The recent ceasing of publication of the NMX by Carol Semen and Dan Egert brought back a lot of memories.
In late 1987 Jean Bushnell put an ad in the ANTIQUE TRADER for subscribers to a new newsletter on McCoy Pottery. This was the OUR MCCOY MATTERS. I was one of the first subscribers, #4 as a matter of fact. She described her efforts as a kitchen table publication and it was well received. In an early 1988 issue she invited as many as could to join her in Zanesville for the Annual Pottery Festival. Ten McCoy collectors gathered there in 102 degree weather to share pictures and Hunt McCoy!
After that first year we planned to gather again the next year and each of us would bring a few bags of snacks or drinks. George Williams headed the get-togethers for a few years. We’d reserve the convention room at the Thrift Lodge/Travel Lodge and have a show and tell. When we outgrew that room George arranged for us to use the YWCA auditorium across the street for our show and tell.
Within a Few years Jeans busy career and family life allowed little time for the newsletter she loved and created so she handed it over to Kathy Lynch and her husband Sean. Sean did the layout work for Kathy. Kathy and Sean published the OMM until his early and untimely death. With a family to raise it was difficult for Kathy to continue it then. Kathy did oversee the convention details the best I remember for a short time.
1995 was the one year I wasn’t able to attend due to breast cancer treatments. Thankfully that’s way in the past! That year Nancy Spruill began volunteering her time to organize the reunion events. She did a magnificent job for a number of years. As our group of collectors and attendees grew it was a tremendous amount of work on Nancy. Polly Sweetman also put in a lot of work for a few years.
It was at another reunion / convention that a number of collectors were sitting in my (and Dewey’s) room one night when we convinced Jean to do another newsletter. Dewey came up with the Train enjine logo and the name to what was to become the NM Express. By this time Jean had re-located to the Denver area for her job. This got her closer to family in Wyoming.
Jean had a number of folks who sent her articles but it again became too much for her busy life. Jean is a serious writer and wanted to devote more time to her serious writing, not just on McCoy Pottery. She did publish her novel ,FORTUNE IN H.E.L.L, a mystery. At this point she offered the NMExpress to me but I didn’t think I wanted to devote that much time to a newsletter. She then gave the newsletter to Carol Seman and Dan Eggert who put out the NMX until recently.
During this time Nancy Spruill was continuing to organize the events for the Convention with the help of several volunteers. UNTIL, illness hit her family and all of a sudden she could not attend or carry out the work for that year. We were thrown into a frenzy at the last minute trying to keep it all together…and it worked. We realized then that the amount of work was way too much for one person to handle and began the thought process for a formal organization where various people would have different duties…and any of us could pitch in if any one person couldn’t attend.
SO our group of McCoy Pottery Collectors formally became the McCoy Pottery Collectors Society. We’re not a new group, but the old group formalized. Dewayne Imsand is editor of our Journal, a publication consisting of historical and interesting articles on McCoy Pottery along with articles from collectors on various aspects of McCoy.
We have officers that handle different duties including the events we have during our convention and together it is quite successful.
I've been so fortunate through the years to have met so many wonderful people through our Conventions, made some dear friends through our shared interest in McCoy and have so many memories to happily look back on.
Memories, ah Memories!