Volume 18  Issue 4                            Written By Allan C.Holden                                  February 2021      

       I Hear That Show Train A-Comin’!
    But, will that train make it to the station?

“Will there actually be a bottle show this spring? If there is one, what will it look like?”

      That was a question John Pastor posed when I called him before our last month’s meeting.
I called wondering if John Pastor had anything, regarding the show on April 10th that he wanted me to share with you at the meeting.

       OK, looking back I feel a little stupid, after all how do you plan anything during a pandemic?

       I really wrestle with this Covid-19 garbage. One minute they have me half afraid of it, and the next day I think it is a hoax. But, I had a good friend die from it?

       But then again, I have friends die all the time from issues not related to Covid, yet I am told they too died from Covid. What’s with that? 

     When I was in Boy Scouts we learned these ridiculous camp fire songs. One went;

“Oh he jumped from twenty thousand feet, forgot to pull the cord (refrain)

 Oh, they scrapped him off the runway like a blob of strawberry jam (refrain)

. . . and he ain’t going to fly no more!

New verse: Oh, they blamed it on the Covid he picked-up along the way, they blamed it on the Covid he picked-up along the way (refrain)

. . . and he ain’t going to fly no more!”
(Yes, I added that last verse.)

       I have a brilliant customer from Orleans, Canada. Yes he drives to my store! He is 4.5 hours west of Detroit! He is a retired research scientist. He told me that the only sure-way to stop Covid, would be to have everyone wear a mask that the virus cannot freely pass through. In which case; everyone would simply suffocate!

       He told me; "That well known image of a spiked, fuzzy-shape ball, is actually so small, it cannot be seen with a microscope, it takes an electron microscope!

      If you wear something you can breath through, you can pass Covid. Most people who contract the virus will most likely get it on their hands from contaminated surfaces. Of course that means washing your hands is a big deal!"

     The  hot topic this month normally would be our all important spring  bottle show.

             This will be the 41st year for the bottle show . . . if it happens.

     I did bring this up at the meeting. I was thinking, maybe we could make everything really easy this year by simply using last year’s plans and commitments.  To my surprise that suggestion went headlong into a brick wall!

    We simply do not have the man power or enthusiasm. The key people who put together and cleaned up after the hospitality suite are either gone or in some cases too tired.

    I heard one comment saying; 'the folks enjoying it most, never come to a regular meeting.'

    Even when Chuck was working from a walker, and eventually a wheel chair, he managed to carry more than his share of the load.

     We actually have a current paid membership of  20 very good and wonderful people, but for good reason, several are unable to be at the monthly meetings. . . let alone the annual show.

     After losing Chuck, then going head-long into the restrictive pandemic, (Not to mention this disaster election) the enthusiasm gauge for most everything is way below empty. Not that anyone likes it.  

     The crew is OK with doing the show, but the little hospitality suite the night before wasn’t well supported at all. The case was made that we are running low on helpers, and maintaining a working crew of club members on Saturday for the show alone is about as much as we can muster . . .  and even that is not enough. 

      I was actually discouraged by the meeting turnout last month. Not counting guests, and one new member, there were 4 regular members counting myself.

      Don’t misunderstand, it was good to see each one of you who made it out.  I know some were concerned about being exposed to Covid or were self quarantined because they may have been exposed. We understand that.

       Oh will I ever be glad when we can get back to normal!

       Our Sign up sheet showed the following names. Linda Siegfried, Kevin Siegfried, Scott Hendrichsen, Vincent Grossi, Len Sheaffer, Robert Shoemaker, Shannon Shoemaker and Al Holden.

      Even though we were short on regular members at the meeting, we did have a new member sign up! New to you maybe! But Len is my old friend! Len is one of my treasure hunting friends, as are Robert and Shannon. That was just the encouragement I needed!

       If you missed the meeting you missed a pizza party! I ordered 3 XL 18" Pizzas from a local pizza parlor, which were delivered at 7:45 right on time. Well, needless to say it was more than we could have ever eaten without Chuck!

       It was good pizza for sure, no complaints from me. But as I have said so often, once you have enjoyed Bimbo’s Pizza you have been spoiled!

      I follow Bimbo’s on Facebook, where they recently posted that they were going to continue with curbside service for the time being. . .

       I can’t blame them, they have a product in great demand and they have learned that they can avoid all of the dine-in issues.

       As soon as they are fully open, we will be going in for our new annual
“Charles Parker Memorial Pizza Party!”  


               At our last meeting, I, President “Pro Tempore” translated from Latin “For the time being” was prepared with an actual “Meeting Agenda” Ya, you should have been there . . see what you missed!

