Vol 20, Issue No. 5                                                                                                                                                                                   MAY 2022 
Member Club of   F.O.H.B.C.
Written By Allan C. Holden

2022 Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Show Was Real!

          Yep, it really happened! A real honest-to-goodness 2022 Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Show is now sealed and in the bottle, recorded and filed in histories wine cellar,  unchangeable  History forever!
          I don’t have all the important statics, only years of experience as a professional observer, I think the show was awesome! And it was indeed a learning experience!
         This was our first bottle show without General Charles Parker which presented to us a challenge! And it was the first bottle show under the oversight of Rob Knolle! He did a darn good job!

             I would be wrong if I didn’t mention every single member who pitched in and helped! Yes, it all worked out, especially our good friend, Kevin Siegfried! Never go to battle without someone who knows the fight!

        And, we may have been spoiled a little! Let me explain.
A friend on Facebook posted some pictures of a little black cat with the white tuxedo markings.      
        About 6 month’s earlier, my cat named Charlie, who I inherited from my grandmother, died at the age of 16. He was my personal buddy. If you ever wondered where my cat Charlie was at any particular, moment you just had to look for me! We even went to the litter box together! If you located me, there at my feet, just like a shadow. .  was my Charlie.

          Every single time I lose a dearly loved pet, I swear it will be the last time! Why should I go out and purposely set myself up for such heartache?

         So, my friend on Facebook has this story about his young lady friend who just learned she has cancer. She had to move from her apartment to live with a care giver. So, she cannot keep this beautiful little tuxedo cat. So, what could I say?

         My point is this, we created a monster! My granddaughter’s cat “Mason” is well trusted to go outside on nice days. Tux, on the other hand, never experienced the wild blue yonder. Being fair, we encouraged him to come out onto the deck when Mason went out, but he was very reluctant. Soon he decided to check out this new world.

           He has to be supervised because the temptations to wander are everywhere! Now, he really loves going outside! I guess in a way we created a monster. When he wants to go out, he has perfected a meow that sounds like “Me-Out” and he keeps it up until your head is about to (((explode!)))

          The same could be said about doing the bottle show without the extra day required working with the hospitality suite. Folks, we may be spoiled! Oh well, I think it worked out well . . . but it sure lightened the weekend load!

          Despite knowing our beloved Chuck Parker was suffering through some end-of-life issues before his passing, it still took us by surprise. Not just us, I think Chuck was surprised by it all. I know there were many things about the bottle show and some other club business Chuck would have coached us on. Oh well, we are indeed learning!

         I am not up to speed on the final details for the show at all but I can share with  you my observations. I felt very good about the show. The quality of the individual dealer displays, were as nice as I have seen them. Personally, I am trying to wean myself of bottle hoarding and that show made it very hard.       The nice couple who shared the stage-front with us, had some of the most beautiful bottles I have seen in a long time!

                 There was a beautiful cabin bitters bottle in an beautiful orange amber color. What caught my eye was, it had Best Bitters style rope corners. It was a
 Baker’s Orange Grove Bitters, and I noticed it  before the show opened. After Mike Walker and I got our display in order, I decided to inquire about this beautiful bottle. It was GONE!

            I asked the couple about the orange-amber Bitters . . . they just sold it! If I am not mistaken it sold for $350.00! I’m telling you that bottle was eye-candy!      
          Mike and I stayed busy at our table all day. Kelly Bobbett stopped by and visited with us, which was a good way to pass the time.

          Kevin’s table was set-up kitty-corner from us, you know, over there by that haunted northwest door. Kevin knows the complete history of those spooky “ghost wind” gusts from years gone by! He has heard those eerie sounds of shattered dreams!
But hooie! Superstition is for the weak-of-heart!
        Kevin had just picked up a great show deal for a nice amber Duffy’s Malt Liquor bottle. He made his purchase, then slipped his new treasure into his sweater pocket.
He came back to his display, sat down to mark some prices, and the chair squeezed the bottle like toothpaste out of his pocket onto the floor. . . Ker-smash!
 Of course, Kevin, always cool under pressure, kept right on working like nothing happened.
I couldn’t help but think of the Cowardly Lion’s line in Wizard of OZ as they wandered into the haunted forest, “I do believe in spooks I do, I do!” 

           I have to say, I was very impressed with Scott Hendrichsen’s tables at the show! Besides all the great stuff he has dug over the years, in addition to the labeled bottles Scott picked up from Chuck’s collection, his tables were loaded-up with great stuff!

