Vol. 9 No. 9                                                                                                                       September 2011
Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club News
Member Club of the F.O.H.B.C.

Club Recovers After Cash Infusion! Money Burning Hole In Purse!

Great Headline?

    I thought so too! Hey, it's only money! And after all, we are a non-profit organization! If there is anything we have learned from the leadership in Washington, it is "Spend it if you got it . . . and even if you don't!"

    According to President Chuck Parker, we received a cash infusion from John Pastor from the proceeds of the last bottle show. I understand John took a smaller percentage fee for his invaluable part in putting the show together, and that was a big boost to the club's bottom line. I only know a small amount of what's going on in John's busy life right now, and just thinking about it has me ready for a nap! Thanks, John for all you do for us!

    The final numbers for the overall show tells us that we sold fewer tables this year, and the walk-in traffic was off a little. Sadly, some of the usual table space that was left unoccupied this year was because the hobby has lost some more good people-- like "Bottle Bob." I hate to see that for the obvious reason, but what really worries me is that I don't see a lot of younger people getting into our hobby.

    We were told that John cut a little fat out of the advertising budget and that helped even things out somewhat. I know! You advertising people will freak out hearing that. And yes, I know, I have heard it for decades, "Advertising doesn't cost, it pays."

    The truth is, the saying should be, "Smart advertising doesn't cost, it pays."

    If ever there was anyone who knows how to waste advertising dollars, it is yours truly! Actually, come to think of it, I must be a good salesman, because I have been told "The easiest guy to sell to is a salesman!" Well, I'm a push over!

    We had a good turnout at the last meeting! Following are the members I remember seeing: Our good friend, and club founding-member, Ernie Lawson was at the meeting! It is always a joy to visit with Ernie! Edward Nickerson, Elmer Ogg, Chuck Parker, Mary Hamilton, Bill Drake, Dee Cole, Scott Hendrichsen and me, Al Holden.

    Also, we had a guest, Clay Bosfero! Clay is an old friend who has been into metal detecting for years (that is how we met). Clay has been interested in antique bottles as long as I have known him. I have been telling Clay for years that he should come to one of the meetings. . . he finally made it! I shouldn't have been surprised to learn that most of you already know Clay. That may make another case for our jail overcrowding problem! Sorry, with this bunch that may not be good joke material!

    It is always good to see Elmer Ogg. Elmer has to make a very long drive down from Muskegon! Elmer filled us in on what is going on with the club up his way. We also got a report from Scott, Chuck and Elmer on a bottle show and sales event they had in West Olive, MI. Even though it rained that day, the guys all had a blast! Listening to them made me sorry I missed it!

    We did see a few neat bottles at the meeting. Frankly, we have been seeing so many great bottles lately because of that big Alamo dig, I think we are getting spoiled! At the last meeting, the bottle that really stood out in my mind was a beautiful Lockshore Dairy bottle that Kevin had on display. Yes, it is a beauty!

    I do have the same bottle but mine is more than a little rough. Kevin's is in amazing condition! It is a pyro-glaze World War II vintage bottle that was promoting War Bonds! It reads,

"Pledge Your Support! Buy War Bonds or Stamps Regularly."

    Another interesting bottle that we saw was a new one to me, but others at the meeting said that it was rather common. But, to me it isn't just the bottle, it is the story behind it. It was a quart sized Ponce De Leon water bottle from Grand Rapids, Michigan.

    As you may already know, Ponce De Leon sailed with Christopher Columbus in 1493 on Columbus' second voyage to the Americas.

    In 1506, with charge of his own ship, Ponce de León discovered an island named Borinquen. While there, he found large deposits of gold! In 1508 the king of Spain ordered him to explore and colonize the island. He renamed the island Puerto Rico. He was the island's governor for two years until the king replaced him with Columbus' son.

    Hurt by the King's action, Ponce de León sailed again, this time north through the Bahamas heading towards Florida. He was in search of new lands and treasures. He had also heard of a mythical fountain of youth. Indians spoke of a legendary, magical spring whose water was believed to make older people young again. Ponce de León explored many areas, including the Bahamas and Bimini, for both gold and the mythical fountain, but he never found either.

    To make a long story short, Ponce De Leon moved to Grand Rapids, where he started bottling water!

    Actually, the original Ponce de Leon Company was established in 1892. I found the following ad that was published in 1907.


If you want purity in drinking water ask for the Ponce de Leon water and you are sure of getting the best and the purest that money can buy. Its properties for the building up of the system are pronounced and these many years has been known far and wide as the best water in the state. A.W. Hine is the proprietor of the Ponce de Leon Water Co and the prestige Ponce de Leon water enjoys is due to the unique methods employed by Mr. Hine in spreading its fame. Telephone 1382 or call at 98 South Division street Grand Rapids and try the best Ponce de Leon water

Ponce De Leon water bottle, Grand Rapids MI

That frustrated looking gentleman is our club president, Chuck Parker
Chuck has been collecting antique bottles since they were new!

Doctor Marshall's Snuff Bottle

Sales Pitch

One of the things I hate about doing the newsletter is that I know I repeat myself. I caught that virus from Chuck! We love you, Chuck! Have I ever told you that?

We used to be in the RV business as most of you know. It was my father's business and at one point we were the largest RV sales in the state. We had our products at as many public shows as we could. One of my favorite shows to work was the Allegan County Fair.

I guess in circus talk you could say we were in the "Center Ring!" Somehow my father would get display space just inside the main entrance every year. It got to the point that when people thought of the fair, they thought about our RV dealership! On one side was the main entry gate, and on the other side of our display was the Industrial Building. We would always have one of our half-dozen displayed RV's parked up against the Industrial Building and foot traffic coming out of the building had to walk right through the center of our display.

