2013 Downieville Sabbatical – “just us two dogs”


2013 Downieville Sabbatical

“just us two dogs”

16 September 2013 | Part 1


Apple-Touch-IconAAs some of you might know, I decided to take a long weekend, actually a week off sabbatical, to visit the historic town of Downieville, California with my Weimeraner, Coco. You know, a sabbatical is a “break from work” and I just kinda’ needed it. Elizabeth has all her horse events, our five other dogs and the junior pops this weekend so it just did not work out for her. It has also been a long, hot summer in Houston and I wanted to be “one with nature” as someone wise, maybe Confucious, once said. Downieville was just what the spiritual bottle Doc ordered as it is such an incredible, unspoiled place.

The trip was centered around the Downieville Antique Bottle Show and the wonderful dinner and wine tasting event the night before put on by Rick and Cherry Simi and their friends. You can’t beat that.


I have been here twice before and really enjoyed running through the various mountain trails and dreamed of doing it with Coco. She has trained with me for my last marathon and loves to run, as I do. She is my constant running companion. That is Coco exploring in the brush along one of the mountain paths. So far we have had six super runs along different mountain trails.



A couple of weeks ago, I finally took the leap, bought a dog crate for shipping, took Coco to the vet, and re-learned about flying with a dog cross country. This was only my second dog trip and first for Coco. Obviously both of us taking one of Elizabeth’s horses would take too long.


As I write this, we are here now at the River House and my roommates (Jerry Forbes and Steve Bird) have moved on and it is just us two dogs until Thursday. This house over looks two rivers merging together to make one. That would be the confluence of the Downie and North Yuba Rivers. You constantly hear the rushing water as we keep our windows open with the weather so nice. I was even cold this morning during our run. You also can watch swimmers, trout fisherman and gold panners from our porch. The second picture below is Dave Hall and his wife trying some luck. The top picture was taken from the middle of the one-lane bridge next to our house. One time Coco jumped in the water and gave me her dog, “what the f***!” look, as the mountain water is freezing. She is used to jumping in the warmer Houston bayous.



While we are at the house, we typically take our bottles out and set them on the porch railing which makes a great shot. Here you can see a few of Jerry’s including three US Hospital Dept bottles. One night, Jerry even made a spaghetti dinner for us including guests, Pam, Randy and Scott Selenak. The whole time, we had bottle friends stopping by for a glass of wine, bottle talk and picture taking.






I forgot to mention that Coco and I could not find a direct flight to Reno so we flew in to Sacramento and secured our rental car for the trip through the mountains to Downieville. On our way, we had the opportunity to stop by and see Jeff Wichmann and Chi Chi at American Bottle Auctions as they had moved recently and I had not seen their new shop. I did see these great forms below, all highly prized by Jeff. Coco seemed ‘undazzled’ by some of Jeff’s toys and just took a nap in Jeff’s bottle room.




On our third outing, on the Saturday morning before the show, Scott Selenak joined us for a run on a trail that we had not been on before. We even found an old abandoned gold mine that Scott said had been shown to him the year before. Scott actually found three old bottles deep in the mine.


The night before, as mentioned above, we all attended the dinner and wine tasting at the Simi’s. Here are a few shots that exclude the event which I hope to cover later when Scott’s pictures come in. Scott is the FOHBC photographer and like any good photographer, always has his camera.

The top picture is the bottle cake, while the others are the ‘saloon’ next to their house and a few of us jawing.





Stay tuned for:

Part 2: Downieville – Goodyears Bar Excursion

Part 3: Downieville Antique Bottle Show Dinner Party Pictures

About Ferdinand Meyer V

Ferdinand Meyer V is a native of Baltimore, Maryland and has a BFA in Fine Art and Graphic Design from the Kansas City Art Institute and School of Design. Ferdinand is the founding Principal of FMG Design, a nationally recognized design consultation firm. Ferdinand is a passionate collector of American historical glass specializing in bitters bottles, color runs and related classic figural bottles. He is married to Elizabeth Jane Meyer and lives in Houston, Texas with their daughter and three wonderful grandchildren. The Meyers are also very involved in Quarter Horses, antiques and early United States postage stamps. Ferdinand is the past 6-year President of the Federation of Historical Bottle Collectors and is one of the founding members of the FOHBC Virtual Museum.
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One Response to 2013 Downieville Sabbatical – “just us two dogs”

  1. Froggy says:

    Good for you Ferdinand! You deserve this time off; sounds delightful.

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