The last few weeks have been pretty fabulous, but arriving back on the island yesterday afternoon, and in short order having martinis on the back deck over looking the harbor, was a nice reminder of what a fantastic place we call home.
Whilst at the meetings, there were a few corkscrew folk who mentioned the blog, and I assured them that once we got back to the states, I would provide a few more updates. And, perhaps a few more pictures.
For those that are members of the CCCC or ICCA, both meetings will be written up in the upcoming newsletters (Quarterly Worme and The Bottle Scrue Times). For those that are not members of either club, or a member of only one, it suffices to say that the were corkscrews aplenty!
At the ICCA AGM in Logrono, we enjoyed copious amounts of wine (mostly from Dianista Vivanco) and the museum that Rafael and his brother have put together is phenomenal. Not just the corkscrews, but the interactive displays, the mammoth wine presses, the tools for barrel making, harvesting, etc. It is all pretty breathtaking.
Beyond the corkscrews and fabulous wines that you find at Rafael’s winery however, is the tremendous sense of pride in what the family has built, the heritage of La Rioja, and how happy they are to share this with the many visitors to the museum.
As far as corkscrews, many changed hands at the buy and sell, and many more at the auction. And, at the Annual Meeting, awards were given out, a few corkscrews were shared and talked about, and a glass was raised to Dr. Joe Young, whom we lost this year; one of the great corkscrew collectors, researchers, and storytellers.
After the close of the meeting, we headed back to Madrid for the evening, while others headed off to other airports. Some would continue their vacations elsewhere. Some would be heading home, and many would be heading to Bucharest for the Canadian Corkscrew Collectors Club AGM.
While I have included photos in earlier postings, if ever you were to see a nice collection of corkscrews, visiting the Chirescu collection was pretty unbelievable. Over 23,000 corkscrews!
Okay, perhaps it is more than a “nice” collection.
The collection is actually pretty staggering and awe inspiring, and there was much drool that surely would need to be cleaned off of the glass cases after the CCCC attendees managed to pry themselves away for a bit of lunch (and wine).
As is the usual program, we had a nice buy and sell and auction. Less pieces received multiple bids, but a few corkscrews did change hands.
I managed to pick up a few. Nothing terribly rare, but a couple pair of ladies legs, a pair of celluloid shoes, an M-73 slider (that is JFO speak) and an interesting folding spoon with advertising. Usually when the Williamson spoon shows up it carries advertising for Hazeline. This one has an entirely different advertisement on it. And, while I know of one other advertisement that has turned up on the little medicine spoons, having a different ad makes it a little more interesting–the spoon reads “COMPLIMENTS OF H. OBERNAUER & CO. PITTSBURGH, PA.”
Of course, at the AGM we do actually have an actual meeting. This year, while there were presentations for the Vancouver meeting (next year) and we will need to decide on 2017 moving forward, much of the meeting focused on the Quarterly Worme going digital and looking into having a new leadership group for the club… This is quite a departure from a club whose only rule is that there are no rules. And, being one of the more vocal ones in the meeting, I am pleased that a group was formed to look into some of the ways we can improve the CCCC and perhaps look into adding a web presence for the club.
Following the AGM, we had a lovely gala at a local restaurant, and Ion and his staff put on a great meeting–a difficult task given the sheer amount of attendees (160+ people).
The next morning, we were up early and all packed up for our next adventure. Many members of the CCCC would be heading home, and a smaller group of us (about 100) would soon be boarding buses and beginning a 7 day tour of Romania.
The tour was fantastic, and while there was much bus time, there were fantastic stops along the way, and with each day there were new surprises; castles and monasteries, a pig roast with dancing (the pig wasn’t dancing), a cake shaped like a Read’s Coaxer, music and magicians, and a second corkscrew collection–those of Ion’s doubles at a mountain hotel/restaurant that he also owns.
As the tour came to a close, Ion presented each attendee with a Lamborghini when we returned to the Hilton in Bucharest:
Okay, not really.
But, we again shared dinner together. And, it was here that we all said our goodbyes as we would be on a plane back to the states early in the morning.
A wonderful trip, it allowed for much conversation, renewing of old friendships, some great memories, and meeting some collectors whom we had not met before.
Now it is back to the wine shop, and the ongoing hunt for corkscrews.