Vol. 7 No. 3                                                                                                                                     November 2009
Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club News
Member Club of the F.O.H.B.C.

November Thanksgiving Meeting

Last Meeting

    Our last meeting was somewhat short but we did have a good turnout. The following members and guests were present; Tim Hayes, Kevin Siegfried, Ed Nickerson, Mary Hamilton, Bill Drake, Scott Hendrichsen, Mike Hade, Ginny Moran, Wayne Marvin, Mark McNee, Chuck Parker, and Al Holden.

    It has been a long time since we have seen Mike Hade, well over a year I would say, because he moved south. Ginny Moran has not been to a meeting in a long time and it was so good to see both of them! Ginny brought along a nice collection of small sample bottles. Two of the bottles were from the same company and embossed with horses, but each bottle had the horse facing a different direction.

    Chuck and Scott went out digging with Mike Hade while he was in town. The guys were out digging right up to meeting time and they did pretty well! Scott found a bottle that was pictured on the cover of an auction flyer that was in his mailbox when he got home! It was "High Rock Congress Springs Mineral Water" from Saratoga, New York! Michael Polak's Bottle and Identification and Price Guide has no listing for the High Rock bottle! Mike Hade dug a sweet cathedral pepper sauce bottle! I just love mineral water and pepper sauce bottles! Chuck dug a super nice strap- side flask in a nice deep amber that was in beautiful, clean condition!

    Scott said that they dug about 70 bottles in all, including a Star Drugstore bottle from Plainwell and several inks, including a great Diamond brand master ink. Also in the pit was a rare iron- pontiled fruit jar but, sadly, that one was broken. All in all, the guys had a pretty good day and they came into our club meeting quiet and very well behaved for once! This is why kindergarten has recess!

    Mark McNee strolled into the room with an arm full of bottles for the $20.00 raffle. He laid them out on the table in groups, with a approximate value of $20.00 or more per group. After the drawing, Bill Drake was the lucky winner! Bill had to go to the main librarian to borrow a box to haul all of his new treasures home! His haul included many antique bottle categories! I saw a hutch closure, an applied top, a lady's leg neck, a squat-soda, a sample bottle and everything else you can think of! Needless to say he was very happy!

   Chuck made a comment that helped me to change my thinking about local bottle digging! One of the first things I thought of was, "How do you know if anyone has dug this property before?" When Mark Churchill and Sonjit and Duane and the others were at their digging peak, I wondered if anyone had kept any records. Of course, if one digging team mapped out where they had dug, that doesn't mean that others had done the same!

    I used to think about what a huge waste of time and effort it would be to locate the outhouse pits on a piece of property, only to find that someone had already dug them. Sure, it happens! I recall digging with a friend in Otsego where the pit only looked more and more promising! We would find un-embossed utility bottles that were hand-finished, along with generic medicine bottles. Each old throw back that would come up would encourage us to keep on digging!

    Finally, as we reached the bottom of the pit we happened upon a cigarette butt and a Pepsi can! Well, that is what Chuck was commenting on! He was telling us that no matter how many people tell you that some area has been all dug -out, you can still find places to dig with good bottles turning up! Believe me these guys prove it to me every month!

    Frankly, It is the same way in the metal detecting club! We had a self-proclaimed "Top Treasure Hunter" in the metal detector club who, to everyone's relief, has stopped attending meetings. I still recall this blow-hard proclaiming that anyone metal detecting in the shallow water at Yankee Springs beach was wasting their time, because he declared, "I've got it all cleaned out!"

    One day, less than two weeks after hearing that, a couple of guys came into my store just beaming! One showed me two very nice old gold rings that he had found that day! His digging buddy also had a very nice assortment of old coins that he had found at the same location! I asked the question that you never ask a treasure hunter, "Where did you find this great stuff?"

    The guys answered, "Yankee Springs!"

    I had to laugh! I told them, "If you were members of our club, and you were at our last meeting, you would have never gone there!" Of course, I needed to explain to them what I meant--- then we all had a good laugh!

    One thing that should encourage you diggers is this; some of the early bottle diggers found some reliable ways to date an outhouse hole (before they dug) with soil samples from their probe. If they didn't think the pit was super old, they would pass it by! That could actually mean that some of the best pits are still out there waiting for you to dig!

    We did get all of our meeting out of the way sort of early, so it was suggested by Chuck that we go for pizza! That sounded like a good idea to most folks, but I had just eaten. We just need to plan a little more in advance for pizza. I don't know if the guys went after the meeting or not.

Next Meeting

    This being November, Scott figured that our bottle theme should be Thanksgiving! I suggested that a cornucopia flask would be a good item to bring. What do you have that suggests Thanksgiving? Perhaps a bottle with a pilgrim on it or a turkey? And, as always, bring along your most recent finds or acquisitions, including bottle go-withs.


    I have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving! We shouldn't have just one day set aside each year to proclaim our thankfulness. It should be an hour by hour thing! I'm thankful for each one of you who thought about, or prayed for me as I went through this fight with cancer. I cannot tell you how much your cards and encouraging words have meant to me.

    Just this last month I went to a funeral for a dear lady who has been my friend since my earliest memory. Her cancer wasn't caught as early as mine and, because she was such a small person, there was little they could do to fight it. In fact, when she passed away, she weighed less then the 80 pounds that I lost during my treatment! Her friendship is one of the things that I am thankful for.

    Do you ever think about the value of friendships? I think about God's special timing for each of our lives. I am thankful that I am sharing this small time-slot on God's earth with the friends that he has given me. Most of you who know me know that I am not bashful about knowing God, and you show me your respect. I am thankful for that. Some of you have told me that you are OK with my faith, but it just isn't for you.

    I cannot help but think what a shame that is. Have you ever wondered how this earth, and life as we know it will end? Well, like it or not, the Bible has some clues for us to look for as we speed towards the end and Thanksgiving plays a big role! My pastor in his November newsletter asked, "Are you a thankful person or do you take what God and others do for you for granted?"

    God takes unthankfulness seriously! He actually lists that sin as one of the signs of the last days! II Timothy 3:1- 4 says, "But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men shall be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy

    4: Without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God."

    I know that is not something that you want to hear, especially while reading your bottle club newsletter -- but why not think about it? I heard an ad for a local church on the radio this week where the pastor said, "You would think if someone announced that there was a way to escape an eternity in a horrible existence apart from a loving God, and that this escape was offered for free, that people would gladly flock towards it shouting with glee! The truth is, they hate it!"

    Isn't that something to think about? Folks don't want to hear about it, and they refuse to believe it! The fact that people would hate this alone is evidence of its reality and truth!

    OK, this is still a free country and I can still write something like this and not fear being killed. There are some middle eastern countries where I could be sticking my neck way out, literally.

    How about our troops? I don't know about you, but I am thankful for each and every one! I work next door to a U.S. Army recruiting center and I get a chance to meet some of the men and women who have volunteered to defend our freedoms. Many people have a false conception about what kind of people they are. The ones whom I have come to know are amazingly intelligent men and women who really care about serving and defending our country!

    It is my prayer that our country's leaders will value our freedoms and thereby give our troops everything they need to get their job done! It really doesn't look good at this point. I also want our leaders to honor and respect our veterans after their tour of duty! We must always care for those who have been hurt in any way in the service to our country.

    I hope that each of you take the time to truly be thankful this Thanksgiving. I wish each one of you and your families the best for the holidays!