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HomeLifestyleInternational Brick Collectors Association Holds Summer Swap and Convention in Grand Marais

International Brick Collectors Association Holds Summer Swap and Convention in Grand Marais

People collect all kinds of things. Some collect baseball cards. Others collect stamps, coins, or antique cars. Some even collect old bricks. Especially those that are branded with company names and logos or the signif­icant building they were once a part of.

The International Brick Collectors As­sociation (IBCA) is holding its summer swap event, titled “The Great Northern Get Together,” at the Grand Marais Recreation Park and Campground June 9th and 10th. The event, hosted by Colvill residents Jeff and Dana Bartheld, is open to the public.

According to Jeff, they are expecting 60- 70 people to attend from around the country. “We already have responses from Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas, Kansas, Ohio, Oklahoma, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Virginia,” he said. “Lots of these folks have never been this far north.”

According to a brick collecting website www.brickcollecting.com, “Collecting old, branded brick is a growing hobby. Some call it a crazy hobby, but to find, touch, and own a piece of history can be very rewarding… and fun.”

The IBCA claims almost 700 members in the United States, Canada, Great Brit­ain, New Zealand, Australia, and France. Members collect bricks for rarity and beauty and for the stories that come with each one. Members are people from all walks of life. One longtime member, Clem Rinkmeyer, is said to have 17,000 bricks in his collection.

IBCA holds “brick swaps” three times each year in different parts of the country. At these events, bricks are traded (swapped) and not sold. Only members of IBCA may participate in the swap and no bricks are sold.

There is an “Early Arrival” social event planned for Friday afternoon, June 9th at the Bartheld residence at 3911 East Highway 61, from 2:00 to 5:30 pm. The public is wel­come to bring any bricks they may have that they would like information about or to sell.

There will be a club banquet at the Cook County Community Center, a members only event, at 6:00 pm. Membership costs $20 per year and interested people can join at www.internationalbrickcollectorsassociation.com.

The swap area will be set up in a roped off area at the Rec Park on Saturday morning starting at 7:00 am. At 9:00 am the swap horn sounds and the swapping begins. Non­members will need to be outside the roped off area by 8:45 a.m.

At 11:00 am there is a Club Benefit Auc­tion for members.

For further information contact the Bar­thelds at 763-333-5144.

Steve Fernlund
Steve Fernlund
Typically these “about me” pages include a list of academic achievements (I have none) and positions held (I have had many, but who really cares about those?) So, in the words of the late Admiral James Stockwell, “Who am I? Why am I here?” I’m well into my seventh decade on this blue planet we call home. I’m a pretty successful husband, father, and grandfather, at least in my humble opinion. My progeny may disagree. We have four children and five grandchildren. I spent most of my professional life in the freight business. At the tender age of 40, early retirement beckoned and we moved to Grand Marais. A year after we got here, we bought and operated the Cook County News Herald, a weekly newspaper in Grand Marais. A sharp learning curve for a dumb freight broker to become a newspaper editor and publisher. By 1999 the News Herald was an acquisition target for a rapidly consolidating media market. We sold our businesses and “retired” again, buying a winter retreat in Nevada. In the fall of 2016, we returned to Grand Marais and bought a house from old friends of ours on the ridge overlooking Lake Superior. They were able to move closer to family and their Mexico winter home. And we came home to what we say is our last house. I’m a strong believer in the value of local newspapers--both online and those you can wrap a fish in. I write a weekly column and a couple of feature stories for the Northshore Journal. I’m most interested in writing about the everyday lives of local people and reporting on issues of importance to them.
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