Vol. 11 No. 1                                                                                                             September 2012
The Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Club News
Member Club of the F.O.H.B.C.

Bottle Club Meeting This Month!

This month!!

    Hi gang! I hope this letter finds all of you in good health. I haven't heard from many of you since the club picnic. I do know that our club president's wife, Connie Parker had a stroke and has been going in each day for therapy. We should all keep the Chuck and Connie in our prayers.

    I tried to reach Chuck this Labor day weekend without any luck, so I am hoping they were able to get out to Sandy Pines for the weekend.

    Update: Yes they did get out to Sandy Pines for the weekend, and Connie has finished her therapy for the time being, but it is going to take several months for her to really get back in the swing of things.

    I'm sure you can tell that Chuck called me back. I asked him if he had any words of "welcome back" he would want me to share with you, and he said, "Yes, tell them that their dues are now due!"

    OK, don't be too disappointed, sometimes it is hard for Chuck to show his love, so he also said, "Tell everyone we will have a short meeting at the library, then head on over to Bimbo's for pizza!"

    I had a feeling you would like that! I'm not sure if that is Chuck's way of showing love for you . . . or pizza?

   Our first meeting is September 11th at the main Kalamazoo Library located at 315 South Rose Street. We meet on the third floor in the Conference Room.

    There is just one catch to the pizza party, your dues must be paid. But just think about this for a moment; The dues are $10.00 and the pizza and pop is free! And we are talking about Bimbo's Pizza! What a deal! Even President Obama can't top that . . . not even with anchovies!

Recent Bottle Finds

    I am afraid that I have very little bottle news to report. As I am very sure that I don't need to tell you, it has been too hot for digging! I did however find two bottles this summer quite by accident.

    The first one was discovered around the 4th of July. We went over to pick up my granddaughter, at her other grandma's house on Walnut Street. My wife went up to the house to get her, while I waited in the car . . . as usual. It is always a big production and usually I am in for a long wait. In this case my granddaughter forgot where she put her shoes so the time it took was a good half hour!

    So, as I am waiting, I am trying to stay very well aware of my surroundings. It is a frightening part of town, and more than once I have been approached by a beggar. So I am trying to look like I am minding my own business and at the same time, be ever on the lookout.

    Then, I noticed something that just looked strange to me. It was a bottle in the middle of an empty lot and it was sitting upright in the middle of a pet food dish. I knew it was a bottle, but it didn't dawn on me that it could be old. I kept studying the thing, just because it didn't look right somehow, and it was maybe 20 yards away. It didn't look like a modern soda or beer bottle, or juice drink container . . . it just puzzled me.

    I didn't get out of the car but my curiosity was getting the best of me. By that time my wife and granddaughter showed up, and before my wife got into the car, I asked, "What sort of bottle is that?"

     To my surprise, without saying a word my wife walked over and picked it up.

    It was an old, 7 ounce, crown top, slug-plate beer bottle from Jackson Michigan in perfect shape. It reads: CEO W. LOMBARD, JACKSON MICH. CONTENTS REG. 7 FL. OZ.

    OK, so now I want to know where it came from, and why is it standing in the empty lot in a pet dish?

     should leave this for a quiz for each of you to guess at! I am ashamed that I wasn't able to figure it all out by myself, but I didn't.

    As it turns out, there is a brush line in the back of the property where the kids play. In the very hot weather that we have had this summer, even the shade from poison ivy was welcome to the kids!

    My daughter said, "Your grandson found it in the brush, and there are more. We were using it to shoot off bottle rockets,"

    It is amazing the stuff the kids find digging around on this property!

    At first opportunity, I did a Internet search on "CEO W. Lombard" and I found a much older, prettier example in light-blue aqua on e-Bay for $9.99. So, it isn't rare, but at least it gave me something to write about in the newsletter!

    The next bottle, I found while metal detecting in the western U.P. on vacation. I heard a target with my metal detector which turned out to be a modern coin but when I tried to scoop it up. . . I had a bottle in my scoop! It to is a 7- ounce crown-top bottle with a slug plate type logo. This one says, "JOHN DAHLSTROM ISHPEMING MICH."

    Even if it were a rare one, which it is not, it has the most unusual crack that runs up the side, from top to bottom as straight as a mold seam.

    Another bottle I now have was a gift from a friend this summer. He found it in a construction dig near Kalamazoo. I already have another example of this bottle in a deep blood- red color, this one is a honey amber. You guys correct me if I am wrong, I think they are a whiskey or perhaps gin bottle? I do know they are fairly common, I see them pop up quite often, but they are very cool none the less. It is a paneled J.A. GILKA, BERLIN, SCHUTZEN STREET No.9 An interesting thing for this type of alcohol beverage-bottle is that it says, "This bottle is not sold." So they must have refilled them!

    And the bottle has J.A. Gilka's signature in beautiful cursive across one panel.

