Catching up: The ICCA and CCCC AGMs

Whilst at the AGM’s these past two weeks, there were several attendees that mentioned that I hadn’t updated the bloggy blog with tales from the meetings.

Of course, given that we were having conversations with one another, it kind of felt like we each already knew what was going on at the meetings.

That said, I did recognize that I had refrained from blogging while traveling, but I also knew that I would catch everyone up, upon our return.

I will add here, that detailed write-ups and pictures will be published in the CCCC’s newsletter The Quarterly Worme, and the ICCA’s newsletter The Bottle Scrue Times in the coming issue.

For Sue and I, the trip began in London.  We spent a couple of days traipsing around the city, before hopping a flight to Stockholm and a train to Katrineholm where we enjoyed the wonderful hospitality of Fredrik and Johanna and their boys; Edvin and Nils-Oscar.

After a fabulous evening at their home, and a lovely breakfast at their restaurant, we headed off to another one of their properties; Gripsholms Värdshus.  Once again, it was a fantastic visit, with wine, food, wine, food, wine, food, and a few corkscrews.

The next morning, we hopped in a taxi that took us back to Stockholm, and we hopped on a plane to Oslo, and then a plane to Bodo.

We spent the afternoon exploring Bodo, before finding a charming wine bar where we would have dinner and then the next morning it was off to Lofoten!

The ICCA Annual General Meeting

We had a flight set to Lofoten, and when we arrived at the gate, we soon realized that several other attendees were on the same flight.  And, when we landed, we were greeted by that many other Addicts and Go-Withs that had also just landed.

After retrieving our bags, we each hopped in various taxis and made our way to our hotel.

With a few hours before registration and the Right’s Reception, a bunch of us headed to an adjacent restaurant where we caught up with one another.

At the Reception two of our new Addicts were introduced, and there was much discussion about our upcoming adventures.

Trips around Lofoten both by boat and by bus, visits to museums, lunches, wine, and more lunches and wine, and dinners and wine, and more dinners and wine, surrounded by unbelievable vistas and views it was a fabulous few days…

Of course, then began the corkscrew portion of the program!

We began with a special show and tell, by Bert Giulian, who just published a book on Irish Corkscrews.  Definitely a book that you need to have in your library.

This was followed by a fantastic presentation by Fredrik, Bjorn, and Jens on Scandinavian corkscrews–when I update the ICCA’s website next, this will be added to the library for all to see.

Later that evening, we headed off for a group dinner which was lovely, and then a 10:00 pm bus departure for a viewing of the midnight sun.  Yes, that means midnight.

We managed to get back to the hotel just before 2:00 am, and got some needed sleep before the early show and tell, buy and sell, and auction that would start the next morning.

Several corkscrews were shown and talked about, and during  the buy and sell lots of corkscrews changed hands.  At the auction, the piece of the day was the Fisher patent ratchet corkscrew that RL brought along.

A great meeting all around, with a fantastic job done by our hosts!  And, as is always the case, the gala event did not disappoint!  A fantastic punch prepared by Fredrik (one of the best I have ever tasted), a toast to The Bottle Scrue, the traditional opening of a bottle by Right Ian Hunter, and an impromptu corkscrew competition between Ian and Bjorn, the entire meeting was an awe inspiring adventure!

Again, kudos to our hosts Bjorn and Aud-Irene and Bjorn and Ragnhild!

The next morning, several of us hopped in taxis back to the Lofoten airport, as we had earlier flights than others.  That said, most of the others would be joining us later as we descended on Stratford-upon-Avon for the CCCC AGM.

The CCCC Annual General Meeting

After a couple of hours in Bodo, where we had a layover (we found an antique store, but no corkscrews) the lovely and I hopped on a flight to Oslo, and then a flight to London.  After a long-ish day of travel, we opted to hire a driver to take us to our hotel, where we shared dinner with Anne-Lise, and prepared for our CCCC adventures.

The next morning, the lovely and I headed off for a walk with hopes of finding some coffee.

