|Vol. 4 No.9 September 2007|
|KALAMAZOO ANTIQUE BOTTLE CLUB NEWS|
|Member club of the F.O.H.B.C.|
|SUMMER'S OVER! BACK TO SCHOOL!|
I hated to see ads in the newspaper for those "Back to School Sales." Man, that really took the wind out of my sails. I really wasn't a bad student. I did my work, I studied hard, but I didn't enjoy it at all. When I finally graduated out of the higher education system, I really started learning-- and the learning never stops! Surprisingly, I have discovered that I still hate ads for 'Back to School!' I guess I relate school time with the onset of fall, then another one of those dreadful Michigan winters!
Well, if you are like me and have the late summer blues, here is a sure fire pick-me-up! The 2007-2008 Antique Bottle Club season gets underway again with our first meeting on September 11th! This is going to be a meeting that you will want to attend for several great reasons!
The number one reason to be excited about this meeting is that your bottle collecting friends will be there! I wanted to say "all be there" and I hope they will be! You know the old saying, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder!" I can just picture all that hugging right now, can't you?
Another reason you will want to be Johnny-on-the- spot is because of that ten-spot which is burning a hole in your pocket! We are going to give you an opportunity to shed yourself of that "filthy lucre!" Yes, it is time to take advantage of your right as a free American and pay your club dues! What a country! Do you have any idea how many people sneak across our borders for a chance to belong to the bottle club of their own choosing? You will see President Chuck Parker with his hand out at this meeting, giving each of us the opportunity to 'belong.' What a blessing that should be!
Yes, I have yet another reason for everyone to show up! Chuck was told that, in order for us to reserve the spacious Van Deusen Room, we must have a group of ten or more present! So, we need some noses to count! If the head librarian pokes her head into the meeting room and doesn't count ten or more happy faces, we may be in serious trouble! I was told at a very early age that all librarys have dungeons where chained prisoners cut out bookmarks from morning to night and dine on bookworms and water!
Can you stand just one more reason to come to the September meeting? Well, I have the best one yet! This month you will have an opportunity to see the fruit of this summer's digging! That's right! It may have been hot and dry, but that didn't slow our diggers! I can tell you I have seen and heard about some great treasure! This month's theme will be Summer Treasure! You will not want to miss this one!
We seemed to miss our chance to have a summer cookout. Don't you wish the winter months would fly by like the summer months? I guess we are getting lazy in our old age, because somehow setting in an air-conditioned pizza parlor while someone waits on us hand-and-foot is very enticing. All we need to do is set a date for a fun night out at Bimbo's Pizza. Make some notes with the dates that work for you and bring them along to the meeting! At this meeting we will find a date that works well for everyone!
President Chuck Parker, Scott Hendrickson and Mike Hade have teamed up this summer to join history's famous threesomes like the Musketeers, Stooges and Blind Mice! The reports that I have been hearing are that these guys have been having a great time!
When I first considered bottle digging, the first obstacle that I could envision was putting forth a ton of hard work only to discover some other digger had beat me to the pit! It wasn't long before my fears were realized! The pit we were digging showed promise all the way to the bottom. This hope was in the form of hand-finished utility bottles. These plain-Jane antique bottles caused us to push on, only to find cigarette butts and empty Pepsi cans at the bottom.
To this day, I cannot figure who this digger was because I could not think of any smokers who dig . . can you? Mike Hade pointed out a tell tale sign of a pre-dug privy that I had forgotten . . . fresh cut roots! Not all of the pits that they dug were spoiled by other diggers! Actually, the guys have found more that their share of bountiful honey pits!
Chuck managed to add some beauties to his collection! A few of Chuck's recent finds are:
1. Conrad Brothers Druggists, Otsego, Michigan
2. Doctor I.J. Babcock, 15 North Burdick Street Kalamazoo, Mich.
3. Professor Low's Worm Syrup, Philada.
4. John F. Henry & Company, Hall's Balsam for the Lungs, New York.
5. Dr. D. Jaynes, Tonic Vermifuge, 242 Chest Street, Philada.
The first one is something that you have to see!
