2014 Olympin Show - Los Angeles, CA - July 25-27
On Thursday evening, July 24, the well-organized events of the 2014 Olympin Collectors Club Show began with a warm California welcome at Sid and Joan Marantz’s beautiful beach-themed home in Marina del Rey. About 50, including Olympin members from Europe, China, Japan and a variety of states as far away as Florida and Connecticut, reunited at the “Beach Bash,” which featured margaritas, tasty made-to-order Mexican food, and lively conversations in a lovely setting. The evening was capped off with a stroll across the street to the beach to watch the sun set slowly over the Pacific.
By ten the next morning, the Studio Ballroom at the Courtyard by Marriott Los Angeles Westside was filled with 37 tables manned by 46 Olympic memorabilia collectors, and the show was on. At two of the tables, Eugene Antonier, son of late Olympin member Cornelius Antonier, along with his wife Aileen, was on hand to enable show-goers to acquire portions of Cornelius’s extensive pin collection. This added excitement to the show as new parts of the collection were revealed each day and negotiations began anew with all interested parties.
At the Olympian’s table, outfitted in his original Tokyo 1964 blue uniform jacket and offering for sale some of his personal Olympic treasures, was volleyball legend Mike O’Hara accompanied by his wife Arlen. Since the weekend’s events were in part a celebration of the 30th anniversary of the L.A. ‘84 Olympic Games, as LAOOC’s Executive Director of Sports Federations in 1984, Mike was the ideal choice to serve as the official ribbon cutter that day during the brief opening ceremony. Holding the ribbon were Bud Kling, chair of the 2014 Show Organizing Committee, Scott Reed, vice-president of Olympin, and Dan Presburger, president of the Southern California Pin Club.
Friday night’s banquet in the hotel’s Westwood Room was sold out with sixty in attendance. All enjoyed the cocktail hour and hors d'oeuvres hosted by the US Olympic Committee and also delighted in hearing keynote speaker Olympian, IOC and USOC board member, and president of the LA84 Foundation Anita DeFrantz speak with humor and candor about her current involvement in the Olympic movement. In addition, Ms. De Frantz fielded questions from the audience for several minutes addressing everything from budgets to Brazil. The silent auction that evening, which featured two Olympic torches, a replica Beijing torch, a Tokyo 1964 participation medal, and a collection of Olympic-related Swatch watches among many interesting items, exceeded expectations and provided a nice profit for the club.
On Saturday morning the annual Olympin membership meeting was held, and then the show doors reopened at ten. On hand that day to add to the ongoing celebration of the L.A. ‘84 Games were 1984 team handball Olympian Michael Lenard, who attended both the show and the banquet, and Rich Perelman, vice-president of the L.A. Olympic Organizing Committee responsible for press operations and also editor-in-chief of the official report of the Games.
Saturday evening a non-hosted dinner was organized at Barbianca in the Hotel Marina del Rey near the pool. Two dozen Olympin members carpooled there to enjoy the Italian cuisine, the California vibe, and each other.
As usual, the last day of the show on Sunday was the quietest. During the month prior, the organizing committee had made an effort to speak to as many southern-Californian club members as possible about the event, and several “old-timers,” some of whom we hadn’t seen in years, did dig out their pintrader bags and joined us at the show, adding to the reunion atmosphere. Eugene Antonier also livened things up on Sunday by reducing his prices as the day went by until during the final hour when the last blowout saw all remaining pins going for $1 each, enabling everyone who counted Cornelius as a friend to take home a small remembrance of him. Although, as always, we would have welcomed greater attendance during the weekend, feedback from those who were there has only been positive as everyone seemed to thoroughly enjoy all of the show-related events, the hotel, the food, the weather and, most of all, just being together once again.