After successfully getting caffeinated, we did a little exploring, where we found an antique market that was just opening.  With a brief walk through, I managed to find a Willetts for a song (I didn’t actually sing).


And, to celebrate the Willetts purchase, as well as the lovely’s acquisitions; she kept buying clothing off of various mannikins placed as window displays, we stopped for a bit of bubbly to celebrate.


With others soon to be arriving, and being in touch via messenger, we sought out a pub that would accommodate those that would be joining us, and had a lovely lunch with Leon, Saskia, Tommy, Ray,  and John D.

And, after finishing up, we made our way to the CCCC hotel, where registration was set to begin.  Upon arriving, it was warm welcomes, hellos, and hugs, from our hosts: Jim and Liz Edgar, Peter Borrett, Fletcher Wallis, and Tim Underwood.

The Reception and Gala were fabulous, and we were joined by some special guests–lots of pictures of the Reception and Gala and our special guests (William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway) will be shared in the QW.

Following the Gala, several attendees found their way to the bar.

The following morning was the auction and the buy and well.  And, there were lots of corkscrews to bid upon and to purchase.

I sold a few, bought a few, and witnessed lots of corkscrews changing hands.

Following the Buy, Sell, and Auction, the Corkscrewteers gathered together (as has become tradition) to share a bottle of vintage Port (thanks for providing this year’s bottle Leon & Saskia!)


Following the Port, we all headed down to the lobby where we had a brief walk and boarded some riverboats for a short tour, which was followed by a lovely dinner and great entertainment.

As many of the attendees headed back to the hotel, a few of us lingered.  Eventually, everyone made it back to the hotel, where the bar was quite the scene.

While some remained in the bar until the wee hours of the morning, the entire hotel had to be evacuated at 2:30 in the morning, as there was a fire alarm.

After the hotel was determined to NOT be on fire,  we were all allowed back into our rooms (or the bar, depending on your previous circumstance).

The next morning, was to be the show and tell, AGM, and a special display of British corkscrews.

This video doesn’t exist

The display was mesmerizing, and the show and tell didn’t disappoint.

After the AGM, it was farewells, good byes, hugs, handshakes, and see you next year in Nashville, TN (ICCA) and Winter Park, FL (CCCC).

A fantastic couple of weeks of corkscrewing around…

Again, many more photos and tales of our corkscrewy adventures will be published in The Bottle Scrue Times and the Quarterly Worme in their next issues!

Packing up for the AGMs

Today the lovely personal personal trainer and I hop on the boat, and make our way to Rockland.  A few chores to be done on the mainland, and then we fly from Owl’s Head to Boston, and Boston to London.

A few days kicking around London, and then we are off to Stockholm.  A few more days in Sweden, then we fly to Oslo, Bodo, and finally Lofoten for the International Correspondence of Corkscrew Addicts’ Annual General Meeting.


It will be quite the adventure, and it will be fun to see old friends.

Following the Lofoten meeting, we fly back to Oslo, back to London, where we will hop in  a Jaguar and motor to Stratford-upon-Avon for the Canadian Corkscrew Collectors Clubs’ Annual General Meeting.


Again, it will be fun to connect with old friends and so many collectors that will be attending.

There certainly will be corkscrew tales to tell!

I will post photos to Corkscrewing Around when I can.  And, of course, will post a wrap up blog after we return.

For those attending, see you all soon, and safe travels!



A year of corkscrewing around: 2018

It was a fantastic year of corkscrewing around!

From adventures to Syracuse, the Murphy Knife Co., Brimfield and beyond, to hosting the ICCA and CCCC meetings in Maine, from the publication of the Syracuse Corkscrews book to christening the “Corkscrew Room” with so many fellow collectors, it has been a fabulous year of antiquing, good friends, corkscrews, and a little bit of wine.

Okay, more than a little wine…

What will 2019 bring?  Lofoten, Stratford Upon Avon, trips to Brimfield…  The mind races.

But, be sure to stay tuned, you never know what will turn up next!

