THE 2002 MEDFORD INSULATOR & BOTTLE SHOW
Bill Heitkotter, his wife Arlene (and Woofer) were the first arrivals. Bill beat the crowds and staked his claim to a choice RV spot. After the dealers set up on Friday, many early buyers arrived. Several dealers were happy with their sales before the show ever opened to the public on Saturday! Dave Campbell arrived Friday with a newly acquired collection that included many tough pieces. The usual frenzy ensued as Dave unpacked his boxes. The only distraction was an excellent lasagna dinner prepared by Christy Morrell, JoAnne Wood, and several other volunteers. Buyers left Dave's table with their booty and sat down to some good home cooking!
When Saturday morning came around, a line of people was waiting to enter the show. A local TV station broadcast a story on our show Friday night. Southern Oregon residents were intrigued by rumors that one of those "glass doohickies" had recently sold for $33,000! Indeed, some walk-ins brought interesting items in hopes of hitting the 33k jackpot. Well, no Twin-Pins walked in the door, but one fellow dragged in three CD 319 Locke 23's... two in aqua, and one green. The walk-in highlight was an unusual glass powerhouse bushing, similar to the amber transformer bushings we all see. But this bushing two feet long and about five inches in diameter! The sides were ribbed, and a 1" hole ran through the center. The color was a rich, almost Hemingray blue, and it was almost dead mint. It was a striking piece of glass, and Bill Rohde acquired it in the silent auction that ensued.
Lots of good glass changed hands that weekend. Chuck Irwin sold practically every piece he had. Bernard Warren had a dazzling table full of foreign glass and did well in sales. Tim Wood finally acquired that cobalt EC&M he'd been stalking for several years. Tim's smile was ear to ear for the rest of the show! Mike Randall nailed a beautiful yellow-amber beehive. Bill Ostrander went "batty" over a stunning yellow-green CD 321 Prism "bat ears" in yellow green, purchased from Pat Patocka (I should never have set it back down on the table!). I managed to add a few nice pieces to my collection: a mint CD 194/195 purple tramp, an N.E.G.M CD 251 in yellow-green, and an odd aqua 166.2 full of fizz and rocks, acquired in trade from Bill Heitkotter. While perusing the sales table of bottle dealer Keith Lunt, I found a book entitled Old Wires & New Waves, a history of the Telegraph, Telephone & Wireless by Alvin F. Harlow, written in 1936. A sampling of chapters include "The Telegraph & the Railroad, The Telegraph in the Civil War, and The Fight for a Government Telegraph." I hope to uncover some interesting factoids as I read this tome.
As usual, the Medford Show had several great displays. Bill Ostrander had an educational display of McLaughlin insulators, with photos and a brief history of McLaughlin. Howard Banks had a display of all known EC&M mold styles, including large photos and descriptive mold characteristics. Included in the display were some of the more recently discovered mold styles. Howard's wife Linda proudly showed off some of her favorite lightning rod balls. Mindy Michener (one of the Jefferson Juniors) set up her "Pony Village" display of pony style insulators, each painted and dressed up to represent a colorful resident of her miniature town. Carl Scott won the Crown Jewels award for rarity with his backlit display of "favorites" including a little of everything: threadless, teapots, eggs, EC&M's, color... you name it! Local bottle collector Dave Scafani had a great display of local medicine & milk bottles. The favorite display was Dan Howard's Radio Strain Chandelier, sporting dozens of colorful radio strains dangling from an artfully constructed light fixture, complete with working lights and extensive historical data. It was such a good display that Dan went home with the first place ribbon and the people's choice award. Dan's chandelier would be right at home in Buckingham Palace! Great job Dan!
In a recent collaboration between JSIC and the Morse Telegraph Club, JSIC members helped string new telegraph lines for the Telegrapher's working display at the Medford Railroad Park (see writeup on the JSIC webpage). Dave Philips, president of the Morse Telegraph Club reciprocated by setting up a working telegraph display at the Medford Show. Using authentic telegraph equipment, show patrons could send telegraph messages across the sales floor via a telegraph line fashioned from electric fence wire. The background sound of clicking telegraph keys was a nice counterpoint to the hum of activity in the armory building. Things got a bit sleepy late Saturday afternoon, so it was time to liven things up with a little pre-planned entertainment. A sound-effects CD was plugged into the sound system. Faint and distant at first, show patrons became aware of an approaching train (there are train tracks outside the armory). But this was no ordinary train! A steam engine soon issued from the speakers, thundering right through the building with incredible realism. Show patrons had to pinch themselves to make sure they weren't standing on the railroad tracks! Thanks to JSIC member John Curran for a first class PA system!
No show is complete without door prizes and a raffle. Prizes big and small found new homes. Paul Cherry and Howard Banks each brought home JSIC Commemorative mousepads. Bill Ostrander added an aqua EC&M to his collection. Carl Scott walked away with a CD 139.9 McLauglin USLD. Don Rohde won the highly coveted "Purple Prize Package," a collection of some dozen purple insulators of varying CD's. Other prizes included an NIA Commemorative insulator, a Mark Lauckner Canadian commemorative, antique whiskey and ink bottles, and a multipart porcelain for those mud lovers. There were many happy prize winners throughout the weekend!
All in all, the 2002 Medford Show was a success. JSIC had a tough row to hoe, given that the National was only three weeks away. Many dealers and buyers who might have otherwise come to Medford were saving their checkbooks and sales stock for Fort Collins. Indeed, attendance was markedly down from the 2001 Medford Western Regional, but everyone was happy just the same. Based on walk-in patterns and dealer feedback, future Medford shows will be held on Friday & Saturday, with Friday reserved for dealer setup and early-bird buyers. Most walk-ins attended Saturday. Dealers have vast distances to drive here in the west, and like to hit the road early Sunday morning. The Medford armory charges "two mint cobalt signals per day" to use the building, money that is better off in the JSIC treasury! So there you have it. Another successful year in Medford... we'll see you next year in beautiful southern Oregon!
President, Jefferson State Insulator Club
Hannah Howard, Christa Banks and Mindy Michener at the JSIC Junior's table.
Gary and Debbie Michener.
Michael Shilling and John Holmes at a sales table.
Part of the sales floor.
Caleb Thimell at his sales table.
Club members Ken Klein and Mike Parker enjoying the show.
Looking our way, left to right: Bob Jackson, Bill Heitkotter, Mike Doyle, Ruth Ann Bailey.
Dave Campbell brought lots of great new stock to sell.
Mike Doyle looks at Ernie Carlson's (on the right) Spec-Tru display. Ken Bergstrom is in the background.
The feeding frenzy finally settles down around Dave's table.
Carl Scott at his sales table.
Brian Riecker at his table.
Bob Saunders and club president Scott Morrell inspect one of the prizes.
The door and raffle prizes.
Bree Long and Mark Staffelbach look over a table, with Don Lewis on the right.
Mindy Michener draws another door prize ticket.
Christy Morrell signs up another attendee while Carl Scott shows off his new threadless egg.
Bill Ostrander gets ready to buy a signal. As Carl Scott said, "Buy them all, you'll feel better in the morning."
Bill Heitkotter looking a bit too relaxed.
A close-up of the JSIC mousepad Prizes.
Howard Banks attaches his second-place ribbon to his EC&M Identification display.
Another walk-in insulator, a very nice bushing. Bill Rohde was the lucky high bidder.
Scott Morrell helps Mindy Michener draw another raffle prize.
This Section Last Updated June 9, 2002