ARNOLD FREDRICK MEMORIAL AWARD for Lifetime Service
Arnold (Arnie) Fredrick 1927 - 1995 1981 - Key Founder Antique Doorknob Collectors of America
The ARNOLD FREDRICK MEMORIAL AWARD, affectionately known as the Arnie, was established in 1997 to honor the late Arnie Fredrick, a founder of the ADCA/Member #1 and a gentleman passionate about family, friends, his community, and antique hardware. In the 40 years as an organization, there have been only six Arnie recipients.
From Maud Eastwood’s Eulogy to a Friend (TDC #73), “My first encounter with Arnie was in the spring of 1981, by telephone. I was in Oregon, he in Waverly, Iowa. I was seated by the breakfast table when the phone rang. An unfamiliar voice identified itself as belonging to Arnie Fredrick of Lutheran Mutual Life Insurance Company and inquired if I would consent to fly, all expenses paid, to Waverly, Iowa, and speak to a group of people, interested in old doorknobs, who would consider the possibility of starting a club. Of course, I accepted the invitation. Arnie Fredrick became my friend. I am reminded of a saying, "If we develop even one truly thick-and-thin friend in our lifetime, we are indeed fortunate." Through Arnie Fredrick I was made fortunate. I do not take myself too seriously and Arnie made me feel special. He was never critical, but was kind and built confidence. His civil, social, community, and church involvement had led to his recognition, on a national level, as a leading citizen of the country. My friend, Arnie, maximized his God-given gifts to the benefit of his fellow man and our doorknob club. Arnie's place and influence in bringing this about will not be forgotten.”
In almost 40 years as an organization, there have only been six Arnie recipients.
This years award winner has been an active member of the ADCA since 1981. The recipient has attended all conventions and has served on the Board of Directors in numerous positions. This person has written many articles for the club's newsletter and also for outside copy. The recipient can claim authorship in the field of antique hardware and is often looked to as a source of knowledge in this field. Like Arnie, this person has given countless hours of service to the ADCA. On behalf of this committee I would like to congratulate the first Arnie Fredrick Memorial winner ... Maude Eastwood.
The following reflects the feelings of Maude Eastwood upon her receiving the Arnie Fredrick award at Convention 2000 in Minneapolis. Her thoughts on receiving this award are reflected in TDC #104.
"Whoops, are they talking about me? Will I be asked to say something. My emotions took over and I cried. Then I really DID have to say something. One does not prepare an acceptance speech in advance when they do not see themselves as a candidate. I had actively campaigned (filled out the questionnaire) for who I considered was the best qualified to receive the Arnie Fredrick Award. The board did not see it as I did. In all humility I accept the award, even as I confess that three years ago, when it was first suggested, I was outspoken against such an award. I sincerely believed no one else could possibly qualify and felt the loss to the club was so great that to give such an award to a lesser involved member would demean Arnie's memory. Eventually I came to see that it could enhance Arnie's memory and inspire others to follow his lead. I thank the board and fellow members who voted for me for this great honor. Whatever I had done was as a labor of love and without thought of future recognition. I was forever addicted and afflicted with the doorknob craze and bound by an invisible cord to others of like mind. As I flippantly remarked, "It is in my blood, I would do it all again, even without this recognition."
We are privileged this evening to honor a member within our own club. Let me start by giving some background on this year's recipient. There are many who will know very quickly just who this man is. This simply cannot be helped as his accomplishments are much too frequent to keep his identity secret! This year's award recipient began his collection in 1975. The first knob which "fueled the fire" was a gold plated heart knob, C-11100, complete with escutcheon. Over the years, he and his wife have acquired over 3,000 doorknobs and thousands of other hardware items. His favorites are almost always manufactured from 1870-1890. He is also keenly fond of MCCC, Russell & Erwin, Hopkins & Dickinson and Mallory Wheeler pieces. Our recipient has endeavored to be involved with the club from its' beginning. He is one of three people who have never missed a convention. His abilities were quickly recognized and he was soon involved in many areas of leadership within the club. In 1982, he hosted the second ADCA convention in San Francisco, CA. By 1983, he was elected President and was soon to have great impact in the club. In The Doorknob Collector # 50 John Holland stated; "The second convention was held in San Francisco and hosted by Len and Patti Blumin. Through Len's leadership ADCA took a great step, as he engineered the establishment of the library and archives. He also started the first auction, which became a fundraiser, as well as an opportunity for conventioneers to buy and sell, and enjoy the fun of a lively auction!"
