I Talked To The Lady In Houston , She Said A GRACE Alot Of The Regulars Have Canceled This Year Because Of The Cob 19 .The Show Would Probally Be Smaller But Still Had Tables For Any One That Wanted To Come .GRACE ABOUNDSNot trying to be a downer here, but I worry about the state of collecting in general sometimes. I've been in the Coca-Cola Collectors Club since the 1980s and at one time they had close to 7,000 members worldwide if memory serves correctly. The last newsletter I got said around 1,850 worldwide now. We used to go to a big regional Coca-Cola convention in Elizabethtown, KY each fall and it would fill up almost two hotels, you were lucky to get into the main hotel and even luckier to get on the ground floor. Last one they had 10-12 years ago only drew maybe 100 members. The annual national convention would get close to 1,000 now a lot less. A lot of the people who joined in the 1970s and 80s are gone, there's younger collectors but by and large it's an older crowd. Several of the regional conventions we used to go to are no longer.
Our local chapter still has around 30 members who pay dues, and six have passed the last three years. For many years Pre-COVID we'd have six meetings a year with 20-25 members on average. Prior to last year we'd get about 10 if we could find someone to host a meeting. Most of us are 50+ years old, too.
A few of us who collect and get together have talked about things, and we think in another 10 years there may not be the conventions or local chapter meetings any more.
My nieces and nephews saw my collection, said it was neat then got back on their smartphones.
My collecting focus has always been ACL's and commemorative soft drink bottles. A lot of the ACL bottles still seem to be popular but not so much for the commemoratives. With the decline of glass soda pop other than the 8 oz. Coca-Cola bottles that have flooded the market the past 25 years or so, there's not much out there new to collect. And, I've always been a believer we collect what we grew up with for the most part. I started collecting bottles when I got a job in a grocery store in 1974 and my job was to sort and rack the returned bottles. Thought they were neat and a hobby was started for me.
I'm 64 now and still enjoy collecting. We love to go to antique malls, flea markets, bottle shows, etc. As long as I'm able to get out and about I'll be looking for bottles. Just my observation and thought, other's mileage may vary...