1. Mocha Child's Chamber Pot with sea weed pattern. This is a beautiful piece! Yes, the color is right, the condition is perfect and even the rim is chipped!
"Hey, Al! If it is chipped, how can you say it is perfect?"
"This beauty was chipped before it was glazed!"
Come to the meeting and check this treasure out!
2. Pepper Sauce Bottle, dated 1875 pat.
3. Aqua Cone Ink
4. Stoneware Ink
5. Assorted Clay Pipes & Doll Parts.
1. Doctor J. Blackman's Genuine Healing Balsam (O.P.)
2. Geo. McDonald Druggist, Corner of Main and Burdick Street (large variant)
3. Richards & Huntley, People's Drug Store, Saranac Mich.
4. Stoneware Beer
5. H.E. Bucklen & Co. Chicago, Il Electric Bitters
6. Osgoods India Cholagugue N.Y.
This is a list of shows that I found in the National Bottle Museum newsletter. I'm just listing the ones on our side of the planet.
West Michigan Antique Bottle Club Show.
Contact Elmer Ogg
Perkin Bottle Collectors Assoc.
Contact: Jim Searle
Delmarva Antique Bottle Club
Contact: Peter Beaman
Ohio Bottle Club
Contact: Robert Smith
Huron Valley Bottle & Insulator Club
Contact: Pat Young
Yankee Bottle Club
Keene, New HampshireContact: Creighton G. Hall
We had been on vacation, and we actually rolled back into the area on the day of the detector club meeting. We drove past the Plainwell exit at about 6:00 pm, just before the meeting started, but there was no way I could stop. I had been driving for about six hours and we were all tired and anxious to get home.
This year we took our 4- year old granddaughter with us. The down side was that she woke up a lot earlier than we care to, 'especially on vacation.' Frankly, I have no regrets! It is exciting to be with someone you love as they experience so many new and exciting things for the first time! Madison turned out to be a very good traveler!
When I was her age, my parents took us kids on many long trips. I can remember riding to Florida in the back of a station wagon, a pickup truck, and on the back seat of a sedan! We had toys and books to play with and no confining seat belt. Well, it is way different today. Madison is too big for her infant car seat and she is now using what she calls her "big girl seat," which is actually a child's booster seat. But the point is, that is where she travels and there is no roaming around!
Madison's first night to sleep in a camping trailer was at our favorite campground, Mackinaw Old Mill Creek Campground. Let me tell you, these people know how to do a campground right! They have over 800 sites and they are all premium in my book! Usually we ask for a site overlooking the Straights of Mackinac, but this time I opted for something near the largest of their many great sandy playgrounds.
If during our trip, we pass any type of playground, even if we are going 70 miles per hour, chances are Madison will spot it! And we will know about it right away!
"Can I play at that playground?" she will ask.
Deb and I spent a good deal of time watching her play in the camp playground. On any one of our past vacations, that would have been time that I would have spent playing with my metal detector. The largest camp playground is like a half acre sand box with lots of neat handcrafted playground equipment. It is amazing what you can do with old truck axle hubs, wheels & tires! Just following Madison from one teeter-totter or one swing to the next, I kept spotting the edges of quarters peeking out of the sand with my naked eyes!
One morning we took a trip to Mackinac Island. This is something that we wouldn't have done without having Madison along. Deb and I love the island, in fact that is where we spent our honeymoon! We stayed at the beautiful Windermere Hotel that was built in 1887 and since 1904 has been a hotel. We have explored almost every square inch of the island in the past, so we don't visit that often anymore. Frankly, after experiencing the high price tags in Mackinaw City, I figured the shops and restaurants on the Island would really drain me!
Well, we were in for a real surprise! The price tags on the island were very reasonable! Considering the high gas and the weak economy, at least the business people on the island were thinking! Everywhere else, one of the worse things about this vacation was sticker shock! We are not usually the type to stop at McDonalds, but this time I was very thankful for the Golden Arches! For example, we stopped at a restaurant in Escanaba, where we have dined before and their prices have really shot up! One of the lowest prices on the menu was a hot dog and it was seven dollars! At Mama Mia's Pizza in Mackinaw City, soft drinks were nearly $2.00 and no free refills!
