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Dwayne's House 2000 Personal Show Journal by Christian Willis.

This journal was written on Sunday, March 19, 2000.

It has been about three years since I last had the pleasure of being with my fellow collectors. My father and I packed up the van on Saturday morning at around 8:30, drove to the office to pick up Doug’s antique sewing machine, and then out to Aunt Claire and Uncle Glen’s house to drop it off. We visited for a short while and then we were on our way to Highland (highway 30 to Running Springs 330) where Dwayne and Ofelia’s new house is. We arrived around high noon and parked alongside the other thirty cars lining the street. The entire fence was lined with colorful insulators, and we knew without a doubt this was the place! We signed the guestbook and put on nametags and mingled, saying "hi" to people we hadn’t seen in years. It was great! I, of course, after spending the customary few minutes of politeness, dove into the 100 boxes or so of Dwayne’s strewn across the patio full of insulators! I glanced up at a table and saw a beautiful 109 dead-end spool in amber gleaming and picked it up. It was almost mint and would be a great display piece. I set it down to find out who’s table it was and as soon as I did, another guy came over, picked it up, and went over to pay for it. Boy was I mad! I grumbled and pawed through Dwayne's boxes unhappily until I reached a box of 121’s. I reached my hand in and pulled out a W.G.M. Co. in purple. What’s so special about that? Nothing! It’s the insulator I pulled AFTER that that I almost died! My frown turned into a grin and I knew I had my find of the show: A 121 Am. Tel. & Tel. Co. with SDP! Talk about a hard-to-find hemi product! The $100 price tag had me cringing, but I was determined to pay the price, especially since the book listed it for almost double that amount. Shortly afterwards I found two more pieces I had been wanting for a while also: A CD 231.2 Kimble 820 and a CD 220 Hemingray 670 with the small saddle groove mold variation! Dwayne gave me the three pieces together for $100.

That’s it. I was satisfied. I didn’t need any more pieces! I was drooling over a few other color signals and the electric mickeys, but didn’t have an extra $1285 on me, so I sat back and relaxed. I got to talking with the grandson of William McLaughlin! That was neat! He showed me his photo album of McL glassware and insulators. We also got to take a tour of Dwayne Anthony’s house and his impressive collections of insulators and glassware. Talk about technicolor! The peacock blue and red amber Lockes alone had me practically in tears. Dwayne had his cockatiel wave to me (yes, his bird can wave) and I went outside to set about drinking my six sodas for the day (possibly a record?) The temperature was roasting and turned me a nice shade of medium-well. (Not sunburned, but almost.) I relaxed in the shade again, mind wandering when my eyes locked onto a colorful signal across the way at Butch’s table, and for some unknown reason, I went over to look at it. It was marked $100 and I was surprised! It was such a beautiful bright red for an H.G.Co. signal… red? I blinked a few times and went over immediately to my price guide. If a Hemingray-19 in root beer amber is going for over $150, this must surely be a deal, I thought. I looked up the color and had to conceal my surprise: Red/ red-orange amber listed at $400-500. I held the piece up to the sunlight and imagined it in my display case, and I liked what I saw. I talked with my dad for awhile about this piece and got a few opinions from other trusted collectors such as Dwayne and Dave Hall and Ron Norton, and they all agreed it had a redish-orangish hue to it. I couldn’t resist putting myself in debt even more than I already was and so I offered Butch $80 for it. Sold for $85. You didn’t hear me complain! I was all smiles now that I had this beautiful piece, especially with the dark red amber swirls throughout. The guy who bought the amber 109 came over and gave me a trashed Owens-Illinois box with 10 of the original CD 107’s still in it. I thanked him and obviously couldn’t refuse such a kind gesture, especially since it’s hemi!

I went over and talked to Dave Hall who had a CD 162 Petticoat Petticoat! I was thrilled to see one and even got to hold it. It was $300 so I didn’t get it (obviously!) but he said the price wasn’t firm and so I hinted my way through possibly getting it at the upcoming Cayucos show (which I definitly hope to if he saves it for me!) [Update: My dad ended up buying this and gave it to me for Christmas! What a great guy! :) ]

Right afterwards was the dinner: carne asada! It was SO good! I had thirds (and felt like a pig in front of the McLaughlin’s great granddaughter, but oh well! I was famished!) Afterwards, people started packing up and before we knew it the place was almost devoid of insulators. When it started getting dark a few of us sat around the young campfire while the other guys played horseshoes. A little later everyone gathered at the campfire and all sat around, making s’mores and telling a few funny stories, disco music playing in the background from the house. At one point Ofelia brought out a picture of Dwayne from the disco era! Near the end as more people started leaving, Dwayne fetched a no-name purple Am. Tel. and threw it in the fire. In a few moments it shattered and we buried it in the fire for the next morning to see what color it would turn.

We went to bed about 11:00 pm and I was woken up at 4:00 am by four blind roosters (it was still very much dark). Combined with my pillow falling over the edge of the top bunk, my dad snoring, and the extreme cold, I had the hardest time falling asleep again. I finally got up about 8:30 and we put the van together. Dwayne showed me the insulator from the night before which had turned clear! He gave me a piece and I thanked him. After saying our goodbyes, we took off home so I could write this journal. It was very fun and I hope they do it again sometime!

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