Vol. 6 No. 3                                                                                                                                       November 2008


Last meeting

             We had a fine turnout for the October meeting. The following people were at the meeting: Michael Davis, Scott Hendrichsen, Tim Hayes, Elmer Ogg, Chuck Parker, Mary Hamilton, Bill Drake, Ginny Moran, Terry Burnett, Edna Slocum, Wayne Marvin and Al Holden.

        It was a rare treat to see Ginny Moran at the meeting and I marvel that Elmer Ogg drives so far for the meetings! I passed my note pad around and had everyone 'sign in' who was there. What I didn't see was Jack and Ernie's names?

        We had a lot of great bottles to look at! Scott purchased a large selection of repro E.G. Booze bottles. Also, Scott and president Chuck Parker found a good privy to dig in Plainwell. They recovered over 20 local druggist bottles, a yellow ware bowl, a Star & Thompson Druggist, M. Bailey Pharmacist, John Crispe Druggist, Star & Thompson Pharmacist, George E Starr & Co., C.H. Adams Druggist- Otsego. In addition they dug a teal Redwood Cologne bottle from New York and a Millville wax sealer fruit jar.

November Meeting

          Our next meeting is our Thanksgiving meeting. Do you have any bottles that would go with a Thanksgiving theme? Also, for the last two weeks I have been fighting the flu! On one occasion I was snuggled up on the couch trying to stay warm. It's funny because you are shivering and sweating at same time. I was looking over some of my favorite bottles when one of them just seemed to stand out as special to me. The reason is this, you so very rarely see the inside the neck screw top threads. Do you have any of these?

       I also have a threaded amber flask with a ground top that looks almost old enough to be pontiled. On the bottom of the bottle it says, "WHITNEY'S GLASS WORKS." I haven't been able to learn much about this bottle but it remains to be one of my favorites.

So if you have any similar bottles we would love to see them!


         Jack Short sent me this story by e-mail. Actually, it has been traveling around in cyberspace for a long time because I saw it a couple years ago. I hope you enjoy it. I have worked with several missionaries and this sort of thing is more common than you would ever think. This beautiful story was written by a doctor who worked in Africa.

           One night I had worked hard to help a mother in the labor ward; but in spite of all we could do, she died, leaving us with a tiny, premature baby and a crying two-year-old daughter.

         We would have difficulty keeping the baby alive, as we had no incubator (we had no electricity to run an incubator) . We also had no special feeding facilities. Although we lived on the equator, nights were often chilly with treacherous drafts.

         One student midwife went for the box we had for such babies and the cotton wool that the baby would be wrapped in. Another went to stoke up the fire and fill a hot water bottle. She came back shortly in distress to tell me that in filling the bottle, it had burst (rubber perishes easily in tropical climates ) .

      "And it is our last hot water bottle!" she exclaimed. As in the West, it is no good crying over spilled milk, so in Central Africa it might be considered no good crying over burst water bottles. They do not grow on trees, and there are no drugstores down forest pathways.

      "All right," I said, "put the baby as near the fire as you safely can, and sleep between the baby and the door to keep it free from drafts. Your job is to keep the baby warm."

        The following noon , as I did most days, I went to have prayers with any of the orphanage children who chose to gather with me. I gave the  youngsters various suggestions of things to pray about and told them about the tiny baby. I explained our problem about keeping the baby warm enough, mentioning the hot water bottle, and that the baby could so easily die if it got chills. I also told them of the two-year-old sister, crying because her mother had died.

        During prayer time, one ten -year-old girl, Ruth, prayed with the usual blunt conciseness of our African children. "Please, God" she prayed, "Send us a hot water bottle today. It'll be no good tomorrow, God, as the baby will be dead, so please send it this afternoon."

       While I gasped inwardly at the audacity of the prayer, she added, "And while You are about it, would You please send a dolly for the little girl so she'll know You really love her?"

      As often with children's prayers, I was put on the spot. Could I honestly say "Amen"? I just did not believe that God could do this.

       Oh, yes, I know that He can do everything; the Bible says so. But there are limits, aren't there? The only way God could answer this particular prayer would be by sending me a parcel from the homeland.

      I had been in Africa for almost four years at that time, and I had never, ever, received a parcel from home. Anyway, if anyone did send me a parcel, who would put in a hot water bottle? I lived on the equator!

