Vol. 9 No. 4                                                                                                                     April 2011
Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club News
Member Club of the F.O.H.B.C.

Bottle Show In A Few Days!

Count Down!

    First, I want to apologize for this un-edited newsletter. I have moved into my busy time of year here at work and I find that I have to do this newsletter on the fly! I'm hoping you get this in advance of Saturday's Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Show on Saturday April, 9th.

    Yes, we are just a few short days away from the 32nd Annual Kalamazoo Antique Bottle and Glass Show! I hope you are willing to pitch in and help where you can. Frankly, I was a little uneasy going into this thing. Our situation reminds me of a prize fighter who is about to step into the ring completely unprepared and wounded. I think we have counted on John Pastor a little too much in the past. Well, going into this show reminds me of watching a baby Robin being pushed from the nest for the first time! John has recently taken on more responsibility for himself, not to mention he lives much further away now. That means that much more of the planning and organizing is squarely on our shoulders.

    So, we are big boys and girls, right? We cannot ignore the fact that we are much fewer in number. Over the last few years we have lost members because of their age, or because they have passed away. (I think passing away is a far better excuse for not pitching in.) In some cases we have had members who have grown weary from carrying so much of the load for so long. So, we are few in numbers, and we have a mighty task before us. I'm not trying to scare you off, I just want to motivate you to pitch in. Some of our helpers are new club members and have never been to a show before. Please, if you signed up to do something, we need you to follow through. And if you haven't signed up please be sure to let John Pastor or Chuck Parker know that you are willing to help with wherever is needed. This can still be the best bottle show ever.

    Don't mind me, I am just a worry wart having a panic attack! Don't be afraid to help, there are no dirty jobs! We have Chuck and Scott in charge of cleaning out the toilets because of their many years of experience at sifting through outhouses.

    We didn't have the sign-up sheets at the last meeting for the Hospitality Suite. If you do not remember what you signed up to bring, or if you want to bring a food dish and would like to know what is needed let Chuck know. Chuck's number is 269-329-0853 and he prefers to take calls after midnight. I'm going to try and close my shop early on Friday so that I can pack my car for the show during the day. I am going to try and be at the Hospitality Suite early, so that I can bring some stuff myself.

    Remember club members, Friday evening April, 8th from 7:00 pm to 10:30 pm we will be hosting our annual Hospitality Suite including a food buffet and beverages at the Best Western Hospitality Inn, 3640 E. Cork Street, Kalamazoo MI. The Hospitality Suite will be located in the Best Western's Professional Conference Center. Club members please bring your food items in by 6:30!

Step Right Up!

    I love the old patent medicine history. I'm not sure why, and maybe this is something I shouldn't admit to. Most of the medicine sold by pitchmen was designed to rip people off. But, the product was only half the story! In most cases it took the clever pitchman's skills at 'conning people' to extract that ill-gotten gain! Why do I find that so fascinating? I have been a salesman of some sort most of my life, but I have always represented honest products that gave my customer good value. But I am still fascinated at the ways many of the old snake oil salesman proved P.T. Barnum correct when he said, "There's a sucker born every minute!"

    My favorite character on The Dukes of Hazard was Boss Hogg, played by Sorrel Booke. An evil, scheming, greedy, con-man was the best way to describe the Boss Hogg character . . . so what's to like? I guess I cannot explain it.

    I've wanted to put together an old fashion pitch routine for years. Wouldn't it be fun to put on a mini medicine show just for the fun of it at the antique bottle show? You could even make it more fun, if you had a product to sell! It could be bottled water . . . anything to pitch for $1.00 a bottle.

    Think of the claims you could make for water!

    Lack of water can lead to dehydration, a condition that occurs when you don't have enough water in your body to carry on normal functions. Even mild dehydration - as little as a 1 percent to 2 percent loss of your body weight - can sap your energy and make you tired. So, water can restore energy and pep and put a spring back in your step. Dehydration poses a particular health risk for the very young and the very old. Signs and symptoms of dehydration include:

* Excessive thirst

* Fatigue

* Headache

* Dry mouth

* Little or no urination

* Muscle weakness

* Dizziness

* Lightheadedness

    Most experts believe that drinking water can aid in wait loss and aid in healing any thyroid condition. It will help restore energy and even help you sleep and wake refreshed! I could go on and on! Water helps by purifying the blood, slowing hair loss and is beneficial to diabetics! Thin muscular people need more water than people with large amounts of body fat because muscle holds more water then fat!