           I am far better at speaking without a plan. I actually remember better without notes! Oh well, we are doing the best we can.

        Being prepared for the worse, John Pastor asked me to see how the club felt,  if the fairgrounds bumped the show once again, would we consider hosting a show in July or August?

    It was at that point when it seemed like I pushed a stick into a hornets nest!

      Everyone is OK with doing a show, but not so much the other activities. And I didn’t hear any opposition to a show in the mid- summer, but I heard,
“Just as long as it isn’t . . . . fill in the blank.”

    Summers are too short in Michigan, and summer vacations are a huge priority for all of us!

    Next on the agenda was the raffle ticket sales. If we don’t have a show in April we decided to have our drawing at a club meeting.

    When Susan and Lori gave me the club’s stuff from Chuck, I found a full brick of raffle tickets which do need to be sold.

     Chuck Parker was our star ticket sales person. Please grab some more tickets at this meeting. If you would like, turn in your stubs and raffle money at this meeting, before things get misplaced.

    I have people come in my store, and they see that prize detector package still on display, and they all want to know when I am going to call them! Do not lose your customer's ticket stubs!

    I gave a treasurers report, where, to that point, I took in $120.00 in club dues. And Vince applied some pressure on the Kalamazoo Library to send me a $50.00 check for room-time we didn’t use.
    You mugs better toe the line or you will get a visit from my boy “ Iron-man Vinny.”
crime boss Vincent Basciano, got new digs in 2015 he was transferred to a Supermax prison in Colorado.)

    I have taken in more dues from, Mark McNee,  Tim Hayes, and  Len Sheaffer.
    On the day after the upcoming meeting, Wednesday the 10th, Scott Hendrichsen and I, and perhaps a new treasurer are going over to the Comerica Bank on West Main, near the new Chick-Fil-A and get the banking straightened out.

    They demanded two things, signatures from members on the meeting agenda sheet (Which we did) and a copy of Chuck’s Death Certificate (Which Lori sent me.)

    Also, I found where Chuck had made a note showing where Rob and Jean had paid. It was lucky I stumbled onto that.

    I shared a list of paid members on the print newsletter, all that I have to this point, I won’t post your names on this digital newsletter.

I did this for a good reason. I listed all the people who are on the paid list.

       There are some folks to my surprise are not on this list, and I am scared to death it is somehow my screw-up! Please, help me get this right!

    Hey, didn’t you like me better when I only did the newsletter?

            I know those who couldn’t make the last meeting, had good reason. But honestly when everyone is at the meetings it sure can change the direction of everything.

     In the last newsletter I suggested, on Pizza Night we would take nominations for the club’s election. With so few present we let that slide, but I do have two nominations so far. Rob Knolle has tossed his hat into the ring running for club President. Vincent Grossi has said he will run for Vice President.

    Well, that is a good start, and both are great choices, but anyone else? In the metal detecting club when we have two running for president the runner up becomes the vice president . . . just saying. 

    Well, thanks to Kevin, we did see some bottles and collectibles at the meeting.
 (I do hope I didn’t leave anyone out?)
    Scott usually brings in a box of goodies but U.P.S. has been running those guys ragged! He was happy to just make the meeting! I just read somewhere  U.P.S. profits have gone through the roof! I can attest that my freight charges are freighting!

        Kevin Siegfried had a small amber figural-shaped bottle embossed “Barrel of Beer.”
     From what I could find, no individual brewery special ordered these cute little bottles, several brands used them.
      I suspect they were designed by a glass manufacture, and sold to several breweries. I was never much of an expert on modern beer products, but I do remember a trend in the 1960's toward “Wide Mouth” beer bottles.
      Almost every beer known to man was in the fat squat bottles.
     Very likely  someone thought, “Hey, they could be made to look like a little wooden beer barrel!
    And so they do! With a embossed wood grain pattern and barrel hoops, they are very clever little beer bottles. I found several pictures online with labels from Blatz, Drewry’s, Schmidt and others that I never heard of.

    Kevin also had some interesting beer tap handles. One was for “Dead Guy Rogue Ale” which depicts a skeleton sitting on a wooden beer barrel holding a mug of ale. The barrel says in large red letters “ROGUE” with a black banner that reads, “Dead Guy Ale.”
    You better get in on the start of things here, the going price is $75.00 and it is bound to go through the roof! When it comes to bottles they make a couple dozen per drinker, but only one tap handle per bar! 
    OK, there was yet another cool tap handle! This one has a human skull wearing a black hat that says, VooDoo Vater. It reads Atwater Block Brewery, Dopplebock. This one seems to be rare! I could only find them listed in Worth Point. A similar one sold at E-Bay for $60.00 a long time ago..