    OK the next one is a bottle that I have only heard of two times. The first time was at the last Kalamazoo Antique Bottle Show where I wrote about it. Here is what I had said:

"Bill Riley also dug a very rare Collins & Chapman, Wheeling WV Fruit Jar! It has a sheared top, and at one time it had an iron ring and wax sealer. Without the steel ring, it is a $1,200 to $1,500 dollar jar! With a reproduction ring, it could bring $5,000!!!

    So, as my story continues, a fellow from out- east found a bottle in some family treasures that just became his, so he decided to research them. That is when he found the article in our newsletter online. He called me and told me what was going on, so I instructed him to send me an e-mail and I would do some research.

    Several club members came to mind, and very likely you were one of them! The first guy I thought of because of the article was Bill Riley. Then I thought about Doug Leyborne, because he was the one Bill got his bottle's value from. Then I am thinking, "I don't have a direct connection to Doug, but I am pretty sure my buddy Elmer Ogg does!"

    Elmer got my e-mail and answered it within the hour I sent it. He told me that he had been digging with Doug that very day! So, Elmer forwarded my letter to Doug.

    For 15 years I have been trying to keep my original e-mail address, because nothing is more annoying to me than someone who has had 8 different addresses each year. The company who now owns my original service provider is called Core Com instead of Net-Link. This company, Core Com has a spam filter that is suppose to be trainable . . . but it is not!

    I get all the crap I don't want, and have to go search through a mountain of junk mail to find the stuff that I do want! That is suppose to make my life easier? Anyway, Doug's response was lost in my Spam Folder and I couldn't find it.

    Thinking the fellow was wondering what happened to me, I finally gave Bill Riley a call. The first thing Bill told me was that he has Doug's latest book! And Bill told me that his Collins & Chapman jar was the first ½ gallon ever seen! And in the book, that jar is $2,500 and with the iron ring closure $5,000!!!

    The bottle this man has is a quart size, in perfect condition, from 1840, with seal and still contains fruit preserves!!!! Being a complete quart size Doug thinks it would be worth $2,500 but in an auction with contents??? It could go for much more!

    On the metal detecting scene, I had a blast on the first 4 days of my vacation. The U.P. was just as hot and dry as it was down here, so I went detecting in a little local lake. That is where I found the old beer bottle. Us water hunters are always looking for lost gold jewelry, which I didn't find.

    I do have a friend who found a beautiful, large, Victorian Era brooch in the oldest Kalamazoo Park and it is solid gold! It is beautiful! He had damaged the pin-clasp so he had a local jeweler repair and clean it.

    My daughter called to tell me that she found a Confederate coin in her change from the corner store. Before I had the chance to look at it, I realized she meant "counterfeit coin." I have to admit, it would leave most people scratching their head in wonder. It is an 1868 Silver 3 cent piece! Not worth a whole lot, but it is interesting that it had found its way into circulation!

Vacation Adventure!

    I mentioned last summer in a newsletter, we found a great deal on a motor home. With gas prices where they are, it is a buyers market! (Or fool's market) It is a 27 foot London Aire made by a company named, Neumar. It is an 1984 on a Ford Chassis with a 460 cubic inch engine and 1-ton van chassis. I was selling motor homes in the 1980's and I sold a lot of them, but not a London Aire.

    With this chassis, with the van cab, they call these a class "C" motor home. The class "A" motor homes are the full-box units that are not built on a van chassis, but the entire unit, including the drivers area, is built on a truck chassis or "Rail," as they are called.

    The class C units that we sold, back when I was selling, were: Lark, Travel- Mate, Midas, Yellowstone and Champion. Our biggest seller was the Midas which was very popular. The unit that we sold as our high-end, high-quality, unit was the Yellowstone Country Club. We stocked mostly the Dodge chassis units and most were 318 engines for the small units, and 440 for the large.

    If you took a large Midas and loaded it with everything that our coach has which includes: Cab Air, Cruise Control, Swivel Captain and Co-pilot Seats, Running Boards, Monitor Panel, Deluxe Zip-Dee Awning, Roof Air, Double Door Refrig., Micro Wave, Standard Oven, Power Range Hood, Roof Rack & Ladder, Roof Storage Pod, Reese Hitch, Electric Brake control, 4000 KW Onan Generator, 40,000 BTU Auto Ignition Furnace . . . . and the list goes on! Some of these items were not even available on the Midas, and the Ford Chassis was an upgrade!

    I remember sitting at my desk many times, with a local farmer wearing bib- overalls taking delivery on his new loaded-up motor home, and he would count out 15 musty smelling thousand dollar bills into my hand.

    Now, if you wanted a coach like our London Aire, you had to go to the dealer in Holland Mi. "Holland Motor Coach." A loaded 27 foot London Aire Princess was about $50,000 in 1984 dollars!

    The one we purchased was on consignment to a used car dealer in Kalamazoo and it was part of an estate. The unit had been stored inside and had less than 20-K on the odometer! It is a beautiful rig and it handles and drives like new! They had it priced at $11,000 and I offered $6,000 and we settled on $7,000. I rebuilt the brakes and a few other items.

