A look back at the ICCA AGM

Wow. What a good time that was!!!

There are plenty of stories to be told from both the ICCA and CCCC AGM’s, so over the next couple of days, I will post a few photos from each. It was quite the corkscrew adventure!!!

After a fairly long drive, and a couple of nights in Stowe, VT, the lovely personal personal trainer made our way across the border into Canada and arrived in Niagara Falls.


After checking and and registering, we added the goody bag to our luggage and headed up to our room where we prepared for the opening reception which featured a display of corkscrews from the collections of Joe Paradi, Ron Maclean, and Ron Cutajar:








As the evening progressed, Joe (our host) opened a bottle of champagne sabrage style (I really need a sword), and the meeting officially began.

I will add here, that TC’s flight was delayed so he missed the reception (sorry TC).

And, one of our newest addicts was introduced to the club. While Ion Chirescu became a member in 2013, he was unable to attend the Belgium meeting, so his official introduction was made at this meeting–I will add here, that he is hilarious. And, Ion, Tommy, Sue and I spent a lot of time laughing our way through the entire meeting.


The next morning started with the annual Show and Tell. And, many corkscrews were shown and talked about. After keeping one particular piece secret for several months, and waiting to have the first unveiling at the meeting, I brought out the first known signed example of the M.L. Byrn patent. While other corkscrews have been found that have been attributed to Byrn, I was quite excited to show my find–and one that is surely going to make my best 6 of the year.



Tommy, having finally made it to the hotel late into the evening, made it to the show and tell, and brought a few interesting pieces as well. The coolest, was a wall mount corkscrew that got quite a lot of attention.

After the show and tell, we boarded a bus destined for Niagara on the Lake–a place that holds fond memories for the lovely bride and I.

A few stops before we arrived in Niagara on the Lake, it allowed for some fun and interesting conversations, reuniting with old friends, and updating each other on the latest news.

At Niagara on the Lake, Addicts and Go-Withs had some time on their own, and the lovely, TC, and I ended up having a fabulous lunch with a little wine (okay, more than a little).

Following lunch, we made our way back to the bus, which was taking the group for a little wine tasting. We made three stops, and at one winery sparking wine was opened, again sabrage style.






(Have I mentioned that I really need a sword!)

Following the tastings, we made our way back to the hotel where we had a little time to change for dinner–which would include a show. Oh Canada, Eh had the crowd clapping and cheering, and on occasion rolling in laughter as Maurice got some special attention.


After the show, it was back to the hotel. And, with the Buy and Sell and Auction taking place the next morning, after a brief stop at the hotel bar, it was time to turn in. A great first couple of days!

The next morning, after a quick breakfast, it was time to set up for the Buy and Sell. And, corkscrews were definitely bought and sold.

I sold a few, and bought…

I didn’t buy any…

More on this later.

After the buy and sell, it was time to set up for the auction.


There were some interesting corkscrews that made their way to the auction block, with BT having a Pitt patent that hit $11,000.


I had a few in the auction, none of which made that kind of money, nor would they be expected to. Still, there were some surprises; one being a Haff patent variant, that I picked up for 6 dollars at Brimfield, which ultimately sold for 600. Again, not even remotely in the Pitt range, but still a nice return on the investment.

The Auction was followed by our Annual General Meeting. And, after the awards were given out, finances discussed, and a few thank yous offered up for those who do much work on behalf of the club, it was time to elect new officers; with Jens becoming the new Right of the ICCA, and Barry Taylor becoming Chief Correspondent!

Following the buy and sell, auction, and AGM we packed corkscrew up, put them away, and walked to lunch which provided elevated views of the falls.


After a nice lunch, which included TC and BK going back and forth over a potential deal for a Crosby Pup, TC, the lovely, and I snuck out as we had reservations for a boat ride into the falls.




After braving the falls, and discarding our pink plastic attire, we headed back to the hotel, hopped into the car, and headed back to Niagara on the Lake for a little nosh and a glass of wine.


Knowing that we had a special dinner at the hotel, we headed back to get ready for the evening’s events.




The next morning, many members of the club hopped on a bus to take them to Dundee, NY where there would be a corkscrew viewing and lunch at John and Martha’s place. Since we had our car, TC, the lovely, and I packed up corkscrews and luggage, and headed off early to hit a few antique stores along the way.

Only one corkscrew was found, but not for a lack of trying. And, since we had a little extra time, we then headed to Watkins Glen, site of the Gala that evening, and hit a few antique stores there as well. Here too, only one corkscrew was found.


At the appointed time, and after at brief stop at the Twisted Screw, we headed over to John and Martha’s where there was a display of corkscrews patented in New York.







With champagne flowing, and a brisket that was fabulous, the corkscrew conversations continued. And, John made it a point to bring one particular corkscrew that I was excited to see.

In a recent phone conversation John told me that he had found the Frary Sullivan bar screw. And, while I knew of another example of this piece, this is the first one that I had heard of that was actually marked for Frary. A truly fantastic bar screw!



The hunt is on!

(not that it already wasn’t).

While at John and Martha’s, Don Bull and I had a brief discussion about a three pillar Twigg, and out of the trunk of his car a couple of deals were made. I picked up the Twigg and two others, and Tommy struck a deal as well.




With our side deal completed (it seems, I did get to make a purchase after all), it was time to head to the hotel and get ready for the gala. Since our room wasn’t quite ready, we decided a little nosh and some wine.

At the gala, we started with our annual punch!


And, the evening continued with wines from the local Fulkerson Winery, and a fabulous dinner. A wonderful Gala which had John presenting Jens with the Right’s robe and medallion, and announcing that his exiting Right’s name will be “Ya’ll Right.”




As the Gala came to a close, plans were made for the next morning, where we would meet for breakfast, and then make our drive to NYC for the beginning of the CCCC AGM.

Stories from that meeting, will have to wait until tomorrow!

Stay tuned!

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