into His gates with Thanksgiving and into
His courts with praise!
Here I am
again, all of you antique bottle lovers!
I’m here to wish you and yours a
bountiful harvest season, one
overflowing with thankfulness, for God’s
many rich blessings.
Because of the constraints of time, I
was going to recycle as much as possible
from the November 2021 club newsletter.
Frankly, I really got myself
‘Caught In a Trap,’ and no, that is not
from my new hit single, Suspicious
Minds. That was Elvis not Alvis. . . as
Chuck fondly called me.
The last two weeks of October really
turned around to bite me hard, really
I had lost my Optometrist and my General
Physician, both to retirement. I could
be to blame, just for making them rich.
The real problem was, I was
dragging my feet when it came to finding
some new doctors.
Finally, my wife put her foot down. She
reminded me about how I need to keep up
with things because of my diabetes. Her
main concern was my eyes. It had been
three years since my last checkup, which
in my case, should be every year.
After all the testing, the doctor wrote
me a new prescription for glasses, but
he surprised me when he said, “I need to see you
again in a couple weeks.”
I didn’t know what to expect, and
right-away the doctor's team started out
with a test. It was like a video game!
All they asked me to do was click a hand
device whenever I spotted a tiny flash
A couple times I clicked when I
shouldn’t have, and a few times I
clicked too late, but it all seemed to
work as it was suppose to.
At the end of the appointment Doc said,
“I saw something that concerned me at
your last visit, but I wanted to run
this test to confirm what I saw.”
The test revealed that I have Glaucoma.
It is far more advanced in my right eye.
The test is a form of measuring your
peripheral vision. Most people think of
the vision you see off to the side, but
it also can effect sight above and below
your line-of-sight. In my right eye, I
am losing my site looking down. In that
eye it is pretty well advanced. I also
have it coming on, but at a much slower
rate in my left eye.
So, there is medicine, but it can only
be slowed and not stopped.
later, on the last weekend in October, I
had to go into the pharmacy to pick up
my new eye medication. The wife and I
had been talking about getting flu
shots, so I got both of us on the list.
My pharmacist said, “Al, I see you haven’t
had your second Covid booster, do you
want that as well?”
So, we took care of business, and yes,
we were glad to get that taken care of.
That evening my wife told me she had an
overwhelming sense of peace come over
her, I love when that happens.
We had been
battling several home repairs issues,
car issues, and some legal issues with
my granddaughter’s social security, but
everything seemed to be finally coming
That night in bed I started to get a
burning-tightness in my chest. I took an
Alka~Seltzer and returned to bed. It
gradually got much worse and the pain,
with burning, spread to my back and
abdomen and was getting stronger every
minute. It was terrible pain!
given me some paperwork, the “Fine
Print” with the Pfizer Covid Vaccine,
and the warnings included; chest
discomfort or tightness, chest pain,
possible moving to the left arm, neck,
or shortness of breath! Hey, that’s me!
Then it said;
GET TO THE
By this time, I was in so much pain that
I didn’t feel I could even drive! I
grabbed the Vaccine papers and away we
has retired from Bronson after 44 years,
and I am very well versed with that
Hospital scene. I was shocked to check
into the E.R. and see we were all alone!
They have a
strict protocol for “Chest Pain,”
but, I think my suspicion, regarding the
vaccine, caught them a little off guard.
I waited for an hour in the waiting area
before my wife demanded I be seen!
I was 5 hours in a treatment cubical
with a pain level at 10! But, because I
presented them with a theory that they
were puzzled by, well, they were afraid
to make any mistakes.
(I am my own worse
enemy at times)
Finally, after I couldn’t help but
groan-out-loudly!!!! in terrible pain,
without stopping, they started an
IV drip and gave me pain medicine. After
a while the pain level dropped to a 6 or
7 level but it was still unbearable! I
was completely sure this was a heart
attack and very likely not survivable.
They rushed me in for a C.T. Scan of my
chest and abdomen, and next they
did a ultrasound. They found that
I had a badly infected gall bladder! And
it was full of stones, and leaking puss!
The pain was caused when the infection
started draining acid over onto my
pancreas. The fluid was so toxic it was
burning the pancreas with real acid!
They rushed me in for emergency surgery!
