Message From the President August 2016

Fred Pittman hosted another wonderful Dixie Jewels swap meet in Mountain Home, NC in May. We had collectors from six states. My thanks and appreciation to Fred for hosting us once again. He always does a great job and everyone has a fine time in the mountains of North Carolina. There was lots of great fellowship and quite a few tables full of insulators for sale or trade. Many insulators went home with proud new owners.

I am looking forward to hosting the August swap meet in Soddy-Daisy, TN at the Daisy United Methodist Church. We’ve met there several times before and those who have attended know how busy it can get! Folks coming by on the highway see some activity at the church and they have to stop and check it out. They may not have a clue what an insulator is when they arrive, but after talking to the enthusiastic collectors in attendance and learning a little about the glass and porcelain jewels on our tables, they leave with several to put on the windowsill at home. More than a few curious folks have gotten their start in collecting at this swap meet, and we’ve gained a few members there too. I hope you will consider making the trip to Soddy-Daisy on Saturday, August 20 to join me and the rest of the Dixie Jewels crew. This will be only three weeks after the NIA National, so there is sure to be some new sales stock!

Looking even further down the road to November, it will be time once again to journey up to Southeastern Ohio for the Mid-Ohio show in Springfield, Ohio. It is slated for November 4-6 this year and, as always, I’m sure quite a few of our members will attend.

Just two weeks after that Dixie Jewels will hold our fall swap meet on Saturday, November 19.  Look for more information and directions in the next newsletter.

As of right now, I don’t have any firm commitments for swap meet venues (or hosts) in 2017. If you have never hosted a swap meet, or haven’t hosted in awhile, please give it some consideration. I would love to have some 2017 swap meets in brand new places! Give something back to the hobby you enjoy so much. I think you’ll find that hosting is a rewarding experience. If you have held back because of the cost, the club will help defray your expenses for the meeting place rental and food. I will certainly do whatever I can to help you along the way as well.

For those of you who like to mix travel in with insulator shows, (or vice-versa) there are possibilities almost every month of the year. Look on ICON, in Crown Jewels or Drip Points magazines for listings of upcoming shows.

In late June, Mike Funderburk and I had sales tables, and represented the Dixie Jewels Insulator Club at the Insulator Collectors of America show in Washington, Pennsylvania. This show, sponsored by the Western Reserve Insulator Club, had 70-75 sales tables. It was unseasonably warm in Pennsylvania. Temperatures were above 85 degrees and the metal building had no air conditioning. Someone commented to me that being from the south I should be used to the heat. I replied, “Yes I am, but we’ve invented air conditioning down south!” Despite the discomfort, I enjoyed the show and visiting with insulator friends from around the country.

The seminars in Washington, PA were great. I especially enjoyed Jeff Katchko’s presentation, with photos of the process involved as he tracked down the path of a very early threadless line in New York. This involved many hundreds of hours of reseach and much ground-truthing over some extremely forbidding terrain. Jeff, Ken Willick, Steve Bobb and several other collectors have made some stunning finds, and all I can say is that they earned every single one of them with their blood and sweat. My hat is off to Jeff for his dogged determination to locate and excavate old pole sites along this line. These collectors didn’t give up and the story of their efforts was an inspiration! I now know I haven’t tried nearly hard enough on old lines that predate the Civil War in my area!

By the time you read this the NIA National in Muncie, Indiana will be history. There are sure to be some good stories told at the swap meet about that big annual get-together. Dixie Jewel’s club member Steve Roberts is the new NIA President. Way to go Steve!

Next year’s NIA National was announced at the members meeting on July 29. It will take place in Colorado Springs, CO, July 21-23, 2017. This will be a good chance to mix a vacation out west with the big insulator show. At least that is what I’ll be planning. I’ve already got a sales table reserved and am looking forward to it.

It was my honor to once again present our club’s Jim Overstreet Award to a person whose display was voted by DJIC members as the best selection of North American CD (Consolidated Design) numbers. Jim, the founder of Dixie Jewels Insulator Club, was a dedicated CD collector. The award this year went to Shaun Kotlarsky, who had a very creative display featuring old Hemingray ads, with the actual glass insulator inserted and backlit, in place of the printed photo. It was impressive!

Dixie Jewels Insulator Club officers elections are held every May. Your officers for the coming year are Bill Haley, President, Cal Baker, Treasurer and Bill Grieser, Secretary.

I did not hear from anyone with a story or article for the newsletter. I’d love to print your story. Please consider submitting something for the November newsletter. You can contact me at I’ll see you soon!

On a sad note, I recently learned that long-time Dixie Jewels member Jackie Shaver passed away a couple of months ago. Jackie hosted several swaps in southern Alabama, but had been out of the hobby the last 3-4 years.

Bill Haley, President, DJIC

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One Response to Message From the President August 2016

  1. Ralph Dean says:

    Bill- Great Swap Meet in Soddy-Daisy. Some new faces and a ton of nice insulators. Looking forward to the next Swap Meet in November.

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