Halfway through 2018…

Well, it is mid-June, and the tourist season is kicking off in Maine.  The island’s population is slowing growing, but by the beginning of July it will be booming.  It is great to have old friends returning, and it seems like each day, there are more summer folk, and day trippers, arriving on the ferry.

Of course, it is around this time of year that plans for the ICCA and CCCC AGM’s get finalized.  This year, we are hosting both clubs, and we are excited to share Maine with all the attendees, but moreover, to host those that are attending on the island we call home.



And, given that we are halfway through 2018, I was thinking about the best 6 corkscrews thus far for 2018.  While corkscrew news has been a little slow as of the last couple of weeks, it has been a pretty good year so far in acquiring those twisted treasures we covet.

Some of the corkscrews uncovered this year have already been moved on to other collectors, but here is what my best 6 would be, should we have to make a decision at this very moment:

Van Zandt, Sterling Napier Hollweg, Silver Syroco Knight, Rees Patent, Brown Patent, Monfort Patent…

I did pick up a Jenner patent as mentioned in a past blog, but given it is missing a portion, it is more of a place holder waiting for a complete example.

Of course, we still have half a year to go, and you never know what might turn up next.

The hunt will continue, and we look forward to seeing all of you in Maine.

an eventful few days

The lovely personal personal trainer and I headed off to Chicago for a few days recently, to visit with Tommy; see his new condo, visit the old neighborhood, visit a few favorite restaurants, and of course to see his collection.

But, before our departure, I managed to win a few lots in an online auction.  These particular lots didn’t go too high, and there looks to be a few good t’s, a Murphy, a Bennit, a couple of Henshall buttons, and a couple of Adelaides (Ian) within the lots:


These are on their way to the island as I type, and I will report back if there are any interesting markings on the pieces when they arrive.

The travel to Chicago was pretty seamless, and Tommy swooped in and scooped us up.  And, soon enough (he brought chilled wine and cheese with him) we were eat the condo we were renting for a few days.

Of course, TC also brought a few corkscrew with him, and there were some fantastic recent finds.

After the happy hour show and tell, we headed off to Bandera for dinner.  One of our favorite restaurants on Michigan Ave, and the meal (the Cliff Lede wines) didn’t disappoint.

The following day, lovely and I decided to walk to Navy Pier.  We don’t usually frequent that as a destination, but Nick Cave was giving a performance, and we knew we had to see it.

And, walk we did.  Meandering from Andersonville towards Wrigley field, stopping by our old condo in Boys Town, then heading towards Lincoln Park, the Zoo, and then heading on to the lakeshore to walk downtown, we made it to where the performance was being held with 15 minutes to spare; where there was cold wine available to bring into the auditorium!

The performance was fantastic!



Following the performance, and having walked 9.1 miles to get there, we grabbed an uber back to the condo, picked up some wine and cheese, and had another happy hour with TC before heading to RL (Ralph Lauren’s restaurant) for dinner.


Another fantastic meal!

After getting back to the condo, we shared goodbyes, and see ya tomorrows, as the next day we were going to hop on the train out to Elgin to see Tommy’s collection and condo.

Hopping on the El, we were soon at Union Station where hoped on the Metra to Elgin.  Tommy picked us up, and after a requisite stop to pick up some wine, we were soon pulling into Chez Campnell.

And, if you were wondering why he is referred to as the Syrocokid…


He has a few Syroco corkscrews…

Having only recently moved in, there are boxes and boxes of corkscrews to go through, but there were plenty to see, examine, drool over, and there was almost a deal made for a couple; an unusual Murphy and an Atwood Combination Six.


The deal wasn’t made, but you never know what trades might happen at a future date!

After lunch and corkscrew viewing, we headed off on another adventure; looking at potential corkscrew cases for our corkscrew room on Vinalhaven, and then hugs and goodbyes and see you in a month (when Tommy visits Maine) and then it was back to the train.

Knowing we had an early morning flight the next day, the lovely and I had an early dinner at Le Colonial (another one of our favorite places in Chicago) and then made our way back to the condo.

