NIA Eastern Regional Show Report

March 6-7, 1999
Huntsville, AL

by Keith Roloson

I wanted to make a few comments about our recent Regional show, the first in the South in at least a decade. Ken Roberts, Alan Wright, Dudley Ellis and many volunteers from the bottle people and the Dixie Jewels Insulator Club are to be thanked. I know that Ken, Alan and Dudley cumulatively put in hundreds of hours of planning. As the Display Coordinator, I want to thank the displayers who took the time and labor and travel to share their collections with us all. I also want to thank the many "display guard" volunteers who ensured no thievery, and who signed up on the fly as it were, as the show progressed. I would thank you all individually here but I'm afraid I would omit anyone. Those of you who put in many hours know who you are!

Kevin Lawless, our NIA President, will have a full report in the Crown Jewels of the Wire magazine, with photographs from Dudley, Keith and Kevin. Until then, here are a few of my observations. It all started with folks beginning to unload Friday afternoon under overcast skies. We were all in our motel rooms when a thunder boomer of a rainstorm came in after midnight. Saturday 5:30 a.m. arrived way too early, with dealers and show support people headed for the spacious Jaycees facilities, but the rain was gone. About half of the 90 or so sales tables were devoted to bottles and other collectibles, as Ken and Alan do every year.

People making the trek from far away included Dick Bowman, Jeff Atwood, and the Colburn brothers - Alan and Jim - from Florida, Kevin Lawless from northern NY state, Bill and Jill Meier of MA, Charles Bibb from Mississippi, and from the fine state of Texas came Wade Howard, Ross Baird & John Hall. Sandy Ellison drove from Oklahoma City and I know others came from Indiana and Illinois. The Blair's and Alan Stastny arrived from Ohio.

Sales were brisk, especially for those with the unusual or the more scarce items. I did not see lower priced items selling well, as has been happening in the past in this region, odd considering how many newer collectors there are. Perhaps others had different experiences! Among notable sales were a vnm (hard to find) cobalt EC&M CD 123 at a very attractive price, a yellow-olive base-embossed CD 145 American, and two extremely rare U-394 (power Pittsburg Hi Voltage porcelain) that went in trade transactions to two major porcelain collectors. Also seen were 2 chartreuse diamond ponies and 2 CD 109 'tear drop' ponies. I believe over 350 people paid admission on Saturday alone! At end of day, Steve Blair and Glenn Drummond gave a stimulating seminar on their experiences digging the Hemingray dump, and showed shards of colored glass.

Many of the dealers, collectors and spouses had an informal Southern barbeque meal Saturday night after which awards were presented for the displays. The exhibits are listed below:

The two day show wound down after lunch Sunday, and dealers and exhibitors hustled to pack up and hit the road, some for very long drives! Everyone seemed to have a good time, either selling or buying, and seeing old friends and making some new ones.

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Written Sunday, May 2, 1999