Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club News
VOL. 15 No. 8                                                                                    Written By Allan C. Holden                                                                                      May 2018

2018 Bottle Show Considered Our 39th Success Story!
This Month,  Pizza Night!


Great Show Despite . .

H i friends!
    I hope you are all having a good spring! The good weather sure took its sweet old time showing up!

Let me start out by giving you a brief summary of the show, starting out with Friday’s night Dealer’s Hospitality Suite, the “dealer’s meet and greet.”

 This year, the club was asked by the Clarion Hotel to hold our little party in an area that I call the “Balcony Room.” We have used this area in the past, but I must agree with Kevin Siegfried, it seemed like it was a whole lot bigger back then.

Several years back, I had a chance to revisit the house I lived in as a child, and was surprised to see that giant flight of stairs, the stairs I used to jump down, had shrunk! Honestly, I can remember struggling to bring up enough courage within myself, to hurdle into this death-defying jump. I fully understood how Evel Knievel felt as he stared across the Snake River Canyon.

Yep, as you probably guessed, it was only was 2 steps!

Well, I still think this meeting room was actually smaller then we remembered.

We had a pretty nice spread of good food, and folks seemed very happy with everything. I did my best to arrive early so that I could back my non-locking pickup truck, loaded-up with my store, to where I could keep an eye on it. With the room switch, that didn’t work out so good.

The weather forecast for our show day was not looking good at all! The forecast was ugly for about 4 days before the show! The weatherman was predicting freezing rain. Day-by-day the freezing rain remained in the forecast, but just a couple days before show time, the computer models suggested the system would track north of Kalamazoo. . . and it did.

None-the-less, you really have to wonder how much that gloomy weather forecast effected the show traffic??? I think it did hurt. The folks at the table next to me were from north of Grand Rapids, and they told me, as we were packing up, “We just learned we are returning to a home without power.”

 The news that night, showed that the winter storm left a large area, north of Grand Rapids, with thousands without power!

Chuck tells me the show did sell 90 table spaces, which was pretty much a sell out. However, it did look as though the through-the-door traffic was somewhat lower than usual.

Normally, if we make an actual metal detector sale at the show, it was usually sold to someone who went to my store first, read the note on my door, then they came looking for me. Well, that number was down to zero for this show, and I blame the threat of bad weather.

At each show I listen for that $8,000 bottle to hit the floor, but it just didn’t happen . . . at least not until after the show. One of the dealers had boxes stacked high on a hand-cart, when a case of bottles fell on the way out the door! Sure enough, a couple smashed. He didn’t seem too upset . . . it looked to me like it was a dairy bottle. No point in crying over spilled milk . . . bottles. . . gulp!

I am having a serious problem getting a newsletter out, it seems like everything is going wrong around here. A couple days back my daughter contacted me about my granddaughter, Savannah, having been accidently burned. Of course I was concerned, but I had no idea how badly she was burned. In my mind, I had pictured her with a band-aid and some burn ointment.

It wasn’t until the next day when I learned that during some monkey-business, with her little brother, her dress caught on fire! She was badly burned over her entire back, legs, arms and hands! She is in Bronson Hospital as I write this. It is a miracle she wasn’t killed!

We have a tendency to think that somehow the little ones have learned about playing with fire. I recall when her older sister’s class went to the Fire Department where they learned about stop-drop-and-roll etc..

Savanna ran into the house and went straight to the shower. By that time, her dress had melted unto her body. Don’t assume your kids or grand kids have learned these simple lessons . . for heaven’s sake . . . teach them!

The Bottle Show will be a main topic for discussion at the May meeting. I am sorry, I am afraid there is much that I don’t know yet myself.

 I can tell you that Rob Knolle sold the winning raffle ticket for first-prize metal detector! The winner was Keith Moore. Rob tells me he was very excited!

The display room was awesome! I know Elmer Ogg had a display that was incredible to say the least! Lots of color! And Rob Knolle had a neat treasure diving display. Hopefully we will learn more at this meeting.

Last Meeting

      Our last meeting was just a few days before the bottle show. We saw a pretty good turnout! Listed here are some important names from the sign in sheet: Vincent Grossi, Kelly Bobbitt, Tim Hayes, Chuck Parker, Mary Hamilton, Ed Nickerson, Kevin Siegfried, Ron Smith and Al Holden.

     We saw a few nice bottles at the last meeting, hey, we can’t be all about business!

     Tim Hayes brought in a beautiful sheared-lip open-pontil Pitkin’s style one-pint whiskey flask in a medium forest-green color. Tim thinks the bottle would date to the early 1800's.

     Vincent Grossi displayed several nice bottles including a aqua-colored Washington & Taylor flask. It features “General Taylor never Surrenders” surrounding a bust of General Taylor. The opposite side features “Washington Father of his Country,” with a bust of General Washington.

