Take a look around Bill Cook’s room full of
“A Hutchinson bottle," he says. "Those bottles weren’t used here in Canada.”
That I can’t help him with.
What else does he want?
With a smile he says, “A visit to the
He's in luck; I can help him with that, too.
Bill has been the president of the Ontario
Bill’s love of all things Coke started in his 20s when he started collecting all kinds of soda bottles. He purchased his first
A sign painter by trade, Bill has a real appreciation for the metal signs he collects. His favorite is on the wall of his Coke room, and is unique because of the “at our fountain” text. But, Bill is pragmatic about his collection.
“I buy and sell parts of my collection," he says. "I try to buy pieces for local collectors who can’t travel to conventions, then sell them items when I return home.”
In fact, Bill and another collector, Oscar Segovia, have held seminars at conventions on how to identity fake
While I looked around his collection, I was struck by the quality of the Coke items he had. I especially loved the Canada signs and red discs that have a yellow dot on the bottom. I noticed some large bottles that I had never seen before. Those were uniquely Bill’s. He paints large glass contour bottles in the winter when the weather keeps him inside.
“I never figured out how many hours it takes me to paint those. I’ve sold a few and more people have seen them and contacted me about buying one.”
As I left the book and six-pack behind for his collection we discussed the upcoming Annual Convention in Orlando in August. I also made him a promise, the next time he is in Atlanta, I’ll make his memories complete with a visit to the Archives.
Justine Fletcher is a processing archivist at The
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