Madison really enjoyed Mackinac Island. What Deb and I love to do on the island is walk and walk! On our honeymoon, we must have walked around the island and on every inland path several times. With Madison, we knew that our walk would be limited, so we decided to walk to the main cemetery to visit the Holden plot. It is a beautiful walk past Skull Cave and in toward the center of the island. Madison did a great job getting there, but grandpa had to carry her most all the way back!
One morning Madison climbed into our bunk and my wife was the first to wake up. Deb told Madison to get down and go back into her own bed. She wasn't happy about it, but she reluctantly started to get off our bed. She stood up, and that's when I heard a really loud bang! When she stood up, she hit her head really hard on the corner of the cabinet-bunk right over our bed. It is just amazing that it didn't knock her out cold! She started crying really hard and that is when I finally started coming around. I was sleeping when I heard the bang, and nothing was very clear to me about what had happened. Half asleep, I listened as my wife explained to me that Madison had hit her head really hard!
By that time her crying had died down to a whimpering. I propped myself up on one elbow and held up my other hand with my index finger pointing up. Still in a moderate sleep stage, I asked Madison, "How many fingers do you see?"
She composed herself, swallowed, and said, "Four."
Still mostly asleep, I told my wife, "Good, she's OK," and laid back down.
It was one of the rare times that I can remember my wife really laughing hard!
Madison is a strong-willed, feisty, little red head sweetheart! She was born 2 months pre-mature and she only weighed 1 pound 7 ounces at birth. Because she was premature, she lags behind a little in development. At four years old she is about par with a typical 3 year old. I need to start working on her finger counting. God has been so good to Madison. Many premature babies have many more serious issues.
Even though her speech development is a little behind, she does the best she can. If asked about her vacation, she will tell you that she got to see her Great Grandma and Grandpa in Amasa and she will tell you about the big "Macaroni Bridge," and "Macaroni Island!"
As always, we had a great time at Deb's parents in Amasa. People who spend this life in a beautiful place like Amasa are probably kept the basement in heaven! On the other hand, the price they pay to live in paradise in the U.P. is called winter! The weather was a little cool most of the time we were there and it was rainy. Usually it is very hot and we spend a good deal of out time in their screen house listening to the bubbling Hemlock River. On this occasion it was too cool to enjoy the screen house and a good book.
A couple years ago my father-in-law took me out to a location on the Paint River where there was once an 1800's lumber camp. On that occasion, we drove as deep into the woods as possible, then parked the truck to continue on foot. Well, we parked the truck, walked just a couple steps to get our detectors and other gear out of the truck bed, and in those few steps our legs were covered with wood ticks! Naturally we changed our plans!
This year, Bob learned that the area had been recently logged so we decided to give the location another try. It had been rainy while we were there, but up until then it was very dry. From a bug standpoint 'dry' is good news. The day we decided to revisit this area, it was sunny and nice, but just cool enough to dress for the woods.
When you are detecting in the U.P. woods you don't wear shorts and t-shirts! No matter how hot, you wear long sleeves, long pants, a hat and plenty of bug dope! We parked the truck and hiked into the forest, heading south towards the Paint River. After a very long walk, we he found a gate made from chain and iron pipe. This type of gate is common to see at the entry of most camps in the U.P. When we reached the gate Bob was surprised to see a one-lane paved road!
After that long walk, and now seeing a road, I was thinking, "Why didn't we drive here?"
That is when we spotted a small house that Bob recognized.
"Years and years ago, I used to visit a guy who once lived here. We need to head back in the other direction." Bob said
I was glad to see that Bob was able to find a point of reference, as to our location. Now we would be able to change course to find the long lost logging camp. After backtracking about 1/4 mile, we found a side trail heading due south. We walked along that trail to our intended target which was the Paint River. Even one eighth mile away, as we walked downhill approaching the river, you could see the sparkle of the mid-day sun reflecting off the water through the leaves and thick brush.