    During my cancer treatments, right after my second Chemo dose, I became so deathly ill that I honestly thought I was going to die! My wife is a nurse (And a darn good one) and she had a hunch I was dehydrated. My doctor had me go back to the Cancer Center and they started me on an IV drip of water. Within one hour I felt great again! Part of the Chemo Cocktail is a bunch of drugs to keep you from getting sick from all the drugs! But nothing works like it should without water!

    Well I could go on for pages! Think of it, many of the snake oils that were pitched "were little more then water!" Maybe God does get the last laugh! The whole Medicine Pitchman would be fun, but it is just another footnote on my dream list.

    I think that one of the pitchmen American's know the best was Professor Marvel from The Wizard of OZ! They don't mention anything about Professor Marvel having a product to pitch but that was an important part of the traveling sideshow. Perhaps his most famous quote was;

Professor:  "Well, well, well! House guests, huh? Ha ha ha ha! And who might you be?

No, no, now don't tell me.

Let's see. . . . you're traveling in disguise. No, that's not right.

You're . . . you're going on a visit. No, I'm wrong.

You're, you're - running away."

Dorothy:    "How did you guess?"

Professor:   "Ha ha! Professor Marvel never guesses. He knows! Ha ha! Now, why

are you running away?"

Dorothy: Why -

Professor: "No, no, now don't tell me. They - they don't understand you at home.

They don't appreciate you.

You want to see other lands, big cities, big mountains, big oceans. Ha ha!"

Dorothy: Why, it's just like you could read what was inside of me.

Here is another great Professor Marvel line;

"This is the same, genuine, magic, authentic crystal used by the priests of Isis and Osiris in the days of the Pharaohs of Egypt... in which Cleopatra first saw the approach of Julius Caesar and Marc Antony... and... and so on and so on."



So what do you think? We certainly had a very shady history did we not? Con men were willing to prey on even the sick and weak among us! Man has come so far! He has evolved into a caring, loving creature right? Really? I just received a post card in the mail that proves once again the timely wisdom of King Solomon who said; Ecclesiastes 1:9 "The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun."

Isn't amazing how the Bible exposes the truth about man yet to this day! Yes, there is nothing new under the sun!

The postcard says: "Learn in 45 minutes what some prominent physicians and major medical centers have known for years about helping our bodies and health. Topics of Discussion: Aches and Pain, Lack of Energy, Sleepless Nights, Swelling of Joints, Stress or Fatigue, Neck and Shoulder Pain, Back and Hip Pain, Restless Legs, Inflammation and MUCH, MUCH, MORE!


Of course space is limited so you are encouraged to call now!

At the medicine shows of old, the cost of doing business was paying a band of Native American entertainers (real or imagined) magic acts, knife throwing or any type of sideshow that would draw a crowd. Today's audience can stay home and watch TV for entertainment. What to do? Hey! How about a free meal at Old Country Buffet! Of course there is a hitch or two. You must be over at least 21 to be legally snookered in this state. Also, if you are 21 or older there is a far better chance you have something in your wallet! Oh yes, you can only attend these wonderful seminars 2 times! The last message on the post card is, "See You There!"

So my friend, I say; "Step Right Up!"

Last Meeting

    If you cannot make it to the meetings you are really missing out on a good time. Well, lets just say it is better than a whipping with a cat-of-nine tails, a stick in the eye, or walking the plank! Seriously, we do have fun!

     was running a couple minutes late on my way to the last meeting and just a little too tired to climb six fights of stairs (two per floor). Also, I had a suitcase full of antique bottles so I popped into the elevator. I have to be honest, sometimes I see a few people hanging out on the street in front of the library who really make me a little nervous. I guess it is to my shame . . . maybe I watch to much TV. For several years I would preach at the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission and I could tell you some horror stories!