    Kevin brought in some dairy bottles as well. One was a half pint (Applied Color Label) Bob Haas Dairy, Kalamazoo, MI. “Healthful as the Sunshine.”
Another one pint bottle was from Tarnow Dairy. I purchased a really cool store promotion sign from Kevin over a year back from Tarnow Dairy. It shows a cute little girl looking up at mom as she pours milk into her cup. The sign reads Tarnow Dairy, Kalamazoo’s Premium Quality Dairy. “The Housewife is our only source of sale”           
    I posted a picture of the sign on Vanished Kalamazoo’s facebook group, and within the first week it had over 200 likes! What a popular memory! I didn’t know they had a restaurant, but it was a big hit! Someone told me the little girl, is a big girl now, and a member of that Facebook Group!
    And get this, Robert and Shannon Shoemaker, both worked there! Yep, that is so cool! 
    Another older embossed dairy bottle Kevin had was a half pint Roelof Dairy bottle.
    Another item Kevin displayed was a large lighted sign which was part of a store display for Hallmark Birthday Cards! It had the 1940's look if you ask me! It is a very thick glass lighted sign.
    And last, but not least, Kevin has a 1920's era cardboard sign with a lovely lady holding a glass of Coca~Cola. Unfortunately it was stored in the basement of an old building where it picked up a lot of dirt and grime.  There are ways to restore this sort of sign, we are looking into some.

Space to Fill
    Seeing how we are all sick of politics and the pandemic garbage, I will tell you about our trip north this summer with our old motor home. Ever since our second trip north in the old girl, we have had problems. The worse one was on the second trip when we lost a timing gear in downtown Munising, MI.
    The motor home chassis is a 1983 E-350 (one ton) Ford with a 460 cubic inch engine.  Oddly enough, Ford didn’t originally design that mountain motor for the truck application, and it was never intended to go into a van chassis. It was built to go into the Lincoln car to compete with Cadillac’s 472.
    And you thought the muscle cars all got the big motors. Well, the problem with the 460 inside a Lincoln was it had to be whisper quite. So, they put fiber non-metal cam drive timing gears in them. Yep, it was my whisper quiet timing gear that went out.

    Because the Ford Econoline van chassis was not designed for a 460, they had to put them in with a shoe-horn. One of the clearance problems they had was with the location of the oil filter. They solved that issue with a “L” shaped adapter which easily vibrates loose and leaks most of the time.
    Next, I lost my carrier bearings, which support the 3-piece drive shaft assembly. My chassis was extended about 4 feet to make a long enough wheelbase for a 27 foot class C motorhome. That was the only class C that size in 1984 when the coach was built. Also, at same time of the carrier bearing problem, I had a rubber transmission mount come apart . . . climbing over the Mackinac Bridge!

     Having been involved in the RV business I can tell you the worse thing you can do to a motor home is to not use it! (Same goes for metal detectors)The rubber tires will dry-rot very quick if they are not run down the road. The first rubber product that failed for me was the fuel lines!

    Well, this time we were coming home, and just rolling into Edmore on M-46 when I stopped at a light. As I waited for the light, I could hear this pounding noise that sounded like someone was hitting the dash with a hammer. I quickly put the transmission into neutral and the noise stopped. I knew right away it was my motor mounts. We limped on home carefully.

       It isn’t easy to find motor mounts for a 1983 chassis! Very likely nobody ever replaced any. Well, let me tell you, it sure ain’t easy! I had to remove steering linkage, starter and even exhaust, and even sheet metal to get to them! And you have to work blind because of a big cross-member!

    When I had the mounts, off and the engine halfway out, I found that I had first time access to oil pan bolts that I could have never reached otherwise! The vibration, caused by the slowly decaying motor mounts, had every thing falling apart! The pan bolts were loose enough I could turn them with my fingers!

    When I finished the two week job I fired her up! Hey! my door mount mirrors, which always ((((vibrated)))) were steady as a rock!
    I took a test run over to Lake Michigan and it was like the first test drive in a new coach! I can’t wait for summer! I can’t help but wonder how many vehicles end up going for scrap all because of old motor mounts?   

The Meeting theme is Valentine’s Day “LOVE!”

Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club
We meet at the 
Otsego Historic Society Museum
 Meeting date is February 9th at 7:00
 Meeting starts at 7:00

         e-mail:  prostock@net-link.net  
  Phone 269-685-1776


    Phone 269-685-1776
    Web Address

The Meeting theme is Valentine’s Day “LOVE!”