| A Time For
I am again, all you antique bottle lovers! I’m here to
wish you and yours a bountiful harvest season,
one overflowing with thankfulness.
know how hard it is to be thankful in today’s world. I
think most people will agree 2020 can leave at any
What a year of grief, hurt, sorrow and pain!
Don’t give up! Our forefathers lived through far
darker days! Hang in there, we got this!
Vince Grossi, Kelly Bobbitt and I, all
tried to find the club a meeting location. That hasn’t
been easy, not at all! The Kalamazoo Library is
currently out of the question for the foreseeable
it looks like Kelly’s perseverance has paid off! We
have a meeting room reserved for November 10th at the
Otsego area Historical Society Museum at 7:00, located
at 218 N. Farmer St. Otsego, MI 49078
I am sure we will be observing the usual
Covid-19 precautions like social distancing and a
mask, so be prepared for that. But hey! You missed me
Chuck’s daughter, Susan, was pretty well overwhelmed
with clearing out her parent’s home so it could be
quickly be approved for sale. The last I heard Chuck’s
grandson was hoping to get a VA loan to buy it, which
would sure would have made Chuck happy!
know, for the last few years, Chuck had been doing
several updates on that house, and, I personally loved
that neighborhood! It certainly would make someone a
they were clearing stuff out, I gathered up most of
the club’s bottle show gear and the hospitality suite
stuff. Also, Susan gave me the stuff in Chuck’s
briefcase pertaining to the club business. Frankly, I
haven’t had time to go through that material.
simply holding the club materials until we decide how
we are going to move forward.
If I continue running the club’s web-site, and doing
the newsletter, that is almost more than I can handle
would think; to fill the shoes of Brigadier General
Chuck Parker, it will actually take ‘two’ very devoted
people. One for President, and one for Treasurer? But
what do I know??? Perhaps one person can
Anyway, we need to get our group together as a club
and “spin the bottle”. . . pardon the pun.
I haven’t gone through the checkbook, but
something makes me wonder if Chuck didn’t tell me we
were prepaid for the library?
I found a lightly used
metal detector hard-shell case, to put the club
business stuff in. I will bring that to the
meeting. I do know there is a checkbook, and
besides Chuck, Scott is the other name on the club
attended a planning board meeting for the metal
detector club. We held that in a meeting room inside
of the Main Street Pub on Gull Road. That got me to
thinking, “Maybe there is hope for us to find a
I tried to contact
Latitude 42 Brew Pub, but somehow my e-mail
failed. Next I spoke to Kevin about the Brew Pub
idea and he brought me back to reality. Those places
welcome groups to generate food and drink sales. Well,
I can’t see much of that that happening.
I am hoping
we can get back into the downtown library for Mary’s
sake. Also, we don’t want to be too far from
I contacted our good
friend, Matt, down at Bimbo’s to tell him about
Chuck’s passing. I know that he thought the world of
Chuck, as we all did. He is looking forward to seeing
us soon, and I can’t wait until they open up the
Kevin Siegfried suggested
we have our December meeting at Bimbo’s, let’s
hope that is possible!
Mark McNee stepped to the
plate to help Susan and Lori out in putting a value on
Chuck’s bottles and other collectibles. I also learned
that Scott Hendrichsen
was blessed to purchase his beautiful
I have a couple
items that I want to sell for the family.
For the last few
years, I donated a White’s Treasure Master metal
detector for raffle prizes. A time or two over the
years, the winners ended up selling those detectors
back to me for the cash. I don’t mind doing that.
When we promote the
prize detectors, we state the value at full retail.
So, when we state it is a prize package worth $350.00
that is clearly not my dealer cost. When they learn I
will pay $198.00 for it, well, that lets a little air
out of their tires.
One of the drawing
winners contacted Chuck about selling the White’s
Treasure Master detector back. Chuck then called me
and asked, “What would be a good deal for both the
contest winner and for me, because I would like to
keep this one for myself.”
