And, the corkscrew gods smiled down upon us

The schedule yesterday, included a trip to the Amana Colonies, followed by lunch, and then a visit to Scott’s house to see his collection. However, there was an option, to have the day on your own.

We opted for another adventure, with plans to make it Scott’s house to see his collection.

And…we surely made the right decision. I had found an antique mall through a google search that was a little over an hour away, and TC and I hit the road. As we were driving up, the trusty iPhone let us know that there was an antique mall about midway.

There were no corkscrews there, but they asked if we had been to “the church.” We hadn’t, and they told us it was on the way to we we were headed. And, so…Tommy and I went “to church!”

Inside there were no corkscrews to be found, however, our prayers had been answered. The owner of the antique store–housed in the church–asked us what we were looking for. I responded with, “antique corkscrews.” To which she responded, “I don’t have any here, but I have a friend who has a collection.”

(cue the dramatic music)

After a little more chatting, she grabbed her phone and called her friend. And, then she handed the phone to me. Following a little more friendly conversation, we were invited to the see the collection–the 3000 corkscrews were her late husband’s collection, and she wanted to part with them.

We had to kill an hour waiting for her to set the collection up for us, and all kinds of scenarios were talked about as we headed to the Karen’s house.

At the appropriate time, we rang the bell, and the Karen answered. After exchanging handshakes, and pleasantries, we were all in the kitchen looking corkscrews. And, shortly after that, we were bringing more boxes of corkscrews in from her car.

As I pulled a large box of corkscrews from her car, it suddenly it dawned on me. I had seen this collection before.

(more dramatic music)

A year ago or so, there was someone selling on eBay, and after emailing them about their corkscrews, they had sent a bunch of pictures. Upon seeing these, I helped the Karen’s son with valuation, origins, and such. I shared this information with the Karen, and she remembered the email exchanges as well. The rummaging through boxes got even more friendlier at this point, with her ultimately having us follow her to her storage shed, where she proceeded to excitedly throw boxes around as she wanted to find a wooden box for a Champion Cork Puller that she had seen recently.

After we got back into the kitchen, and went through all the boxes (twice), we had amassed a small bunch of corkscrews, and began negotiations. She was a tough negotiator! And, it made for a fun afternoon as we went back and forth with offers and exchanges punctuated with good hearted laughter. Karen promised to call when she uncovered other boxes, and shared how happy she was that the corkscrews were going to people who loved the corkscrews as much a her late husband had.

As we headed towards the door, hugs and thank yous were exchanged.

In the end, we walked away with some nice corkscrews. Tommy even managed to find 23 Flashes in the collection, and I focused on one particular piece that I recognized, but wasn’t quite sure what it was. Still, combined we picked up about 60 corkscrews, and after calling Tipped-Worm-Johnny about directions to Scott’s house, and sharing the story with him, upon our arrival the news had clearly gotten out. The corkscrew boys, had made a find!

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Yes… it was a good day to be hunting corkscrews in Iowa. And, what was the brass lever? An 1883 White patent! The piece is missing the little wingnut for the corkscrew, but it is simply fantastic.

Next year’s meeting is in Las Vegas…could we possibly top this trip? I would love to try!


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