           I was walking over to grab a donut when I passed Scott’s display and I stopped dead in my tracks! It was like a show within a show!
 Then I spotted a bottle that brought back some great memories! A husband and wife, who were both into metal detecting, occasionally found some really nice old bottles. One day he got sick and passed away. His wife asked me to put a value on some of their bottles so with the help of others in the club I helped her the best I could.
         One of the bottles seemed special to me. It was a deep chocolate-amber, iron-pontil, Rohrer’s Wild Cherry Tonic Expectoral. It is a slightly tapered, or pyramid-shaped bottle with roped corners dressed up decorative window designs. I told her that if she wanted to sell that bottle I would love to make her an offer.
        There on Scott’s table was a bottle just like it and I told Scott, “I had a chance to buy a Rohrer’s Bitters once.”
He said, “I know Al, that’s it!”
         I wished Scott luck with his sales, and I told him that if that bottle doesn’t sell, come see me after the show.”
        Well, he did, and now that bottle has a new home.  I love it!

        In the past, we had used all of our left-over food from the Friday night dealer gathering, on Saturday for dealers to make sandwiches.

      This year, to help with the absent snacks, we ordered 17 pizza-pies! Well, for the first time, that I can recall, the snack-bar was opened up servicing the bottle show! I guess they were not tickled with the pizza buffet!
        Another thing that surprised me, and I guess it shouldn’t have, several dealers wanted to buy metal detector raffle tickets! Frankly that was encouraging to me. Year after year someone would win the detector and the next day want to sell it back! I think over the years Chuck purchased at least three of them back from winners. 
           At April’s  post-bottle-show club meeting, we had a good turnout.
Here is from my list of our All-Star lineup.
Vincent Grossi, Ed Nickerson, Ron Smith, Kelly Bobbitt, Tim Hayes,
Milissa Hayes, Kevin Siegfried, Len Sheaffer, Rob Knolle and Al Holden.

        We didn’t have the number of bottles on hand like I had expected. Vincent brought in a very-ancient, amber Wildroot Hair Tonic bottle from Buffalo New York.
            I smiled, over looking at Kelly, and noticed a big grin on his face too. I guess you could say we emptied a few of those bottles! I double dare you to call it greasy-kid’s-stuff! Just you go ahead and try!

            Tim Hayes displayed a large Van Dunck’s Genever Coachman Figural Malt Rye Whiskey bottle. This baby is cool! This heavy black glass bottle looks like a chubby Victorian-era coach driver wearing a winter coat and about to light his pipe.
This bottle must have been popular to early bottle collectors because they seem to still be popular and still easy to find in a price range around $100.00. I am not a big alcohol expert, but my research reveals the key word here is Genever which indicates a highly distilled product with added flavor from botanical ingredients.  Genever is Dutch for “juniper.” Genever is a clear, botanically rich, malted grain-based spirit.
Vince also brought in a colorful Victorian Trade Card, advertising for Austen’s Forest Flower BARNES COUGH SYRUP
Will Cure Coughs And Colds Where all others fail!
25¢ & 50¢ Bottles
NO CURE!     ~       NO PAY!

 Pictured on the front, in that beautiful Victorian era artwork, is a young lady wrapped in colorful flowers.  The little trade card was produced by W.J. Austen & Co. Oswego, NY. And perfumed with their Forest Flower Cologne.

This is a beautiful piece of furniture Kelly Bobbitt built! Originally, he purchased a stand, on its last leg, at an estate sale with plans to restore it.
I guess his wife had to prod him into action by asking "Are you going to do something with this or can we toss it?"
The original was tagged "Kompass & Stoll Co., Niles Michigan 1902"
Kelly built this reproduction from Michigan Black Cherry . . . it is beautiful! He gifted it to me for helping him sell some of his hardwood!  Thank You, Kelly!

On a Personal Note:

       I want to update our family situation. As many of you know, my wife was raised in the western U.P., north of Crystal Falls. Her parents were both still living there, and both  in their mid 90's. Her father just turned 95, and today, April 12th, was their 70th Anniversary.
    About one week back, Bob  (Calvin) became very ill with a high temp and seemed very confused. It turned out to be a urinary tract infection, which can cause a mental haze. Of course everyone was thinking something much worse was going on at his age, and started jumping to conclusions.
     The problem had advanced to where they had to insert a device to help him pass urine. Well, he kept on removing it! This happened twice, so they decided to put him in the hospital and keep him sedated until the infection cleared up.
    When he was well enough to be released from the hospital, yet still not strong-enough to go home, they were going to transfer him to a nursing home, but only short term, just until he regained his strength.