     Vince also displayed a small medicine bottle embossed “Kemp’s Balsam,” also, a tiny frosted corked pill bottle. Another bottle was a small cobalt-blue zinc-capped purse salve bottle, which could be Vicks? Another one of Vincent’s bottles was a pharmacy bottle from, “Nelson’s Drugstore” also a labeled “George Watson Pharmacist, Tireman Ave, Detroit.”

     Vince also found a beautiful early olive-green applied tooled-top wine bottle with deep dents above the base which were made by the blower’s use of a snap-case tool. This bottle tells a neat bottle crafting story without any embossing! I am hoping to feature this bottle in a project I plan for the web-site.

     Another bottle I should mention is a clear pharmacy style bottle embossed “Mayr’s Wonderful Stomach Remedy, Chicago.”

     I didn’t spend too much money at the show. I had just returned from having our taxes done, and frankly, it didn’t look like I better buy any luxuries for a while. . it was not good!

       But, if I had searched every bottle in that show, I would have never found the one Mark

McNee gave to me! What a true treasure! It was a little labeled Otsego pharmacy bottle from Holt & Murdock Drug Store! Like many of the drugstores from after the 1930's embossed examples just do not exist! The paper labeled bottles are nearly as rare! This little medicine bottle is special to me, because, my mother worked at Holt and Murdock as a teen in the late 40's. On her first day on the job, working at the soda bar, she waited on a man who ordered a cup of black coffee. Mom replied, "I think we only have brown."

       Next to giving Himself, God's greatest gift to me is my Mom!

      Mark gave me a nice little gift package including a souvenir plate featuring a picture of the original Otsego High School and some neat Otsego postcards! Thank you so much, Mark!

       Just for fun, here is the club member list for the meeting held just before the 1981 Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club Show:

 Fred Buttery, Robert Camp, Mark Churchill, Mark Clemmens, Tom Coles, Sanji Deswald, Grady Ellis, Matt Ennis, Bob Hamblin, Nancy Hamblin, Chester Heffel Jr., Gary Jones, Ken Kirton, Marlena Kirton, Dann Louis, Sue Louis, Jim Lockmiller, Marie Lovely, George MacLeod, Linda MacLeod, Robb MacLeod, Marty McNee, Mike McNee, Scott Nickerbocker, Duane Nickerson, Chuck Parker, Bill Pastor, John Pastor, Mike Rawson, Charles Shimberg, Jack Short, Gordon Travis, Ray Tripp, Jim Tuttle, Joe Widman, Nelson Widman, Jerry Wilinski, Leon Wisser, Lew Wisser, And, Ernie Lawson (President) and Mark McNee (Newsletter)
I thought you might enjoy that little trip down memory lane.

         Recently, I visited with George MacLeod which is always a pleasure! Mark Churchill stopped into visit, our friendship goes back to the early days of the club. It took a few years to get to me interested, but I can clearly remember how Mark Churchill, Ernie Lawson and Jack Short was so excited to tell me all about all the bottle club!  In fact, when Mark stopped in to visit me on Saturday, he had just returned from digging with Sanji!

          I watched as Mark open the hatch on his little car, and he changed out of  his digging shoes in my parking lot. I was thinking, “This gray haired guy is pretty limber!”
         Mark and Sanji were the young guns back in 81 and they are still out there digging! I wonder how many privies they have opened? Not to mention the dump digs!   
           We will be meeting at the library as usual. I think this may be the last meeting before our summer break. The theme for this meeting is Bottle Show bottles and recent finds!
           After the usual roll call, we are going to make the long awaited phone call down to Bimbo’s! Yep, PIZZA!!!!
Chuck will be autographing bottles and digging tools down at the pizza party. Because we are planning on calling-in our order, if you are planning on meeting us at Bimbo’s, you will be limited to 2 slices unless you let us know.

           Clearly, my wife didn’t help me edit this mess, sorry. She will be retiring after 41 years at Bronson Hospital this month. We are both switching from her health insurance plan onto Medicare and adding some supplement plans. Frankly to me it is a monster mess! 

           My brother-in-law recommended, this nice lady from Ionia, who stopped by to help with the wife's transition from work . . . to retirement.
          The lady was very helpful but she is allergic to cats, and my cat Charlie was not happy about her sitting on his couch! Yes it got nasty. We had a kleenex box on both sides of her!

           Turns out her husband and I had a mutual friend in the RV business! I had a chance to briefly speak with him on the phone and he is still selling RVs. I wish I were still selling RVs. Maybe it is my youth that I actually miss.
          She was here until 11:30, about 4 hours! At one point she asked for some water, and that request took me by complete surprise! We cook with it, we clean with it, but drink it?
          Fortunately, the wife had bottled water in the fridge, so I dug around until I found her one.
I explained that our other cat passed away last winter when the ground was frozen hard as rock, and since then, I have been too busy to bury her. I thought she may be curious about why I spent so much time digging around in the fridge for the water, and why I washed off the bottle.

Meets at the main Kalamazoo Library, 315 South Rose Street.
We meet on the third floor in the conference room. Meeting is
MAY 8th.
 Meeting starts at 7:00