactly what we need, I may be able to make them up. Of course time is the issue with me.
The Hospitality Suite went over very nice! I had planned on being at the Clarion Inn right at 6:30 with all my items but I got a late start. Even so, I estimated my time of arrival at just a few minutes late. My route from my store takes me down U.S. 131 south from Plainwell to I-94 east to Sprinkle Road. I had no idea that all 4 east and west ramps were not only closed, they were GONE! I had no choice but to drive all the way to Galesburg then backtrack! I think folks would have liked to be warned about that in the newsletter or on the web site, but I had no clue!
It got worse! The Clarion Inn was torn up almost as bad at Sprinkle Road! Everyone had to enter through the rear entrance, so everyone parked out back in a small dead end lane!
That day is really a long day for me! In order to make the pre-show event, I have to load my truck after I close my store. Once I get there, half my store is crammed into my truck! The back of the truck does not lock so I like to park where I can see it from the meeting room. That wasn't about to happen!
Oh well, it all worked out well! Everything important that I was supposed to bring, someone else had stepped up to the plate! I would love to know who that was. From the description I got, I think it was Elmer? We had a great time with super eats and great fellowship! I loved every minute!
I want to give a very special thanks to Connie Parker! Despite the different set backs she has had physically, she was right there arranging the food items and, when I left, she was picking up after everyone. Seeing Connie tending to things was a reminder that we do have a God who answers prayers. If you don't believe in God, that does nothing to change who He is!
While I am at it . . . the club as a whole did a wonderful job, one that each of us can be very proud of.
As the show came to a close, we had our special honor awards for the display room. People's Choice, Dealer's Choice and Most Educational all went to that master showman and all around good egg, Scott Hendrichsen!
Because there was a little mix up in the voting, causing some of the votes to go to the Kalamazoo display (which wasn't part of the competition,) Scott shared his cash winnings with John Puzzo who otherwise finished second in the voting. Very nice, Scott!
How many years did we bring our unsold raffle tickets to the show, where our President Chuck would sell them off? I am sure he was the top raffle ticket seller for many years! Well now because of his back problems, it is hard for him to wander the show selling tickets. So, this year he purchased some from Bill Drake and he won the Raffle!
I sweetened the pot this year! The prize was a new 2015 Fisher F-2 Metal Detector, and a nice set of headphones, and an extra search coil, and a Fisher F-Point Pin- Pointer! It could not have gone to a more deserving person!
And the second place prize of $75.00 was won by Madison Holden! My granddaughter! She doesn't know she purchased a ticket and she doesn't know she won! I think I will wait until we are on Mackinaw Island for vacation to tell her!
There was a third place prize winner but I will have to find out who that was . . . sorry!
Our special presentation this month will be by Mr. Gordy Hubenet, President of the Grand Rapids Bottle Club. Gordy is well versed in a number of antique bottle topics. One year ago, Gordy presented the club with a wonderful presentation about the Hastings, MI Doctor Mixer's story.
This month Gordy will be speaking about Kalamazoo Bottles and collectibles.
So, please take note! Our meeting will be combined with a trip to Bimbo's Pizza, so it will be somewhat abbreviated. We will meet at the Library but after Gordy's presentation we will head over to Bimbo's Pizza! We still encourage you to bring your favorite Kalamazoo bottles. This will be fun!
I may not be able to list everything from the last meeting, but I do want to say that I can tell you what an eartquake sounds like if you are wondering. It sounds like 100 antique bottles tinkling together! I once had a stray cat do worse!
At the meeting the following friends signed in: Kevin Siegfried, Scott Hendrichsen, Ed Nickerson, Ron Smith, Vincent Grossi, Chuck Parker, Bill Drake, Mary Hamilton, Kelly Bobbitt, Kathleen Hurd, Al Holden.
Perhaps the most interesting bottle we saw at the last meeting was one Scott Hendrichsen dug! It was a
Dr. Leslie E. Keeley (1832-1901) was a self-proclaimed Civil War surgeon who came to Dwight, Illinois, after the war and continued his study of alcoholics. His study began among the Union soldiers during the war. In 1879, in a small wooden frame building, the Keeley Institute was founded with the proclamation by Dr. Leslie E. Keeley that "Drunkenness is a disease and I can cure it."
He was challenged by Joseph Medill, editor of the Chicago Times, who selected six of the worst alcoholics he could find in Chicago.
At the end of their Keeley treatment Medill was surprised, saying, 'I scarcely recognized them. They went away sots-and returned gentlemen." After years of experimentation, Keeley came to the conclusion that he had both a cure for both drunkenness and opium addiction.
Keeleyism, as it came to be called, proposed that all habitual drunkenness was a disease, and that religion, and other moral considerations, without physical treatment, could not save the addicted. Keeley did not invent the idea that alcoholism is a disease. It was postulated in England as early as 1838 when Dr. Boddington announced, "all habitual drunkenness is a disease."
Much of the public and the church viewed of alcoholism 'habit, sin, or crime', and they did not speak of drunkards being cured as in the disease sense, but as being reformed. The American Association for the Study and Cure of Inebriates took the disease point of view.
Since Keeley's view of alcoholism as a disease was at odds with that of the church, he met resistance from religious groups which mounted as converts brought back a message disparaging pledge-signing, moral influence and even religion in general. His early literature, stated "Alcoholism is a disease of Christendom, which he dubbed "an heirloom of Noah."
The L.E.K. Keeley Company had its principal place of business in Dwight, Illinois. Keeley was the owner, inventor and proprietor of what he dubbed, "The Double Chloride of Gold Remedies" for the treatment and cure of opium, liquor, and tobacco habits and neurasthenia. Keeley's primary associates were J. B. Oughton, a drug clerk in charge of compounding, and Major Curtis J. Judd, secretary and treasurer. The process of compounding and the formula for the medicines was a tightly guarded secret among them. Unfortunate combinations of events lead to the decline of the Keeley business. First, the composition of the 'Gold Remedies' was exposed by the efforts of doctors and chemists. There was no "Double Chloride of Gold" found in them and most authorities thought them to be quack medicines because the formula was kept 'secret'. Furthermore, the 'cure rate' was repeatedly shown to be much lower than the number The Keeley Company touted.
Second, scrutiny by the Food and Drug Administration, undermined the public's confidence in their efficacy. In 1905, it was revealed that most of the Keeley medicines contained high dosages of morphine, cocaine, alcohol and cannabis.I will picture the other featured theme bottles on the web site.
Vince Grossi's beautiful 7-up Green lable-under-glass Kathleen Hurd's Kalamazoo 1/2 Pint Dairy
SMITH'S HOPALONG CASSIDY
The Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club meets at the main downtown Kalamazoo Library, located at 315 South Rose Street. We meet on the third floor in the conference room. This meeting is Tuesday, May 12th. Meeting starts
at 7:00 pm.