This morning, Sebastian & I had a conversation about upcoming plans to attend a bottle collector show to look for a bottle made by his 4x great grandfather. We’ve been told by a collecting enthusiast that while the specific bottles do come to market with some regularity, they aren’t the most common. I told Sebastian that even if we can’t find one of his bottles at this particular show, I would like to see if I can learn more about his ancestor. This is where he thought I was crazy.
His response: “That would be like going into a gun show and asking some random dealer to tell you all about Samuel Colt. They’ll probably think you’re kind of crazy.”
I think he’s wrong. I think a better analogy would be going to an antiques-only gun show as a total newbie and asking an organizer or representative of a collector group if they know, or can point me in the direction of someone who knows, a more detailed history on someone like Christian Sharps because Sebastian is a recently discovered descendant of the man and would like to know more about his business history. Maybe I’m naïve, but I’d like to think that I’d get at least a little assistance, and maybe even someone who is eager to bring new people into the culture, even if they will only ever be interested in one particular type of rifle. Ultimately, he did agree that this was a better example and somewhat less crazy.
Given that kind of context, I don’t think I’ll sound as odd as Sebastian first worried. But, who knows? That said, I’m willing to come off as a little foolish and dumb if it ultimately leads me to more answers in uncovering more information and resources about Sebastian’s ancestors.
Also, this kind of serves as a reminder to us gunnies that if we encounter total newbies asking seemingly odd questions, don’t be rude. You never know when they might have a motivation you don’t yet understand, and they would willing to become part of the culture.
That said, to the degree that we do learn more about antique bottle collecting, we will never get to the level of enthusiasm that exists for privy diggers. (No offense to any readers who might be privy diggers, but, yeah, no…no way that I’m doing that.)