A great few days with the lovely and TC in a city that we love.  Thanks for a great visit TC!

Leon arrives, and we soon depart for the AGM.

The past few weeks have been fun-filled.

Leon came for a visit just last week, and narrowly made it onto the boat.

With the lovely personal personal trainer on the mainland, and Leon heading north as fast as traffic would allow, she somehow convinced the ferry crew to delay their departure just enough so Leon could round the corner into the ferry terminal, head right for the boat, and they allowed him to get right on.  1 minute past departure time, Leon was safely aboard with the lovely.


Corkscrews, wine, stories, laughter, hikes on Lane’s Island, Lobster; it was a fun, albeit very quick, trip.

Come back soon Leon!

Of course the island this time of year is teeming with people.  Islanders, Summer people, day trippers; the swimming quarries are frequented, the wine shop is busy, and the “season” is in full swing.

In midst of the busyness of it all, I recently “mailed” out the latest issue of the The Bottle Scrue Times with part of its focus being on the upcoming AGM.    And, it is to the Annual General Meeting we will soon be headed.  Tomorrow we hop on the 8:45 boat, and after a few errands we will head down to Boston, where the following morning we will fly out to Vancouver, ultimately arriving in Nanaimo for the ICCA get together.

I have brought a few corkscrews for the show and tell, a few more for the annual auction, and even more for the buy and sell.

It will be fun to reunite with old friends, and perhaps find a corkscrew or two to add to the collection.

I will update the blog as the events transpire.  Stay tuned.


As you may have noticed, I haven’t blogged in a while.

As it happened, the lovely personal personal trainer and I headed off to California for a few days to visit the wine country.

There was much wine tasting!!!  And, a bit of wine drinking as well!!!


It was a fabulous time, and we did manage to do a  little antiquing as well, but alas no antique corkscrews were found worth buying–well, except for the Frary Gundlach that adorns the walls of Gundlach Bundschu.


Of course, that one wasn’t for sale.

A fantastic getaway, and now we are back home…

Meanwhile, after a little perusing of our second favorite auction site, I managed to find this lovely little tap.


PIX EXCLUSIVE CHAMPAGNE TAP, from the Albert Pick Co., Chicago.

Anyone have any history or background on this  one?

A cool little tap that is enroute to the island.

Back from Brimfield

Yes, it is that time of year again.  Starting the second Tuesday in May, the Brimfield Antiques Show attracts collectors and dealers from all over the world.

This year, we rented a house again within relative proximity to the show, and the lovely personal personal trainer and I were joined by our friend AA and Tommy.

AA and the lovely drove down together.  I drove down earlier to drop off P-Doggy to be boarded, and then headed to Hartford to pick up Tommy who was flying in.

With everyone arriving safely, it was time for a bit of wine, catching up, and a little corkscrew show and tell.

On the first morning, Tommy and I got up early, and headed out.  And, after a few hours of hunting, I got a message from Tommy about a “score!”   This was followed by another message,  “Major Score!”  Wondering what it was, he shortly sent a picture; a miniature pair of legs with mother of pearl scales.  Wow!  And, with a whopping price of 35 dollars–I had no doubt he talked the seller down–it surely would be the find of the show.

It goes that way at Brimfield.  There are lots of interesting pieces that we can pick up, but almost always there is one standout piece that shows up.  A Tucker, Chippendale, Sperry, the Stephens patent, a Kummer for 15 dollars, Satyr legs for a song, a Geissen, signed Henshall patent: these have all turned up.  And, this time around it was Tommy’s turn to get the piece of the show.

Congrats TC!

Of course, there were many other corkscrews that were acquired over the last few days.

On the first day, I had picked up a couple of direct pulls, and was super excited for Tommy. And, as we entered one of the fields, I was going through a booth and saw a small grouping of corkscrews; all in decent shape. After asking about them, the dealer responded with the fact that he knew nothing about them, and hoped his prices seemed fair.  I selected a couple of them, and said he was pretty spot on.

He further explained that he had just found a small collection, and when I asked if he had any more, he reached into his truck and retrieved an entire box of them.