1983 was a great year for Len and ADCA as his book, Victorian Decorative Art was published. Known as the "Blue Bible of hardware," this manual for collecting doorknobs has been carried thousands of miles and read countless times over. Win Applegate, while commenting on the re-issuance of The VDA_stated, "Len Blumin was the author of the original book and we will always be grateful to him for the organization that he brought to the art of collecting." Len has continued to serve in ADCA's leadership throughout the years. He served as Vice President in 1982, 1987 & 1988. He served as President in 1983, 1984, 1989 & 1990. He has been a member of countless committees and has chaired the nominating committee for many years. Len has also been very active in helping to distribute information and education to others in the field of hardware. He is known for his extensive research and has been a long time contributor of articles for The Doorknob Collector (TDC). In December 1986 Len began publishing updates on his book in the TDC. This regular feature was entitled "Ornamental Design in Antique Doorknobs" and was eagerly looked forward to with each issue. Len has also been the key speaker at many different conventions. He has created numerous hardware displays and won many awards. Most recently, he exhibited hardware at the City Museum in St. Louis, during their "Jewelry for Buildings" exhibition. It is clear by now that anyone can see that Len Blumin is qualified to receive this award. There is one more element though that I have not spoken about. That is, Len Blumin the human being. Len has many friends in this room tonight. Like Arnie, he is well respected and loved for the man he is. I believe it is fair to say that many of us are pleased to count him as a friend. Charlie Wardell, in a quote from the June 1984, TDC #11 stated; "For the first time in my collecting experience I parted with a knob of which I had no duplicate. It is a rarity and I traded with one of the finest collectors." On behalf of ADCA, I want to thank you Len for your years of valuable service to the club. Please stay a bit longer as we wouldn't be the same without you! Will you please come forward and receive the Arnie?
The ADCA proudly presented the Arnie Award to Win Applegate at our recent 25th Anniversary Convention in Charleston.
Win Applegate was a close friend of Arnie, and followed Arnie's example in so many ways. Win previously served as ADCA President for 8 years, and has been responsible for conducting the ADCA auction ever since taking over the job from Arnie. He worked closely with a software designer to develop the complex but efficient software that makes the auction run so smoothly. Because he had done the the auction clerking with paper and pencil for many years, he was able to articulate exactly what the computer program should do. And it does exactly what is required to keep track of selling, buying, and club profit.
Win's accomplishments and contributions are too numerous to list in detail, but perhaps his greatest work involves editing the revised and expanded edition of Victorian Decorative Art, a truly enormous undertaking. VDA II virtually doubles the original in size, and Win is planning to add perhaps another 1000 knobs in the next edition! Other Applegate contributions include writing numerous articles for The Doorknob Collector including a regular column for several years called "Bits and Pieces". He is currently writing a new column, "Close UP", which features an unusual knob from his collection. We were greatly pleased that Carol and Hilary Applegate were there to see Win accept this prestigious award, and look forward to seeing them all for many years to come.
The 2008 recipients of the prestigious Arnie Fredrick Memorial Award were none other than Loretta and Ray Nemec, former co-editors of the ADCA newsletter, The Doorknob Collector. This office was filled by the Nemecs for a period of 11 consecutive years as they edited, produced, and mailed a total of 68, 6 page issues dating from December 1986 through December of 1998. However, the successful accomplishment of this monumental feat was not the only basis for their selection for this great honor. Suffice to say that the ADCA was fortunate when the Nemec's accepted the role as the club's editors, for their background qualifications and personal dedications proved them to be fully capable for the role. Both individuals were visionaries, both knowledgeable in the use and production of graphic material. Loretta was a full-time employee of FERMI, the National Accelerator Laboratory at Batavia, Illinois, funded by the Office of Science in the Department of Energy. She has always been very museum-oriented. Ray, a founding member of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR, a cooperative of 6,700 members, spanning the globe), worked for Corn Products Co. International, where he handled production, planning and scheduling. In 1997, as editors, the Nemecs were given an ADCA Merit Award plaque. But they did far more than that to further the aims and interests of the ADCA. As a founding member of the ADCA, in 1983, Loretta worked with Arnie Fredrick to compile the first convention brochure distributed. That same year, she hosted the Convention in Naperville. In 1984 Loretta was nominated Vice-President, serving perennially on the Board. In succeeding years, Loretta developed an outstanding collection, portions of which she was to often display as she or she and Ray accepted invitations to display or present lectures. Further, Loretta was an involved, 'caring' individual, serving as a personal relationship ambassador at large, among the members. Ray is a dedicated numbers man, facts and figures being his passion. He also served as Secretary-Treasurer and a member of the board until 1997. His stated goal as co-editor was "to give members a balanced newsletter that appealed to all levels of collectors through historical, informational, and educational features". The Blumin supplements came through his vision. As board member, his suggestions were pertinent and far reaching, such as looking forward to awarding of honors where deserved, to the giving of life memberships to aging founding members and service awards for outstanding services performed, all of which were later adopted. Ray's "Open Door" columns featured lists and charts of members and their roles filled in the governance and running of the club, including statistics involved. In leaving office, Ray left a legacy of meticulously kept membership and financial records providing following statisticians a wealth of well-developed and kept records. In view of my long acquaintance and working relationship with Loretta and Ray, I (Maud Eastwood) was honored to be asked to present the Arnie Fredrick Memorial Award to them at this, the 2008 ADCA convention, the second convention they have hosted.