“After reading everything you said in the
newsletter, well you know, about how good
these are, I wanted to win it!”
Of course I wanted to encourage
Chuck. I said, “Chuck if you own this detector, even
your old Chevy pickup will run better and the fan belt
will stop squeaking.”
So, here I am, I
have a nearly new White’s Treasure Master metal
detector for sale in perfect condition for
$250.00. On e-Bay they are priced at $350 + . I
held off doing anything with it because I figured I
would offer it to the club members first, as I think
Chuck would have wanted that.
I also have Chuck’s
beautiful wood frame bottle polishing tumbler. It
appears to be professionally built. I don’t think it
has been used much . . . if at all. I would buy it
myself , but I already have two, two that I don’t use.
I will have it in my truck at the meeting if you would
like to check it out.
It has an adjustable speed
control. With square corner bottles, or with oval
shaped flasks, the best speed is about 40-50 rpm.
The round body bottles are best run around 55 to
The 4 bearing pillows are mounted on
adjustable legs. If the rollers are not level, the
barrel will want to walk (track) to one end or the
other. This system can be easily leveled.
The drive rollers are runner sleeved so
larger heaver canisters will get traction.
We only found the one polishing canister, but
they are very easy to make, or you can order them
through the Jar Doctor.
Speaking of raffle prizes, we
need to give the 2020 show raffle detector away sooner or later! I have kept that prize
detector on display, along with the drawing tickets
for sale in my store.
I don’t even have to say a thing, people will read
my sign 6 for $5.00, and say, “I will take $5.00
worth of the raffle tickets.
Also, in the club
stuff that I got from Susan, there is a envelope with
money from tickets Chuck sold. You
guys should also have some tickets and sales money?
We need to make a plan to have a drawing!! Or, maybe
should we keep plugging away and draw for this
detector package at the next show? Think about it.
right up until the night before he passed away, Chuck
was prepared to live. He had sold a lot of raffle
tickets! I am thankful, that even though he was
unable to walk or run, here-and-there, he didn’t
suffer for months in a nursing home.
I cannot tell you how much I miss Chuck.
When my father fell
14 feet from a ladder, even though I was able to
restart his heart and breathing, the trauma doctor
took me aside and said, “We can keep him alive with
machinery for as long as needed, but for all practical
purposes he is brain dead. He will no longer function
on his own.”
I had them pull the
plug. My Father was a devoted Christian man who dearly
loved the Lord and reflected that love . . . in less
than a half hour, his soul was joined with his Jesus.
I often wonder if he wasn’t already there?
There was not one sliver of doubt in my mind where his
When arranging for
his funeral I was asked if I would like people to sing
anything special. Immediately I thought of one song,
my favorite, Victory in Jesus.
Every time I hear that joyous song, I think of
my two fathers in heaven.
But then there were three!
stepfather, Howard Norton, was such a God-sent for my
mother and I. Hod passed away this summer on July 3rd,
I wanted so bad for
Howard to come to a club meeting, just to meet each of
you guys. He was a man like no other. If not for the
Covid-19 virus, his funeral could have been massive.
If we could have just gotten word of his passing out
to the Amish Community within Northern Indiana, it
would have been amazing! They loved Hod!
This man was loved by so many
people you cannot imagine.
I wrote Hod’s obituary and here it is in part, I left
out the family list stuff:
“ If you
considered yourself one of Howard’s friends, you won’t
be surprised to learn that Hod had so many
friends. Howard treasured each and every one of
you personally. He was a true reflection of Christ
shining through his life.
Howard wasn’t perfect, but he set a
goal to pattern his life after someone who is. Howard
chose this goal from the testimony of the Apostle
Paul, in Philippians 1:20, “Christ shall be magnified
in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to
me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
Howard dearly loved his Lord, and
he reflected that love to his children and
stepchildren and especially to his wife, Gwen
Howard and my father, Curtis
Holden, were best of friends. Considering all the many
friends Howard left behind, he had many more in
Heaven. Thanks be to God, who gifted him with a
wonderful and godly mother.