Going through the box, I picked out a couple of pieces, and he explained he left the mechanical ones at home.  And, he promised to send pictures at the end of the show.

Nothing really rare within the box, except he did have the Rudy Dolberg Weinke patent–with the American patent date.  I have owned this piece in the past, but gave it up to a German collector a couple of years ago, as he didn’t have this variation.  Weinke’s do turn up pretty frequently, but with the American patent date, not so much.


About this time, my phone rang…actually as I was peeling off a few bills to give to the dealer, and while two friends came up behind me, my phone rang.  It was the lovely who had found an old factory cart that we had been looking for for the wine shop.


(For those wondering, the wine shop is rather small, and I wanted an old industrial cart that would serve as a place to stack wine for display, but it would also give me the ability to roll the display out of the way when we host wine tastings.  And, I wanted that old industrial look–that said, the prices on these are pretty high at Brimfield and the like, the lovely found this one for about a third of what they were selling for at other fields within the show).

So, for the rest of the day, I was pushing a cart around from booth to booth.

After we exhausted the field, we said goodbyes to the various friends that we had met up with over the course of the day, and headed back to the house; only to be joined by BT for dinner later on that evening.

The next day, was another early one, and Tommy and crisscrossed the fields, messaging each other to see where the other way, and were there any finds.  I managed to pick up a couple of odd Anri pieces, and a pretty nice T & C silver overlay piece.

As an aside, over the two days, there was an interesting phenomenon taking place.  On the first day, I happened upon a booth, and the seller had corkscrews; zig zag, flash, Le Presto.  I don’t remember all of his pricing, but he was at about 100 on the Le Presto.  By the time Tommy got to the booth, the price dropped to 50 dollars.  Tommy picked it up.  On the T & C piece, Barry had seen that one earlier in the day, but passed on it.  By the time I got there, that dealer also dropped price by just about 50% of what he was asking earlier.  Price it high and hope, but after getting a couple of collectors to walk away…

After exhausting the various fields on Wednesday, Tommy and I headed off to hit a few antique malls on our way to Springfield where the lovely, AA, Tommy , and I would be meeting friends for dinner.  But, since we are in Springfield, and we had a half hour or so to kill, why not visit the Student Prince for some libations and some corkscrew viewing?

After dinner, we headed back to the house, and over wine had a little show and tell of the days finds.

The next morning was another early one, with Tommy flying out at 6:00 in the morning.  After saying our good byes and dropping him off, I headed back to the house before making the trek back to the show for one more walk around.  Not much at May’s field that morning, but I did manage to fine one of those French eyebrows with mother of pearl inlay.  And, for a nice price.

With the lovely and AA already on their way back to the island, and knowing I have a few hours of driving a head of me, I started making my own way back home.

A fun trip to Brimfield!






Planes, trains, and automobiles…and shuttles, and taxis…and boats…

We just returned from our Toronto adventure, and while it was a wonderful time, it started off a little rough.

As it happened, the plan was for the lovely to go over on an early boat, and I would work at the wine shop until the afternoon and catch the 2:45 over. Around 1 o’clock an email came through that both the 1 and the 2:45 were cancelled. Now, the winds were pretty high, but I had checked the latest conditions, and the wave height was fairly low. A little panicked, and knowing that often if the 2:45 is cancelled the final boat will be cancelled, I called the ferry service.

Unless conditions worsened, the last boat would run, as the middle boats were cancelled for a mechanical issue rather than high winds and seas.

Okay… I would still be able to make it.

At the appointed hour, I managed to get the Xterra onto the ferry, with Philos in the back seat. And, as soon as I got across the lovely personal personal trainer was there to meet me. She hopped in, as we hightailed it to Coastal Dog, where Philos would be boarded for a few days.   The staff at the boarding place, fortunately agreed to a late check in, and after dropping him off, we headed down to Portland to our hotel—in anticipation of the next morning’s (early early) flight.