    So anyway, I relaxed a little as soon as I passed the library's security guard and I quickly hit the 'up-arrow' on the elevator. As usual, it takes forever for the stupid door to open and by that time another guy appears out of nowhere and steps in with me. Just as the door closes and I reach to select my floor this middle-eastern looking man asks, "Where are you going and what do you have there ?"

    Oh boy! My heart sinks to the floor and my pulse quickens!

    "I'm going to the antique bottle club meeting on the third floor and I have some old bottles."

    "I think I will go there as well, if it is OK too?" the stranger asks in his labored english. It all sounded like a spur of the moment idea on his part, which seemed awkward to say the least.

    We walked into the meeting together. I learned during the meeting Mahase Sookhai knew exactly where he was going, and he already had some experience with trying to sell some antique bottles. It sounds like he basically dealt with someone who had no interest, and told him that he had a bunch of junk!

    So often, that is exactly what you do see when you have people show you the antique bottles they have found . . . junk! Since the first of the year I have looked at so many old bottles! With the economy and high gas prices the way they are, people are looking for income wherever they can find it. One of my friends, John Winkler introduced me to a young man with a large collection his father put together over the years. I told him that I would look at them and frankly I had no idea what I was in for. He had boxes and boxes of bottles all wrapped in newsprint.

    I spent a lot of time unwrapping and commenting on the ones that I was familiar with, and I wrote down the names of the ones which needed further study. I have to hand it to him, they were actually antique bottles for the most part. People bring machine-made bottles in for me to look at all the time! Even they can be 100 year old, but not the same as the good old hand finished glass.

    I bought along a suit- case of his most interesting bottles to the meeting. A couple bottles did raise some eyebrows. One was a half-pint dairy bottle from Vicksburg MI with an interesting diamond shaped design around the neck. It has a slug plate that reads E.G. McCamley, R.F.D. #1, Vicksburg, Mich. Also he had a quart-sized crown-cap beer bottle from the U.P. At first we thought "South Range," could have been a lower peninsula ghost town. It turned out to be a U.P. town still in the business of growing! It is up in Copper Country! Can you imagine a beer from that part of the world? Do they drink anything else?

    At the last meeting we saw: Dee Cole, Tim Hayes, Scott Hendrichsen, Ed Nickerson, Kevin Siegfried, Chuck Parker, Mary Hamilton, Bill Drake and Steve Lloid. Also we had for guests, John Winkler, Mahase Sookhai and J.W. McCallister.

    We also saw some other neat items! It was "Most Unusual Dug Item Night!" Scott Hendrichsen had a very neat toy gun I have never seen before! It looks like a flint lock pistol with a little train engine and coal car! The way it worked was, the little train was spring-loaded and by pulling the trigger it moved along the barrel of the gun!

Scott also had a very cool copper bottle that was brazed together from the 1800's, I would love to know what that was for?

Also, Scott had dug a set of false teeth! When people see some of my collection they really take on a sick look when I tell them the items came from an outhouse! You know, rarely do I think about that. You have to admit looking through a pit for bottles and relics today would be a whole lot different then looking down where you just vomited-out your teeth a 100 years ago! I'm sure they didn't float! Scott had a tiny little spoon-like item that looked like a tiny coal shovel. We all assumed it was a drug-related item.

As always, Kevin Seigfried had some amazing stuff to look at. He had a bottle that I have always wanted to find, a Wishart's Pine Tree Tar Cordial bottle! I have a friend who found one in his first week of digging. I was visiting with him just a few weeks ago and I questioned him about that bottle. He told me that it had somehow been broken! Kevin also displayed a nice pontiled umbrella ink and a miniature chamber pot!

The item that I really thought was neat was a bowling-ball sized Japanese blown-glass fishing net float! It is beautiful in a rich amber color!


Our next meeting will be after the Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Show. Our meeting theme will be, Bottle Show! We want to see what you bought, hear about what you sold and learn where you were when the earthquake hit? Not so funny is it. . .sorry!