Rich and Faye go about as far back as one can go in the history of collecting builders’ hardware. It all began, of course, with Maude Eastwood’s The Antique Doorknob published in 1976. Gradually word of it spread. Rich & Faye heard about it, got a copy and decided to do something about it. They got a list of purchasers from Maud and in March, 1977 a single sheet newsletter, entitled The Doorknob Collector, appeared in some 15 mailboxes, proposing to “unite all doorknob collectors.” Rich went on “One idea was this newsletter to be sent periodically with interesting facts, articles and the like from fellow collectors and the second was in the future perhaps a loose leaf catalog of photos of everyone’s collection.” By the time of the second newsletter appeared it went to 80 people, and the third went to over 150 hardware fanciers. By then we knew there were others out there and the group began to form. That was the pioneering of the Kennedys, whose newsletter was crucial in creating the community which became the ADCA. In the February 1981 issue of TDC, Rich wrote that Arnie Fredrick had suggested a Convention and Swap Meet in Waverly, that he had heard the idea from several other readers and asked for their reaction to it. And so, thanks to Arnie Fredrick’s organizational efforts, the first Convention came to pass. The Doorknob Collector be-came the official publication of the Club and new editors took over. But without the foundation laid by the Kennedys, we still might be contained in our separate worlds. The Kennedys kept in contact with Maude, Len and others in the Club. Actually, the first Convention Rich attended was in Hartford Connecticut in 1990. He arrived unannounced, and upon seeing the crowd, Rich’s reaction was “my baby grew up”! The Kennedys continued to contribute to the ADCA and to publicize our activities. After the Nemec’s editorship of The Doorknob Collector, the Kennedys took over again an edited it for 35 issues or 6 years. At the same time, they were – and are - the nerve center of the Club, the “back office”. Who do you think kept track of dues, welcoming new members and reminding old ones to “get their money in”? They also administered the Conventions and sent us a roster of members. More recently they oversaw establishment and updates of our website, and handle book orders. Faye has been essential in putting together the issues of the TDC, and both of them have also contributed many articles over the years. There is undoubtedly a lot more they do in keeping the organization running smoothly which we do not know about. Oh, and by the way, they co-sponsored the Bethlehem Convention in 2001. On the New Jersey level, the Kennedys have organized numerous local shows of hardware and given talks about it. Finally, on one bicycle trip in Providence, RI, Rich identified O-213 as coming from the Turks Head Building – mystery solved. (See TDC #94). The Kennedys richly deserve “The Arnie” for their decades of dedication to doorknob collecting and the ADCA.
How do you nominate the Chair of the Arnie Fredrick Memorial Award Committee to receive that highest honor bestowed by the Antique Doorknob Collectors of America without him knowing about it? With great care and consideration, as shown by ADCA Board members Vicky Berol, Win Applegate, and Allen Joslyn.
Vicky Berol gave us the background and history of The Arnie award, and then was literally interrupted by a familiar face. Win Applegate appeared on the screen, saying “Excuse me. Pardon me. Point of order. Please, point of order.”
“Thank you. My name is Win Applegate. I have not met all of you because I have missed some of the recent conventions. However, I am a member of the Board of Directors and, more importantly this evening, I am a holder of an Arnie, and as such I qualify to be able to nominate someone else for an ARNIE.
If my memory serves me well, this individual joined the Antique Doorknob Collectors of America while I was Vice President. It seems whenever there was a need this person was always there, working frequently with the founders of our organization. In time some of these people took that one step back from the activities and sadly, some of the others have left us.
Over time this dedication and support transitioned into leadership. Until today the name of this person and your organization sometimes are close to synonymous. I consider it an honor and a great pleasure to nominate for an Arnie, STEVE ROWE. Steve, God bless.”
Vicky highlighted many of Steve’s accomplishments from more than 20 years of service in the ADCA, including ten years as club President and the last 5 years as Vice President, a regular winner of convention “Best” awards, recognized authority on Victorian hardware who has been interviewed by many national publications, extraordinary describer of lots during the annual auction, and author of many articles in this newsletter and other publications. A legendary commitment to our Club, including sharing his extensive knowledge and advice as a mentor to many, Vicky Berol formally nominated Steve Rowe for The Arnie Award for vote by the membership, since Allen (the other Arnie Committee member) was absent at this convention. Faye Kennedy seconded, and the membership unanimously made Steve Rowe the sixth recipient of the Arnie Fredrick Memorial Award.
The following reflects the feelings of Steve Rowe on receiving the Arnie Fredrick award at the 2016 convention:
"When Win Applegate, via video presentation, announced the name of Steve Rowe for the Arnie nominee, it was a shock to hear my name called and although I generally do not struggle to find words, I was overcome with emotion upon presentation of the award. Arnie Fredrick was a special man and is regarded as a founder of the club. Although I am still unsure as to my worthiness of this appointment, I am extremely grateful and thank all for this privilege. Many ADCA members have influenced me through my years of membership, including Win Applegate, Maud Eastwood, Loretta Nemec, Norman Blam, Steve Menchhofer, Rhett Butler, Rich Kennedy, Dale Sponaugle, Charlie Bednar, Joe Mueller, Carlos Ruiz, Allen Joslyn, Bob Rodder, Bo Sullivan and many, many more. I have made many great friendships, learned much about hardware and have collected many pieces along this journey. It is my hope that I too have had positive impact in club member’s lives. Service within ADCA has been a privilege, and to be thanked for my service is a great honor."