That next morning we headed down, having consumed a fair amount of coffee, and hopped on the hotel’s shuttle to the airport. And, upon reaching the ticketing gate were told that our plane (due to high winds) didn’t land the previous evening. So our flight to Toronto would be delayed from a morning flight, until 4:00 or later in the afternoon. And, with connections and layovers, we wouldn’t reach Toronto until fairly late in the evening. We inquired if there were any other options.

Well, the desk agent said, we can get you a flight from Boston to Toronto direct.

Fantastic, but how would we get to Boston?

They suggested Concord.

For those that aren’t aware, there is a bus that travels between Maine and Boston, and apparently the best option is to hop the bus, and make it down to Logan in time to catch a flight to Toronto…

Okay, for those playing along, that doesn’t really equate to a “direct” flight.

We decided to go for it. So, with the assurance from the gate agent that they would change our tickets—no small feat, as it is Delta who is partnering with WestJet—we hopped in a taxi, and headed to the Concord Bus Station with 5 minutes to spare.

Once on the bus to Boston, we felt that things would be okay.

Until we got to the WestJet desk in Boston

The agent there, doing her best, could not “ticket” us, as the aforementioned Delta agent did not print out a ticket for us in Portland. Of course, he couldn’t print out a ticket for us, as he is an agent for Delta.

This all had my mind spinning, as we stood at the ticket counter for 45 minutes, and our flight was soon to be boarding. Finally, our bags were taken, and we were given our boarding passes.

Now… time to get through security (with only a few minutes until the plane leaves).

Now, a year or so ago, the lovely bride and I went through the process of establishing ourselves as “known travelers”, through the global entry program. This allows us to scoot through TSA rather quickly, but of course West Jet in Boston isn’t hooked up with TSA and it is through regular security we were sent.

In Boston…with 6 minutes to catch our plane.

With the gate fortunately still being open, and rushing rather quickly, we made it!

Still, you just never know…and, I whispered to the lovely that I will feel comfortable once we are off the ground—and landing in Toronto, given a recent flight that got turned around and returned to the origination point, on a recent adventure.

After about an hour we were beginning out descent into Toronto, and all seemed right in the world. And, as we taxied, the lovely and JP were messaging back and forth. He was at the airport waiting for us, and in short order we were greeted by Joe.

We headed to the garage, and attempted to use the elevator to get to the fourth floor. There were some weary travelers already in one elevator car desperately punching buttons, the car was staying on the bottom level—with no signs of moving. We grabbed our bags, and headed for the stairway.

Finally, we made it to JP’s car, and were heading out of the airport and towards the house. Sharing our travel adventures and discussing our plans for the coming days the ride went fairly quickly, and soon enough we were pulling into the driveway of our temporary digs.

With our travel hiccups behind us, it was time for our Toronto holiday, and we were fortunate enough to be welcomed into Joe and Monika’s home and got enjoy their kind hospitality.

Conversations, fantastic wines, wonderful food, we were wined, dined, and entertained the entire time we were there.

And, of course, there were corkscrews!

A bunch

A myriad.

A plethora

A cavalcade

Okay, let’s just say there were lots of corkscrews.  Here are a few…

In between the wonderful meals prepared by Monika (which started with Chicken Paprikash, accompanied by a 1967 Chateau St. George)


there was indeed a bit of corkscrewing around, and conversations ranged the ICCA and the Bottle Scrue Times to recent acquisitions, to our plans to visit Ron and Marilyn in the coming days.

Once in the corkscrew room, we went through drawer after drawer, case after case, and I oohed and aahed over a few pieces, and grabbed a couple and placed them on the table…asking each time if these were available.

A few that I inquired about, of course, were not.

And, we still hadn’t gotten to the “good” stuff…

For three days those corkscrew that I had selected from the corkscrew room remained on the table, with JP saying he would get back to me on the deal.

On Monday, after a walk to the lake with the lovely, we headed off in the snow (apparently the largest snow in April in Toronto in three decades) to Ron and Marilyn’s house.

I have known Ron for years, and we have made many many trades, but this was the first time I had ever seen his collection. And, his too is a sight to behold.

