IN 1996 the Canadian Corkscrew Collectors Club (aka CCCC) held its annual general meeting at the Heritage Inn in Southbury, Connecticut from the 2nd to the 4th of August. Pretty close to 100 members and spouses showed up for the three day corkscrew orgy. They came from as far away as London, Sydney and Stamford, Connecticut. Their spouses were dragged from equal distances.
Things got a liquid jump start at a wine reception on Friday evening. Needless to say, there were plenty of corkscrews around to assist in the cork removals. In fact, one of our members, John Morris, brought a whole case of corkscrews to the wine reception to ensure that no bottle would go unopened. And, none did!
After the decorking ceremonies were complete, co-host Don Bull (a most RIGHT fellow in the ICCA: a rival group with deep roots in London) opted for the white while his verbal nemesis, Howard Lutterman seized the red.
Fred O'Leary was too busy selling copies of his freshly authored and excellent book on corkscrews to be bothered with the contents of the bottle. But, his wife, Sue, can be seen with a glass of red within arms reach.
On Saturday morning the BUY, SELL, TRADE session opened with a feeding frenzy at the "Bull, Erickson, Paradi" corkscrew trough. This was made possible by a grant from the "Bull, Erickson, Paradi" corkscrew consortium that had managed to acquire the wonderful collection of now deceased Bob Nugent. We sold hundreds of priceless pieces for peanuts, thus assuring ourselves places near the Maker.
After lunch we had the AGM and a SHOW AND TELL session in which we tried to make everyone else envious. I had nothing to show so no one was envious of me.
Of course, the centerpiece of the meeting was the auction that was necessarily preceded by a viewing of the pieces to be auctioned. Our seasoned auctioneer was Joe Paradi, who was partially assisted in his task by my very own Jean Marks, decked out in her favorite color: mustard. Joe's merciless goal to drive the prices sky high (except when HE was also bidding) brought smiles to the faces of old rivals in the flea markets.
The next day we left Southbury and had brunch at the home of a member who has this thing for knives that come with corkscrews. Don't you think that combination is really strange?
Next year we'll meet in London for another screwy session.