One of Howard’s school teachers,
Gladys Wyatt, loved to tell me stories about my
father, Howard and Don Moore as young boys. She
told me those three boys were inseparable! Each one of
them only wore shoes during school hours! Growing
up, all three worked hard for the local farmers.
Howard also worked in
his teen years for his dear friend, another amazing
man, Carl Holland, when
he drove for Holland’s Dairy.
Howard spent several years as a
route driver, salesman and route supervisor, working
for the Michigan Cottage Cheese
Company in Otsego.
Howard dearly loved working
in sales. I was privileged to work with him at Curtis
Trailer Sales. Howard also loved selling for Boylan
Buick and Don Seelye Ford.
Howard spent several
years at being self employed and did much work for
McPherson’s Plastics. He worked in excavation and
construction. Howard was a gifted carpenter. He loved
all things mechanical, especially antique tractors.
Howard loved local history, and antiques in general,
but especially farming antiques.
Whatever his job, for
Howard, joy was found in all the people he met. Howard
reflected Christ’s love for people, and Christ’s
patience in long suffering and in hardships. Many
times I saw Hod press on for love’s sake when I would
have simply walked away.
Howard had a genius sense
of humor! I couldn’t approach him without smiling!
Howard also loved music, especially the great gospel
hymns, and he was a gifted singer!
One day I was with Howard and
his son, my step-brother, Steve. (Steve is an adult
with Down Syndrome) Howard was hard at work,
struggling with a nearly impossible problem, when he
said, “I give up!”
Well, it did seem hopeless to me as
well, and I was at a loss for words.
Steve reached deep within,
finding words of wisdom, and blurted out, “You should give up!” God
blessed us with a much-needed laugh!
When I consider counting my many
blessings, and naming them one-by-one, as the song
says, Howard Norton and my Mother were always first on
Howard was a member of
the greatest generation. Americans need to consider
their devotion to and love for God, and for their
country. Our loss is indeed Heaven’s gain! Did I hear
“Well done, my good
and faithful servant?”
My father had been gone for a couple
years. His passing left both my mother and I
unprepared for the struggle that became ours
overnight. In the deal struck with my dad, when
selling his RV business, the new owner asked for
some price concessions, which left us with a large
number of used RV’s to sell. That would have been a
non-problem, had my dad been around. Dad passed away
when the final papers were signed on what he
considered his first day of retirement.
buyer of the RV business stopped making the agreed
payments, right after my father died. To add insult
to injury, the new owner sued claiming the value of
the business was overstated. This was because my
father had agreed to work as a consultant. Of
course that couldn’t happen.
(The buyer made the price-offer that both
parties agreed to)
Suddenly mom’s income quickly
dried up! She started delivering the local Shopper’s
Guide papers and delivering phone books for extra
At 60 years old, she was pedaling
a bicycle around town, delivering papers! One day
she was going past a house, tossing papers up onto
someone’s porch, when she hadn’t notice a carpenter
replacing the porch floor, and he was hit in the
head by the newspaper, it was Howard!
Of course I had known Howard my
entire life. He called me one day and asked my
permission to ask my mom out for a dinner date!
The hardest part about losing my
father, was seeing my mother suffer. Mom is a very
bubbling social person, yet, even with 8 children,
she needed someone in her life and Howard was
perfect. He was more than just perfect! He was
indeed God’s answer to my prayer!
Shortly after those days my world
took a spin, way far out of control. I won’t go into
that, but trust me it was devastating.
I am so thankful Hod was there to
help me to focus on trusting God, and allow
God to use my trials to make me stronger. He
insisted something that seemed so ridiculous at that
hour; "I would be thankful for my struggles one
day." He was right.
I look back and I see where God
was using those really tough times to prepare me for
a even harder battle to come . . cancer.
Many people recount
times of their greatest blessings. That may have
been a child’s graduation or a wedding, or the birth
of a first child or grandchild.