The gall bladder walls were like
leather! The organ was removed through
my belly button! They used special tools
coming at 4 different angles. My belly
now looks like the post mortem photos of
Clyde Barrow after the FBI machine gun
The good news is; this condition was
dragging me down for a very long time,
perhaps a couple years! I had dismissed
my weakness as part of the aging
process. Apart from loads of stitches
and staples . . . I am feeling pretty
good. I missed a few days of work, but I
did mulch-and-bag 20 bags of
leaves! And, I was working with a 15
However, seeing that I am unloading!
I am deeply concerned about America’s
current politics of destruction. Many
people are found at a point of
desperation, just to feed their
families! We are in trouble folks, and
it is coming down to a test that has
been lain before us by God . . . for
We have a chance to vote on key issues,
which will reflect on our reverence for
God. I am deeply concerned for America.
Our meeting falls on election day,
So, the next thing I know, I wake up and
(BAM!) the month starts on a
Tuesday, and I haven’t started a
newsletter! I am afraid I am going to
disappoint folks this month.
With everything considered, we had a
good turnout last month. The
sign-up sheet showed the names of these
smiling faces! Vincent
Nickerson, Kelly Bobbitt,
there is a new Sweetwater’s Donut Mill
that has opened in Plainwell, I still
have managed to shed about 20
pounds! No, I can’t explain it? ( now I can . . .
At the last
meeting, we enjoyed a gallon of fresh
Michigan cider and a dozen fresh donuts!
They were good! Nothing says harvest
time like fresh apple cider. Also,
others brought in Halloween baked goods!
As usual we had a great time!
Some interesting bottles at the last
meeting. But here is where I am going to
disappoint you. My photos did not pick
up the embossing well on the bottles and
my notes were not good at all.
I know that some of
you bring items that are simply “For
Sale” and not extra special . . . but
I don’t always know what items are
special to you. I wish you would take
time to help me out by bringing a list
of the bottles you bring in, those to
be included on the web page and
Here are some of the items I can make
Scott Hendrichsen brought in several
bottles including a Aseltine Cider Mill,
clear gallon jug with paper label.
Aseltines started pressing apple cider
in 1900 and still does. My wife loves
the fall because of the colorful trees.
That is all well and good. She got a
good dose of it just a couple weeks back
when she traveled back to the Western
U.P. for her father’s memorial service.
The only things I look forward to in
fall, in west Michigan, is fresh apples
and cider. My first real job, outside of
working for my dad, was working for
Charlie Andrews at Andrews Cider Mill in
claim they only squeeze whole apples.
We on the other hand, shoveled apples
out of the holding bins onto a conveyor
which dumped the apples into a chute.
The apples dropped down onto a
knife-grinder which cut them into small
If you don’t grind your product, you
cannot take full advantage of all the
rich worm fluids.
The chopped apples dropped into a flat
wood pallet covered in a course burlap.
When the burlap is full, it is folded
over the apple, another wood rack, more
burlap is filled about 6 inches deep,
and the process is repeated until the
stack in the press is about 5 feet high.
When the press is activated the raw
cider flows out like liquid gold.
After the press was finished, the
pulp was dumped in piles behind the mill
and hauled away for animal feed and you
guessed it, worm beds.
We sold mostly
unpasteurized cider at the mill that was
bottled straight from the press. The
only difference in the product that was
going to the stores, was a touch of
benzoate of soda. Soda benzoate inhibits
the growth of bacteria, yeast and mold.
This white powder was in a folded cloth
the cider was filtered through.
Nothing we made was pasteurized, not
when I was there.
People came from all over to buy Andrews
Cider! If you wanted your own apples
pressed into cider, your load was
weighed and added to the appropriate
bin, but, what we pressed was a special
mixture of apple varieties for the best
Apples pressed late in the season
had the highest sugar content and made
the best natural sweet cider. I no
longer trust our mass food production
techniques. Many modern products can
actually be flavored water!
Scott had a one pint dairy bottle
Grand Rapids, Mich. I went
online to see what is out there to be
learned. I wish I had the time to pick
Steve DeBoode’s vast wisdom on this. Was
this “Grand Rapids” Kroger a family
dairy, or was the bottle provided to the
giant Kroger store chain? The Kroger
stores were based in Ohio with many
different outlets in Michigan.