    My mother-in-law requested to take him home for the night, with a promise of bringing him over the next day. The doctor was understanding and approved of that plan.
    It seems, this was that “off-to-the-nursing-home-moment” they feared, and had planned for, for decades.
    That night, sitting on the sofa, side-by-side they attempted to take their own lives. They both overdosed on over the counter PM pain pills.
    Deb's cousin Beverly, who lives nearby, and my mother-in-law, Audrey, would check in on each other, by phone, every morning. If one doesn't respond . . . they would walk over and check in. Beverly didn't get a response by phone, or even knocking at the door, so she entered and found both unconscious.
    Deb's father was taken to a local  hospital in Iron River, and Audrey, to another in Wisconsin. The good news is they were both treated in time, but not without long term issues.
     They wanted to avoid a nursing home, but they hastened the pathway to one!
      Deb is their first born, and the only one of faith. She was attending Northern Michigan University when her and her roommate went to a Campus Crusade For Christ where God opened her heart in a wonderful way!

    I love my In-laws, more than you can ever imagine, especially Bob. I have spent many hours with my father-in-law in the forest searching for treasure and bottles, and I have shared the Gospel with him and prayed with him, but he had a barrier that seemed hard to break through.
    We learned that because of our faith, we were not told of this suicide plan, where others knew for over 10 years, just not when.

        My dear friends, this is God's business and nobody robs Him of that. Had they been successful it would only mean that God allowed such a selfish act.
    The reason my mother-in-law was transported to a Wisconsin hospital was because they judged her condition to be far worse. Both had a “No Resuscitate Order” which was honored in Michigan, and in a few days without food or water my very dear friend, Bob, passed away.

        My mother-in-law was in Wisconsin, where do-not-resuscitate wishes are honored “Unless” the medical condition was self inflicted!  At this point she is doing well and living with my wife’s younger sister in Gladstone, Mi.
    This all caught us completely off guard. Deb and our granddaughter Madison drove north to help with the situation.

         Friends, I have been through some very dark times in my life, far more than most . . . but this was so devastating to me. I may never be able to grasp it.

        I really loved Bob and we really bonded! We had so many things in common. After losing my own father, far to soon, Calvin (Bob) was very important to me. We only saw each other for a week or two each year, but we had a special bond.
           I started doing the bottle club newsletter over 20 years back, and when I set down to blather away in a somewhat pointless fashion, I saw it just as my visiting with each of you . . . it’s true. With every newsletter, I was writing a letter to Bob . . . and John and Sam and Elmer and Kevin and you too!   
    When the Government  started flooding us with the fear of Covid, and other threats, I prayed for each of you by name and I still do!
         Anyway, many of the adventure stories I shared in past newsletters were special adventures I had with Bob. Gosh, I am breaking my own heart.
         I will be 71 in a couple months and I have reached a crossroad where a decision must be made. My wife worked very, very, hard as a Trauma Nurse at Bronson for way over 42 years and her job was brutal. She dreamed of one day retiring and enjoying that time. She never dreamed she would be anchored down by a man who was too stupid to retire.
    I am going to bring my business to an end, or maybe, Lord willing, in a different direction by selling to someone. One thing for sure, this will have some impact on the club.
     I will no longer be able to foot the bill for doing a newsletter which easily costs me about $50.00 per month. And I have also been paying the club Internet domain hosting charges. As the current club treasurer I can tell you, under the current conditions, the club simply can’t afford it.
    As for my business I can simply close up and sell what inventory I can on E-Bay, or maybe someone will see the value in buying the only brick and mortar treasure shop left in Michigan. Everything is ripe for amazing growth in this business for a hard working younger man.
    I think the general public have had their fill of Internet purchases. Also, the popularity of treasure hunting is growing like wildfire! Thanks to the Internet and social platforms like YouTube.    
    This will be our last regular meeting before summer break, we will continue in September, Have a Great Summer!

The Meeting
theme is
Recent Finds & Acquisitions.
        The Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club
Meets At the
 Otsego Historic Society Museum,

Meeting date is
MAY 10th at 7:00
 The Museum is located at 218 N. Farmer St. Otsego, MI
Meeting starts at 7:00
Phone 269-685-1776

    Web Address