    We have a predetermined vacation route and time schedule. At two of our stops, it is always nice to have our "running around" vehicle, so I wanted to tow my little car. It is a little 2300 lb. 5-speed car well suited for flat towing with a basic tow bar. But, it just seemed like the motor home's brakes had all they could handle without the additional weight. So, I started searching for a tow- dolly with electric brakes.

    I found a good deal on one in Grand Rapids at Campers World. It is a Roadmaster Brand and it was already assembled and on sale!

    I had an awful time working with the nylon straps that go over the tires to hold the car in place. I could get them on, but I had an awful time getting them off! I kept checking them at each stop and they would always need re-tightening.

    When we were almost to Mackinaw City, I checked the straps and one side was unhooked! Scared me to death! I thought of that motorcycle rider who followed us for the last 100 miles! Little did he know God was watching out for him and I!

    I just couldn't get the straps out of the rachet! I spent time in the rain fighting with the things, and I cannot tell you how mad I was! That night at the campground I took time to read the instructions. Yep, should have done that first! The system works fairly easy once you know how!

    After spending four delightful days in Amasa with Deb's folks, we headed for the Soo Locks, going west on M-28 across what is known as the Sceney Stretch. That is a long straight highway that goes through the middle of nowhere! You better hope you don't break down or need gas!

    At about the halfway point, the road winds its way into the beautiful city of Munising on the Munising Bay, well know for the Glass Bottom Shipwreck and Pictured Rocks Tours. We always stop for lunch at the Dog Patch Restaurant and top off the fuel tanks, so it is always a welcome site.

    Just before I rolled into town, I switched over from my front gas tank, to the full rear tank. Within a couple minutes I slowly rolled up to the first traffic light . . . when I lost all power! I was still rolling and I was able to steer over to the curb. I was half blocking a Dairy Queen Driveway.

    All systems had seemed OK, the engine temp was normal, and the oil pressure had been good. I had remember seeing the fuel line, leading into the carburetor, wrapped in aluminum foil which made me think at some point it may have had a vapor lock problem. After all, my outside thermometer was showing that it was 90 out!

    When I could see it wasn't going to start right up, I figured I would just let it cool-off so I popped off the engine dog-house and opened the hood. I figured if I could get it to fire, for just a second, it would be OK. So, what do you know! Across the street is a N.A.P.A. store.

    They were busy so I waited my turn. When I went to pay for the starting fluid I ask the man at the counter if there was someone local who could tow me off the highway, and if their was a mechanic that he would recommend?

    His answers showed very little compassion, and they were right to the point. The nearest tow truck was 10 miles back in the town of Christmas, and the guy next door at Skip's Auto would be a good one to talk to.

    I took my starting fluid back and climbed up behind the wheel. I gave the carb A quick spray then cranked the engine. I could not believe what I was seeing! Gas was pumping out the carb vent tubes! It was like watching Old Faithful!

    I went over to Skip's Auto and talked to the manager, who sent one of his employees over with a tow strap and his big 4X4 to pull us behind the shop. When we were off the street, we were able to really check things over carefully. It looked like I had picked up something in the fuel that had caused my floats to stick.

    We pulled the carb and they told me that they would not be able to get a rebuild kit until the next day. So there we sat. That is when we realized what a beautiful place we were stuck at! Right out our window was a little park and we could see all the way out to Lake Superior! You couldn't have bought a better campsite!

    We could watch the tour boats come and go, and I got out my scanner and we could listen to the tour boat traffic. It almost made me forget about our problem! I fired up the generator for a while so that we could use electric and I was even in a WIFI hot spot! There was a large youth group down in the park, and I noticed some people carrying boxes of pizza down to them, so I am thinking, hot pizza!

    We could have been literally miles from nowhere had we broke down 30 minutes sooner or later! The next morning with the carb all fixed, she still would not fire. So then we checked for spark and that is when we discovered the timing had jumped big-time!

    They could not work it in for a few days so we unhooked the little car and headed for the Soo Locks for dinner then to Mackinaw City for the night.

    The owner of Skip's Auto had a wedding to go to down in Sturgis MI. And he said that he would bring the motor home down to us! At the last minute he learned that idea would not work out because it was his brother's wedding and he had to haul a bunch of stuff back to the U.P.

    So we drove back up the 400 miles and drove it home. She runs like a watch, and we are even getting better gas mileage! What surprised me was that Ford had used a metal timing gear with plastic teeth! They tell me that was to make the engine quieter. Now, we have a metal gear with metal teeth and I can't hear any difference. Driving that motor home is such a pleasure! Can't wait for the next adventure!

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 Tuesday, SEPT 11th. Meeting starts at 7:00 pm.

For questions:

e-mail prostock@net-link.net

                                                                                Or call 269-685-1776