There were indeed lots of corkscrews!

A bunch

A myriad.

A plethora

A cavalcade

And, I had my eye on one piece in particular. As it happened, it was the same piece that Joe has his collection of which I was desirous; the 1918 J.J. Lyons patent cork extractor.


Neither of the Lyons (Joe’s nor Ron’s) will be leaving their collections anytime soon. Still, it was really cool to see the piece that I have been eyeing in O’Leary all of these years in person. And, better still to handle it, and become familiar with what to look for should a similar piece turn up at Brimfield (or online).

Following the corkscrew viewing, there was a fabulous lunch prepared by Marilyn, and the conversation (and the wine) flowed.

No trades were made at RM’s place, but I did leave behind an interesting Clough advertising piece to add to his collection.   With his love of Clough, it really belongs with him.

The adventures, over the few days, continued with dinner at the Mississaugua (yes it is spelled differently) Country Club, a walking tour of Toronto with Monika, where we ended up having a fabulous lunch at Cluny in the distillery district, a lovely filet mignon prepared on the grill at the house accompanied by yet another vintage red, and of course we eventually got to the “good” stuff.

Seeing another collector’s collection is always fascinating, and in this particular case really educational, as JP has some really unusual pieces and given his background as an engineer he loves to examine, share, and explain the functionality of the pieces.

On the morning of our departure, the lovely headed downstairs to grab some coffee, and upon her return, told me that there were 5 corkscrews on the kitchen table with a post-it next to them. Knowing that Joe had an appointment that morning, and thinking there may be some negotiations needing to happen, I headed down myself.

And, there they were—the four plus one that I had set on the table in the corkscrew room. With prices already established my Joe; I tallied the numbers and readily agreed. It was very fair, and I was pleased with what would be heading back to Vinalhaven.

Of course, over the course of the last few days I had come to understand the pieces Joe valued most, that his love of mechanicals (and prong pullers) outweighed his affection for direct pulls, so why not go for one more.

I described a piece sitting in his display case, and he told me to go get it. I retrieved the little direct pull, and brought it back upstairs. The Joseph Smith patent, and one that was formerly in Bob Nugent’s collection, with Joe sharing is love of the piece, a deal was not going to happen.

Not to worry, it never hurts to ask.

Following his appointment, Joe returned and after goodbyes, thank yous, and see-you-soons, he whisked us off to the airport where fortunately, there were no additional taxis, busses, shuttles, or boats involved.


Thanks for the adventure Joe, Monika, Ron, and Marilyn!

What were the four corkscrews you ask?


  • A signed Murphy corkscrew with button and knife; this could make the best 6 of the year.
  • An unusual Patent Applied for Can opener with corkscrew marked, “FOUR IN HAND.”
  • A faintly marked can opener with corkscrew which looks to be the Cummings patent.
  • A Frary oblong handle with henshall button with grippers underneath—I think this might be a double for me, but want to compare the size of the piece when I got back home.
  • And, the fifth, a Williamson Flash—which Joe said was for Tommy.

This morning, I hopped on the first boat back to Vinalhaven in time to open the wine shop for the day.

As it happens, listing on the latest Collector Corkscrews auction opens tomorrow! Who knows what corkscrews will turn up.  And, then bidding starts on the 15th.

Bid high and Bid often, and should you have a corkscrew that you want to send my way, drop me a line.




Pepita is Dead

So, whilst traipsing around Madrid over the last few days, the lovely personal personal trainer and I came across this shop (which was closed, as it is August) Pepita is Dead.



As it turns out, while still closed, Pepita is Dead is a vintage clothing shop that has some notoriety. Their website is currently being worked on, but check it out.

On a corkscrew note, Tommy and Joey arrived yesterday, and we scooped them up at the airport, and made it back to the apartment. This was no small task, as when we headed over to the Metro to board the train that would take us to the next train that would take us to the airport, we came to understand that our Metro stop, and those in either direction for a mile + were all closed for renovations.