For several years I worked sales at the fair display 4 or more evenings. It took real discipline on my part. It was hard for me to stay with the units and talk to people because I have always loved the fair! I love the Allegan Fair better then any fair I have been to and I have been to the State Fair!! There is just something special about the Allegan Fair that is really hard to describe.

I love the sights, the sounds, the food, the people! But as hard as it was to do, I stayed at my post! What if someone went back to the sales lot and mentioned to my father that they just came from the fair where nobody was around to help them? That was my worst nightmare! What if my father stopped by the fair-display and I wasn't at my post?

Well, he would show up every evening, and then he would say, "Let's go walk around!"

Then it was OK! You couldn't get in trouble leaving your post if it was with the Boss!

Each day I spent hours at the fair display and during some hours things would get a little slow. Especially if they had a good Grand Stand Show going on. Very often, during the evening hours, I would listen to the guy just inside the door of the Industrial Building give his pitch. He spoke through his little live speaker system and it didn't take long for him to draw quite a crowd. Man, he had his pitch down well, it was just like poetry!

It was like one of the Ronco, Veg-O-Matic, do you remember those wonderful kitchen worksavers?

"It slices, it dices, it juliennes too! Just look at these onions! ((bang)) sliced, ((bang)) a second time, diced! And look, no more tears! Soups, salads, desserts or just a quick snack! And there is more! This wonderful little miracle worker practically cleans itself!"

Were you there? Do you remember? It wasn't just that amazing device, there was more! There were those amazing knives that you got as an added bonus! You could core an apple, peel a potato or slice a tomato so cleanly! And they would never dull!

Well, you guessed it! I was his best customer! At one point I think I had more of the little machines then he had! I've told you before, I love listening to a good pitch man!

I can also remember when they had some talented ones working some of the games or hawking some of the sideshows! Nothing, I swear nothing, is as good as it used to be! Today the kids tending the games really don't have their heart in their work. Do you think it may be somehow related to the nose, lip and eyebrow piercings?

If you are a student of antique bottle history, you should be able to spot a con-job a mile off. The history of scamming and hustling for the innocent's hard-earned cash goes way back to Bible times! Remember the scheming and scamming of good-old Jacob? The purchase of the birthright from Esau was taking advantage of his own brother at a weak moment. Yes, and how about the deception of Isaac in order to obtain his father's blessing? Jacob's contract with Laban and his manipulation of the flocks in order to prosper at Laban's expense was hardly ethical.

As Solomon said, "There is no new thing under the sun." I believe in many ways things have changed little since the times of Jacob. Sadly ethics are few and far between in our day as well. The patent medicine sellers were just acting with their ongoing sin problem.

Today it is different, we live in a new era when dishonesty is no longer an issue . . . right? Are we really better off today and less likely to get burned?

How about the cost of gasoline? The stock future speculators are in control of American life! They don't need a real reason to drive up the price of oil. And, they don't care what their greed does to the American people! Any excuse will do! Lately the excuse is "Fear!" That's right, the price of crude oil can jump, not because of what has happened, but what the public can be lead to believe could happen.

In other words our lives are being directly effected by the perceived fears of others. That is how you define terrorism! Remember when America declared war on terrorism? Yes, sadly that was with a different President. I think in many ways we have lost that war.

When a needed commodity is placed into the hands of corrupt people they are going to be turning-up rocks looking for any excuse to raise prices. Of course the bottom line is there is BILLIONS of dollars to be made every passing hour!

What does all this have to do with antique bottles? It has to do with everything in the American life! Did you ever think you would live to see antique game boards and furniture in a Heckler Auction? I'm not saying there is anything wrong with that, you have to do what you have to do! The bills have to be paid and groceries purchased.

Most of you know that I have been a hobby dealer who specializes in metal detectors. Things are quickly changing at my shop. Instead of most people looking-to-me when they want to buy a detector, they are looking-to-me when they want to sell a detector!

I do enjoy some benefits from this bad economy, it is not all doom-and-gloom for me. The higher price of gold and silver has been inspiring more people to go metal detecting. One of the manufactures came out with a great waterproof detector which is selling at a very affordable price. Last summer, if you wanted a USED late model waterproof detector, I had to put you on a waiting list! If you were patient enough one would come along but rarely for under $600.00!

This new unit (after average discount) is only $599.00 brand-new with a 2 year warranty! (Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to sell stuff here.) The hot weather has had the public beaches filled with swimmers. At one point I was told Lake Michigan was as warm as bath water! And for the last 200 years people have been splashing around in our Michigan Lakes and losing coins and jewelry!

One of my buddies scooped a ring out of the sand recently made out of platinum with over 40 high quality diamonds. He had it professionally appraised at $12,000.00!!

This Month

Here is the good news with the bad news. I'll give you the bad news first. It is time to collect our 2010 dues. Hey, come on it is only $10.00.

Also, this month we will be meeting at our usual location for some brief club business. They we will be all headed to Bimbo's Pizza to finish the meeting elbow deep in the best Pizza in Michigan! The pizza party is open to members in good standing and you can bring your spouse.

Want to mail in your club dues? Send the following information along with a check or money order for $10.00 payable to K.A.B.C. . . . .send to:

Phone#_____________________Cell #____________________
Collecting Interests____________________________________
Cell # is for mobile phone not location within the prison system

The Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club meets at the main downtown Kalamazoo Library, located at 315 South Rose Street. We meet on the third floor in the conference room. This meeting is September 13th. Meeting starts at 7:00 pm. For questions e-mail prostock@net-link.net

Or call 269-685-1776