I found only one reference to these
bottles online. That source was a
newsletter from the
Bottle Club, dated January
2019, where a member named Ron Smith has
Scott displayed a whiskey bottle from Kellerstrass
Distilling Company from Saint
Louis MO. This distillery opened in 1888
and closed in 1916. The bottle is clear
and highly embossed.
Another of Scott’s bottles is a clear
embossed wine bottle from:
Wine Cellars, J.D. Davis Prop.
There is so much to learn about this
great country! The Lake Erie Grape Belt
has more than “30,000" vineyard acres,
along a 50-mile Lake Erie coast
including 23 wineries known collectively
as Lake Erie Wine Country in Chautauqua
County, and in neighboring Pennsylvania.
Growers in Chautauqua County produce
approximately 65% of New York State’s
total annual grape harvest, which is
then used in products sold in more than
35 countries around the globe.
Concord grapes (best known for the
production of jelly, jams, juices, and,
yes - wines) have made their mark on the
region for generations.
fact, Chautauqua County is the largest
U.S. grape-cultivating region
east of the Rockies and the largest
global Concord growing region.
OK there it is,
another thing to love about fall is
fresh picked grapes!
I am running out of time as well as
energy. I will add more from our October
bottle sharing in the online version or
next month. Hopefully I will find more
strength by then.
something I wrote back in September
and I use it to here to fill some
space, I hope you find it helpful.
I was given the honor to emcee our class
of 1970, 50th year reunion. Clearly, we
were disrupted, like the entire world,
by two years because of Covid. Well,
better late than never.
I joked with a friend after the second
cancellation saying, "At our age, this
should save the class some money on
When the reunion committee handed me the
materials I needed to follow at the big
event, one was a list of 40 of our
classmates who have already passed into
eternity. I was on hand at two of those
deaths before graduation. It smacked me
face-first. . . this was nothing
to joke about.
reminded the class (I love these folks
dearly) that this very sad list is going
to continue to grow, until at some point
the final name will be added.
on to talk about my interest in the
study of genealogy. I was able to learn
of three great grandfathers from Otsego
MI, who went off to fight in the Civil
War. Not a single one put down his plow
to fight when it was simply a matter of
preserving the Union, but when it became
a matter of slavery they dropped what
they were doing and marched off to war.
Our Class Reunion was held at the
beautiful Lynk Golf Course, west of
Otsego. When my great, great, great
grandfather, Martin Harter dropped his
plow and picked up his rifle it was on
that very land where we were meeting . .
. that was the farm he owned.
able to obtain their military records,
and letters, in their own handwriting
from the government!
I was also
interested in my grandfather on my
mother’s side, Max Loebel. He migrated
here in the 1920's from Germany to New
York on the steamship “Yorck” from
Denmark. I was able to get a copy of the
ships manifest with the complete
passenger list. It listed his weight and
height and general description. And I
also found a photo of the ship.
remembered looking through the hundreds
of names until I found his! That was an
amazing feeling, one that is hard to
that list of our deceased class
members, to that ship’s manifest that I
acquired from the Steamship Yorck.
It truly can
be likened to a passenger list, where
everyone has a mandatory one-way ticket
into eternity. But, we tend not to think
of it. I have written obituary notices
and funeral eulogies, have been a
pallbearer a number of times, but even
still, I rarely think about; “when will
it be me?”
Well, that time comes for everyone. On
that long trip we find only two stops,
on only one stop the ticket holder has
no need of a ticket, and that stop is
simply marked "FINAL
JUDGMENT" were every soul will
be checked, for permanently soiled
contraband that which is not allowed
into God's Holy Heaven, then, eternally
rejected and cast away.
other stop is marked "PREJUDGED"
where the ticket holder will find the
only requirement is a ticket that was
gifted them by faith, where it is
written in the rarest form of Sinless
Blood. A blood seal that knows no
substitute and it cannot be
stained tickets can still be obtained
with repentance and faith in the only
sinless Son of God . . . the Lord Jesus
Christ. Accept no substitutes. As His
agent, I can gladly help.
My father used to say,
"The mark of a true idiot is
someone who lives out this life
without preparing for the
THEME THIS MONTH,
HARVEST TIME AND RECENT FINDS!
Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club
Will be meeting November, 8th at
the Otsego area Historical Society
Museum at 7:00, located at 218 N. Farmer
St. Otsego, MI 49078
meeting starts at 7:00 pm.