During the 2015 annual planning meeting of the DVC, Tom & Dick asked for a volunteer to host an event for January with a recommendation to look into the “American Treasure Tour” and make arrangements for the group to meet up afterwards for lunch. After getting a direct look from Tom, I reluctantly agreed to take on this task figuring I won’t get asked for anything else in the near future (We’ll see how that works out).
When checking the website for the Treasure Tour, reading their overview and checking prices, I was somewhat skeptical of how this would go over with the club members at $45/person. Although the pictures and tour programs looked good, I kept thinking that this is way too expensive for what was offered. After calling to check for available dates and group pricing, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that for groups of 10 or more the price dropped significantly to $24/person, much more reasonable and I made our reservation.
Our tour group on this cold morning included the following members; Greg & Janice Lake, Greg Prehodka, Tom & Jaimee Rippert, Dave & Gloria Schwab, Mark & Janet Singer, Dick & Sandy Suffredini, Peter & Nancy Yaskowski, Garth & Susan Gill and Adam & Eva Ilnicki. Once assembled, we were greeted by our tour guides, Ross and Val who briefly explained the program and itinerary.
We started off with a 30-40 minute visit to a room where we were seated surrounded by about 15 or more very old and beautifully restored nickelodeons. Our guide Ross did a great job of explaining the details associated with many of them and also played them (all controlled by his iPad). The mechanicals inside these works of art make our MG cars look like child toys. Personally I was astounded by the craftsmanship, beauty and sound from these machines of the past. From here we walked around the rest of this area where there were more music boxes (as found in the home during the time), doll houses, musical instruments, stuffed animals (everywhere) and some very large band organs which as explained were used in dance halls to play when the bands went on breaks. From here we went into another very large room and boarded a tram like you see on the boardwalk down the shore. While Val did the driving, Ross pointed out most of the highlights as we drove through about 100,000 square feet of old cars & trucks, model airplanes, stuffed animals, motorcycles, band organs, vintage posters, old Halloween masks, dolls, animated figurines, more band organs and did I mention stuffed animals. They were everywhere, in the rafters, in the cars…everywhere. This collection of antiques, memorabilia, nickelodeons, and other assorted junk is the property of one man who chooses to remain anonymous. Some would call him a hoarder and eccentric and they are probably correct but it was a collection worth seeing and I think enjoyed by all who attended.
After the tour we all gathered across the street at the Uno restaurant for lunch in a private room with a fireplace, all in all, a nice outing for a cold day in January.
– Peter Yaskowski