A couple of days ago, knowing that the blizzard known as Nemo was going to hit the East Coast, the lovely bride and I hopped on the boat, and tried to get some miles behind us, on our way to NYC.
And, we did. We made it over to the mainland, and headed to Portsmouth where we held up for the night, and awoke to piles of snow (and very high winds) everywhere and driving bans in Massachusetts and Connecticut–both of which would stand in our way of getting to the city.
After talking it over, we figured…what the heck, let’s hop in the SUV, put it in 4WD, and head West out of the storm, and across New Hampshire and Vermont, where we could start heading South to NY. At times it was a little unnerving being the only car on the road, and there were times where the snow was pretty thick, visibility poor, and wind howling, but over the hours we would see a few more cars, the winds subsiding, and finally blue skies on the horizon. We made it out of the storm just as we were departing NH, and entering VT. And, shortly after that found ourselves in Troy, NY (unfortunately, there were no corkscrews at the antique mall that we visited in Troy). From Troy, we hopped on the 9 and headed south, ultimately making it into the Hudson Valley, where we grabbed dinner and a hotel room. The next morning (yesterday) we hopped back in the car, and cruised in to Manhattan with no issues whatsoever.
Throughout the snowy adventure there had been updates from friends, and a few photos appearing online of how the blizzard was affecting Vinalhaven. Here is the front of the wine shop!
(This definitely would limit one’s ability to grab an emergency bottle of wine. Fortunately, those that live on the island are hearty souls, and I have no doubt shovels were at the ready…)
Also over the course of the three-day drive that would have normally taken a day and a half (had the roads been open, and speeds would have been normal, and there was no snow on the ground, huge drifts, and up to 75 mile and hour winds) there was an interesting corkscrew listed on eBay…
(cue the suspenseful music).
A simple direct pull, it was interesting as it had an Ivory handle. And, with no markings described in the listing, I emailed the seller to see if there were any present. The seller responded, with, “I can barely read them and looks like 152STED.”
152STED? That doesn’t sound like Will & Finck, R. Murphy Boston, Schintz, or M.Price…
After requesting a picture of the marking, with hopes of trying to discern who the maker might be, the seller explained they would post one to the auction, and in short order there was an additional photo. And, shortly after that, a bid.
When we arrived in NYC, I needed to do a little work, so I went online only to see that the auction had been ended. After delving a little deeper, I came to learn that the corkscrew had been removed from eBay due to the fact that it was an “Ivory” handled corkscrew.
Having already exchanged emails with the seller, or the former seller as it were, we discussed the issue of a prohibited item on eBay, and so forth. After which, she emailed with a very generous offer.
Given that it is illegal, or prohibited, (or at least not allowed on eBay) to sell Ivory, she offered to simply give it to me, explaining, “It was fun to see you excited about bidding on this SO, if you send me your address I will just give it to you.”
Yes, you read that correctly.
I thanked for her generosity, and asked if she was really sure she wanted to do that. And, she asked for my address, has packaged it up, and apparently it’s on its way to the island.
After I get back home, I will see if I can’t find a way to compensate the former-seller-now-gifter.
Of course, the unusual marking reminded me of a similar looking corkscrew that I had picked up a couple of years ago. That one was described as having a marking of “G 5 Spell” After receiving that one, and discussing with with G.I., we agreed that it was probably a “CASTSTEEL” marked piece, which would also mean it was a Humason & Beckley corkscrew.
Perhaps this too is an H & B…
A very special thank you goes out to the giver of the corkscrew, that was amazing that you wanted to do that, and it will be going to a very good home.
Not to mention it makes for a good story that I will share with my collecting (and non-corkscrew-collecting friends).