Plan B…

Okay, after taking the elevator down to the depths of the city, take 6 escalators–or alternatively stairs–whilst following signs for the number 10 bus. Only to find that the number 10 bus, doesn’t say number 10 anywhere on it. But, what the heck. we boarded, went a few miles to a different Metro station, and descended under the streets again. From one platform to another platform, to a set of stairs, to another set of stairs, to yet another escalator, past two more platforms, to what appeared to be the right train.


Except when you got in the train which was supposed to be the number 10, it read number 7. We looked at each other, and decided to stay on it, as it had to be right. Maybe they use this train for multiple lines. And, it was only two stops from where we would transfer anyway.

First stop, was the right one. Okay, we are heading in the right direction. Next stop, Nuevas Minesterios… perfecto!

Okay… we had made it that far. Now, just find the pink line.

Within a few minutes the number 8 (pink line) arrived, and we got on board–along with lots of people carrying, pulling, or dragging luggage. This seemed to be a pretty good sign.

As we neared the airport, the map on the train showed to airport stops. Terminal 1, 2, & 3, or Terminal 4. Not knowing what terminal Tommy and Joey would be landing in, we opted for the 1,2, or 3, as not only were we picking up Tommy and Joey, we were also picking up a rental car with which we would pick up Tommy and Joey.

The train pulled in, and we started walking towards the terminals–terminal 2, as the arrivals indicated that is where the flight from Frankfurt would be; only to find out that all of the rental cars are located in terminal 1.

No worries, we headed over looking for our rental car company, who as it happens, does not have a location in the Madrid airport. So, we went over to the Hertz counter and asked where Dollar rental car was, and he responded with “right here.” Apparently various rental companies will take the reservations and the cars are handled onsite by combining their rentals.

Note to Dollar/Hertz/Car-company-to-be-named-later signage is a good thing…

After filling out the appropriate paperwork, we hopped in our vehicle and made it out of the rental car area, and into the arrivals at Terminal 2; at precisely the time when Tommy and Joey landed. And, after a short wait at the arrivals, I saw the boys pushing their luggage through the doors, and I lead them to the car.

Now… how to get back to Madrid proper and the apartment.

As it happened, the lovely and I headed over to the Vodafone store two days ago, and she had her sim card changed out on her iPhone, so she has fabulous service. So, Daphne (as we have named the voice on the iPhone maps app) guided us to our front door.

Up the four story walkup with their bags, and we had made it!

So, after the briefest of breaks, we headed out (on foot) for lunch–eating that the restaurant above Mercado de San Anton. This was followed by a trip to the aforementioned vodafone store in the pursuit of additional sim cards–apparently their system was down however, and no sim cards were being sold.

In Puerto del Sol we boarded a tour bus, and they guys got a nice overview of the city. And, after the tour, we started to walk back home.

After a while we discussed eating in rather than going out, and knowing the jet lag was hitting the guys, the lovely and I headed off to a local market where we picked up food and wine, and came back to make dinner.

And, while we were prepping and cooking, I took a break to bring out some corkscrews for Tommy to look at. He went through the box, and pulled out a couple, and asked how much. He made a fairly decent offer, and I suggested an extra 50 dollars. He wasn’t budging, so I suggest we flip for it. However, instead of a 50 dollar flip, it became a 100 dollar flip; my price if I win, 100.00 less if I lose.


So, there is a fairly substantial wad of cash, a Walker patent peg and worm, and the results of the flip hanging in the balance–or flipping int eh balance as it were.


I grabbed a coin, and TC called it in the air.


I will preface this section of the blog by saying, I have never seen Tommy actually win a flip–maybe he has against TWJ…so, I figured my chances were pretty good.

So, the coin in the air flipping downwards, I catch it in my hand and flip it over.


Thanks for the extra 50 TC!

After the trade (sale) we went about finishing the prep for dinner, dinner and wine, and some lively conversation; eventually we called it a night.

This morning we start the drive to Logrono, and the adventure continues.

Pepita is still dead, but who knows what will turn up next.