     Halfway through the afternoon, while I was teaching in the nurses' training school, a message was sent that there was a car at my front door. By the time I reached home, the car had gone, but there on the veranda was a large 22-pound parcel. I felt tears pricking my eyes. I could not open the parcel alone, so I sent for the orphanage children.

     Together we pulled off the string, carefully undoing each knot. We folded the paper, taking care not to tear it unduly. Excitement was mounting. Some thirty or forty pairs of eyes were focused on the large cardboard box.

     From the top, I lifted out brightly-colored, knitted jerseys. Eyes sparkled as I gave them out. Then there were the knitted bandages for the leprosy patients, and the children looked a little bored.

      Then came a box of mixed raisins and sultanas - that would make a batch of buns for the weekend. Then, as I put my hand in again, I felt the .....could it really be? I grasped it and pulled it out. Yes, a brand new, rubber hot water bottle. I cried. I had not asked God to send it; I had not truly believed that He could.

      Ruth was in the front row of the children. She rushed forward, crying out, "If God has sent the bottle, He must have sent the dolly, too!"

       Rummaging down to the bottom of the box, she pulled out the small, beautifully dressed dolly. Her eyes shone! She had never doubted!

        Looking up at me, she asked: "Can I go over with you and give this dolly to that little girl, so she'll know that Jesus really loves her?" Of course, I replied!

        That parcel had been on the way for five whole months, packed up by my former Sunday school class, whose leader had heard and obeyed God's prompting to send a hot water bottle, even to the equator. And one of the girls had put in a dolly for an African child - five months before, in answer to the believing prayer of a ten-year-old to bring it "that afternoon."

"Before they call, I will answer." (Isaiah 65:24)


      A good friend of mine purchased an Italianate style farmhouse down in southern Michigan. He purchased it from a lady who bought it in an auction. The place was a basket case. The last people who were staying there were squatters and they lived there without water, electricity or plumbing. For toilets, they used pizza boxes and rooms were littered with them! Kevin found a dog skeleton in one of the rooms and another dog skeleton on a leash in the back yard. He had starved to death.

        I saw the 'before' pictures and I had to think it would take an army of craftsmen to fix this place up. Well, Kevin and his wife and daughters have turned this giant old house into a thing of beauty! The narrow windows run from the floor up ten feet towards the ceiling, which is twelve feet high!

       Most of the interior doors are a double french-style and they each had to be disassembled. Each piece was traced to provide an exact template, then the new door was built by hand. The wainscoting was covered with many coats of paint, as was the staircase. After stripping away the paint, Kevin found panels of light oak and deep red cherry wood!

      He gave me a picture tour and I was amazed at how beautiful and spacious this home is! Someone had found a trunk in the attic with items that belonged to a young Scottish girl who, as it turned out, was the house servant. I toured the servants quarters and it was an amazing difference! The stairwell and hallway were built very narrowly and the two or three servants rooms are very small. Even the doors are pint sized!

      When he finished the parlor, he was hoping to find an 1860's- 70's era pool table for that room. Well, the right one was found but, like the house, it needed some love. The lady wanted $1,500 for it, but offered it to Kevin for $1,250. After getting it home, he found out about a restoration expert living in Wisconsin, whom he contacted by e-mail. To help Kevin identify the model of his table, he was instructed to look for numbers under the table. After Kevin e-mailed the numbers, the guy e-mailed back a message, "You must call me!"

       I think Kevin said that his table was built at the close of the Civil War and it is the second rarest table Brunswick ever built. Apparently, because these item are not considered furniture, it doesn't hurt the value to restore them if done right.

       The condition of Kevin's pool table was nasty! It looked like someone had painted it a dark flat-brown. When I saw the 'finished' photos, it blew me away! The side panels angle in and are massive. All the panels are inlaided with beautiful woodwork in colors that match the parlor's wainscoting! This pool table with matching pool cue rack is worth over $50,000!

       Kevin would like to find and dig the privies. He has been trying to find them on his own because he wants any relics he finds to stay with the house. I haven't been able to get down and help him, but I have been instructing him by cell phone. So far, he has located one pit that looks to have been dug partially into an earlier or older pit. Have you ever chatted on your cell phone with someone in an outhouse pit? It is safer than talking with someone driving across town!


The club meets at the main downtown Kalamazoo Library, located at 315 South Rose Street.
 We meet on the third floor.  Meeting starts at  7:00