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VIC and Crying Over Spilt Milk…or missed Milk Bottles

October 6, 2010

Vic, who is a retired milk delivery man from Tacoma, drives to Walla Walla about four times a year to visit me*.  Vic’s father was also in the dairy business and for some reason Vic is a big dairy and milk collector.  He specializes in milk bottle caps but is equally enthusiastic about milk bottles.  Vic seems to specialize in collecting Washington and Oregon milk bottles and caps.

You may know that Jill and I opened our Antique Store in an old Creamery building that has been in the family since 1897.  It operated as Shady Lawn Creamery and thus we became Shady Lawn Antiques.  It may therefore come as no surprise that I collect local milk bottles and caps.

Each time Vic shows up he has some milk collectible that he “just picked up”.  Last weekend he had just found a great California Adohr Dairy milk bottle at the Custer’s Spokane Antique Show. I had never seen one of those “grenade” shaped bottles before he showed me his new acquisition.  Its’ size and shape would dictate that the milk cases (that held them) would have to be specially constructed – not too practical and therefore quite rare!


Vic with his Custer's Antique Show find


Then Vic showed me two Walla Walla milk bottles that he had found at another local antique shop. The other shop is about 15 – 20 blocks away from Shady Lawn – well out of my way. The thing about WW is that many of us get into our little routines and we don’t venture out much.

My weekly routine involves a basically straight east-west line on Isaacs Ave of about 14 blocks – Shady Lawn – home – gas station – bank – grocery store.  There doesn’t seem to be much room in that routine to venture 15 blocks south-west and 5 blocks east to visit another Antique Shop…

In the big picture, it seems easier to drive the 300 miles from Tacoma to the other antique shop and then to SL, don’t you think?

Well last weekend Vic found a rare amber (brown) colored 1/2 pint milk bottle from the Walla Walla Dairyman’s Association (WWDA) at the other antique shop.  How rare is this bottle?  I’ve never seen one and Vic has never even heard of an amber 1/2 pint bottle being used in Washington State.


Vic and the WWDA amber milk bottle


Spilling milk wasn’t such a good thing to do back in the dairy/creamery days and therefore crying over it was out too.  So Vic says that we each just shed tears or in his terminology leave tears…Vic says he leaves tears over the ten WW milk bottle caps that I have that he needs for his collection.  Vic also says that now I have left a tear over the amber WWDA bottle that he just found.  Vic claims that he caught the tear in the Milk Bottle and is saving it.  Maybe someday I’ll “talk him out of” the bottle and maybe my tear as well.


closer view of WWDA milk bottle


Vic, thanks for the Calhoun milk receipts that you gave on your last visit and I’m looking foreword to seeing you the next time that you are in Walla Walla!

*Vic claims that even if his daughter and her husband didn’t own Kerloo Cellars winery, in Walla Walla,  that he would still come to Walla Walla to see me…

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