Message from the President June 2023

Embracing the Opportunity

Welcome to Summer, fellow ICGA members! The warm weather has begun, the convention is around the corner, and lots of time to look for carnival glass is upon us. Hopefully you make it out on the road to embrace the opportunity to find some carnival glass, perhaps even some beautiful and very rare carnival. Surprisingly, it is still out there! There is so much incredible carnival glass that has been found and currently resides in collections that are behind closed doors and not for the viewing public. Usually the only chance you have to see these collections is when they come up for auction, which can be literal decades from now.

Of course, there are other ways to see this glass, and the primary one is a carnival glass convention, much like ours in Brookfield, Wisconsin on July 5-8th. In fact, we have the opportunity to see one of the finer collections in carnival glass, especially if you love beautiful color and iridescence. Dick and Sherry Betker have graciously opened their home for an open house on Wednesday, July 5th from 1:00 to 4:00 pm. Having bought and sold glass from and to them over the years, as well as having bid against them (and lost, LOL!) on some gorgeous pieces at auction, I am super excited to see this collection in its entirety since we seem to really love the same kind of carnival glass.

And then, of course, they are our banquet speakers on Friday the 7th and they can share some great stories about some of the more rare and amazing selections they bring to the convention out of this collection. It is simply not to be missed!

It’s surprising how many people I meet who love and collect carnival glass, but who also haven’t gone and seen anyone’s collections (or even attended a convention, for that matter). I totally get it: when I first started collecting carnival, the thought of seeing (and even touching) someone else’s glass was fear inducing. Part of you is super stoked to get to see some fantastic things and ask about them and see what colors they come in and why someone collects a specific pattern and all of that. But intimidation can be a bit of a nightmare. “What if their glass is very expensive?” or “What if they have the same things as me but theirs is even better?”

But that’s the rub. The more of anything you expose yourself to, the more you have a tremendous opportunity to learn and see and remember. The first time I went and saw someone’s collection, it happened to be Charles and Eleanor Mochel’s collection. HOLY COW! They had pieces I didn’t know existed. Patterns I had never seen. An entire case for Aqua Opal carnival glass (and that case was super super full.) Any intimidation I thought I would feel was gone instantly and replaced with an “oh golly!” attitude of excitement and wonder. I wanted to see it ALL!

Over the years, I have been fortunate to see so many collections in people’s homes. I’ve been to Bob Grissom’s home, the enormous collection of Stacy and Des Will, looked upon “The Wall” of the incredible Dale Matheny and George Thomas collection. I’ve been in the basement at the home of Bill and Sharon Mizell, the Bookers, the Dunhams, several Amish families, Emmett and Dorothy Morgan, Don Kime and Roland Kuhn, Stephen and Glen Thistlewood, and so many, many more. I have seen pieces that haven’t ever been acknowledged as existing, or maybe “only one of these is known, but they don’t know about THIS one.” I have seen so many brilliant pieces of carnival glass, either in convention room displays or in homes that I would never have seen if I didn’t attend a convention and put myself out there.

The opportunity is absolutely worth it. If you can, come to our convention and attend this open house and put yourself on the path to see even more. The more you see, the more you will learn and the more you will love. Believe me.

Hotel Reservations are open now at the Embassy Suites by Hilton, Milwaukee Brookfield, 1200 S Moorland Rd., Brookfield, WI 53005 (the same hotel that Lincoln Land used the past couple of years, a really wonderful property. To make your reservations, call (262) 782-2900 and give them Group Code “ICG” to get our rate of $149 per night (which includes breakfast buffet and the manager’s reception each night.) If you have any problems making a reservation, go ahead and make them and then contact me and we will get it straightened out. If you want to make your reservations online, visit the convention page on our website at and click the link there to make your reservations.

I sure hope to see you in July. It will be so very memorable.