I shared with our Sunday School class how my
greatest blessing came during my darkest days of
It wasn’t when
the West Michigan Cancer Center and Dr.
Liepman, told me I was being released as their
patient, or even after ten years of being tested
The greatest blessing was when I was in that
fiery furnace and I knew my Lord was there with me.
He was all my strength!
Most people will
remember Hod from the way he could make everyone
smile! Hod and I both liked the crazy humor! I
thought of him just today when I saw a little
This little cat was setting
upright a recliner. He looked exhausted as he looked
ahead with a blank stare.
He was holding a ball cap looking
like he had just collapsed into that chair after a
long hard day at work. The caption read “My wife gets hit by a bus, and I
lose my job as a bus driver all in the same day.”
About two weeks before his
funeral I stopped in to visit Hod. He had already
lost most of his sight, and most of his hearing.
This really robbed him of his very most enjoyable
pastimes, reading and music.
He handed me the newspaper and
asked me to check the obituaries . . . to see if he
Two weeks later I was
writing his obituary.
On same day we lost my stepfather, July 3rd, the
bottle club lost a long time member, Ginny
Moran. Ginny’s daughter called to tell me of her
From time to time I would
send a little note along with her newsletter
inquiring about her well being. Usually she
would follow up with a phone call to Chuck.
According to Chuck, she was
very thankful for the newsletter. Over the
last year we lost our connection with
Ginny. Chuck made a few attempts to reach her,
without any luck. For a long time, she was
active in the club and worked by helping at our
spring bottle shows. But, for several years she
was unable to attend the meetings.
For the last couple years Chuck and I paid her
dues. Here are some highlights from her
Elizabeth Virginia "Ginny" Hickory
Corners, MI Ginny, age 81, died Friday evening,
3rd of July, 2020, in Battle Creek, MI.
Ginny was born in Kingsport, TN, on August 5,
1939; was a 1957 graduate of Dobyns-Bennett High
School in Kingsport, TN; received her Bachelor
of Art Studies Degree and moved to this area in
1969. She was a member of the first group of
Peace Corps Volunteers after being founded by
President John F. Kennedy in March of 1961.
Ginny was assigned with 3 other volunteers to
support the people in the village of
Quezaltepeque, Guatemala to teach ways to
improve their country's schools with the
provided aid from the Guatemalan government. She
cherished her time working with the children and
After the Peace Corps, Ginny
moved to Washington D.C to work in the graphic
arts department at the Pentagon. After 3 years
in D.C., she moved to Hickory Corners, MI where
she worked in graphic design and lithography at
LSI-KALA/Schawk of Kalamazoo, MI for over 30
years. Ginny also spent over 20 years making
sand castings and other forms of art to sell at
local art fairs. Ginny loved collecting antiques
and memories from her past. She found her first
antique bottle digging in her garden, she found
great pleasure in her time as a member of the Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club.
Ginny loved spending time with her
granddaughters. She loved reading, being
outside, working in her beautiful garden and
listening to the birds in her quiet country
This Thanksgiving I am so very thankful for each
For a theme this month, let’s bring in seasonal
bottles and recent finds.
We have been having fun getting mountains of
leaves raked up and all of our winterizing done.
It has been difficult getting a news letter
When our Governor issued a Stay At Home order, I
was closed for about 4 weeks in my store. I
still came to work each day, with the CLOSED sign up, as I
focused on e-Bay detector sales . . . which did
Then, when I
reopened the store, I could not believe how busy
I became! People returned to outdoor recreation
and hobbies! Sporting good sales were through
the roof! I just wish this had happened when I
hoping to see all of you at the next meeting. This could be the most
important meeting in club history. For
those of you who read the newsletters in far
away lands, thank you for supporting the club.
The Kalamazoo Antique Bottle
Will be meeting
November, 10th at the
Otsego area Historical Society Museum, at
located at 218 N. Farmer St. Otsego, MI
meeting starts at
call . . . 269-685-1776
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