As we approached the river, our modern logging trail turned away from the river, which meant we needed to leave the trail and push on through the brush. Bob originally found the tell tale signs of this old ghost logging camp several years ago. That happened when Bob and his crew logged the area. As he remembered it, the camp was near the river. As we followed the river, headed in what I thought was an easterly direction, we spread apart for a while. We would stop from time to time to check the ground with our detectors in hopes of finding evidence of the old camp.
I never let Bob get too far from my sight, and on the occasional time when I couldn't see him, I had to fight off that anxious panic-stricken feeling. You could get forever lost in these huge forest areas! Finally we reached a high, solid, rock cliff that went about 40-feet straight up and, high on top of this rock cliff, was a very well built deer blind! Even though it was just a slate gray-colored plywood shack, it blended well with the rock and it looked pretty majestic perched over us. All during our vacation, I carried my new camera with me everywhere and I cannot believe I didn't take a picture of it!
This wall of rock forced us inland, away from the river, and it was like walking into a beautiful sea of green ferns! The problem with the ferns was that they masked the very uneven forest floor. My mistake was that I wore jogging shoes without good support, which made the going very hard! I followed Bob the best that I could, trying to avoid twisting or breaking my ankle. We hiked on and on and, before long, we had moved far away from the river.
We continued to hike and I started to have an uneasy feeling about the whole thing. Finally I realized we were in a bit of trouble when Bob let me catch up, and said, "You know, we could be within 50 feet of the trail and not be able to see it."
Oh my gosh! My first thought was of spending the night in these woods with the wolves, bears and, worst of all, the dreaded wood ticks! Pictures of search parties, the sounds of bloodhounds, helicopters dangling rope ladders all crossed my mind, but still I didn't panic! I just stumbled along carrying my detector and trying to keep up. I remember my mother-in-law asking Bob to tell her where we would be hunting.
"Along the Paint River," was his answer.
"Do you have your cell phone?" she asked.
"Yes, It's in the truck."
In the U.P., they use the old- style, large, "bag phones." and for good reason. The bag phones are heavy and bulky because of the large battery packs that they use. The large battery packs provide extra power for a phone signal that will travel an extra long distance. The extra power is needed in the U.P., where the cell phone towers are much further apart. However, the bag-phone is heavy and you simply wouldn't want to carry it through the woods! That is why it was in Bob's truck, which wasn't lost--- we were! If we were at the truck, we wouldn't need the cell phone!
As I stumbled along behind Bob, my mind started to wander. What if we did have the cell phone, who would we call?
"Hello Honey, I'm with your dad and we are lost."
"Where are you lost?"
Well I guess that phone wouldn't do much good after all. Then, Bob stopped in his tracks, turned around and started walking towards me.
"Do you have any of these down where you live?"
Bob pointed to a green berry with tiny points sticking out.
For a split second, I was distracted from our situation as I looked at the unusual berry.
"What is it?" I asked.
Bob responded,"It's a Goose Berry!"
Oh my gosh! We are looking for edible plants! Next he is going to show me how to trap rain water!
I looked at Bob as he examined the tiny berries and explained what color they would be when they were ready to be picked. There was absolutely no sense of panic or even a tiny trace of worry. Having spent most of his life in the woods, he knew how to get out. We simply needed to be patient was my guess. After admiring the tiny gooseberries, Bob continued to walk in the direction that he had been walking and, within 20 paces, he found the trail!
The question now was, "Is this our trail?"
Bob responded, "I'm not sure, but let's go this way."
I was glad we found a trail, but it can either lead us deeper into the woods or lead us to a road. Our chance of going the right way was 50/50! But even those were better odds than we had! After hiking for quite some time, we finally came across a landmark that I recognized! Yes, within another half mile I saw that beautiful old black Ford pickup! That night at supper, I thought about how much fun it will be doing all of the things that I hate to do.
We really had a great time this summer with my inlaws and I look forward to the next adventure before I even get home!
See you at the meeting Sept. 11... meeting is at the main Kalamazoo Library on the third floor in the Van Deusen Room.
Meeting starts at 7:00
Questions call 269-685-1776