REFLECTIONS OF AN ANTIQUE SHOW PROMOTER
by Carole Berry, Twin Bridges Antique Productions

June, 2016, Redding, California.  Twin Bridges Antique
Productions entered the new year celebrating thirty four
years of  quality antiques promotions in California &
Southern Oregon.  Founded in 1982 by Don and Carole
Berry in Ben Lomond, California, the name, “Twin
Bridges,” comes from the area of old Highway 9 in the
Santa Cruz Mountains fondly known by locals as “Twin
Bridges.”  Don passed away in 1999.  Carole has
continued to build and run Twin Bridges’.  
THE REST OF THE STORY . . .

In 1979, Don and I left Cal State University, Hayward’s Student Services and academia behind for self-
employment and small-town life in the Santa Cruz Mountains.  Our passion for collecting antiques led to
our frequent patronage of Jim White Antiques in Ben Lomond, an antique collective.  One day while
shopping at Jim White’s, a dealer in the shop said: “you’re always buying antiques, why don’t you just
become dealers!”  Excited at the prospect of buying more antiques than we could justify collecting, we
soon rented a space in the collective.  Beginning in 1980, we started selling at Northern California shows.  
While at our first mall show, we were unhappy with some of the logistical details of the promotion.  I
remember Don saying, ‘we could do a better job than this’, then saying,  we
could do a better job than
this!’  Drawing upon transferable skills from promoting events for the University, we began exploring the
idea of promoting antiques shows.  Don wanted to  approach Capitola Mall in Santa Cruz, a successful
regional shopping center in our area.  I thought a Mall would be way too big, that we should think about a
hotel or a small hall, but Don was confident that the Mall would provide the best venue for our first venture
into promoting antiques shows.  In the Summer of 1982, we promoted our first show at Capitola Mall.  The
show was successful and marked the beginning of our new career.  

Beginning in 1983, we expanded promotions to a variety of enclosed shopping centers and paid
admission venues from Albany, Oregon to Las Vegas, Nevada, averaging between twelve and seventeen
shows per year. During our thirty
four years in business, Twin Bridges’ has promoted shows at twenty-six
enclosed malls, twelve paid admission charity events and one outdoor street fair.  For many years our
most popular paid admission show was at De Anza College in Cupertino (Greater San Francisco Bay Area)
benefitting the De Anza College Disabled Students Program.  When we started the show in 1983, we were
concerned that customers would not want to attend a paid admission event when they could go to a mall
show or an outdoor street fair with no admission fee.  As a result, for every paid admission we gave the
customer a rebate coupon of equal value which could be used like cash toward any purchase at the
show.  At the end of the show while the dealers were packing and loading out, I would go around with
cash and pay the dealers for coupons collected. This turned out to be a very popular promotion for us,
although not always cost effective!

In 2008, Twin Bridges was asked to take over promotion of Walter Larsen’s Truckee Show, now in its’
4
2nd year and Phyllis Bear’s Medford Armory Show Benefitting Dogs For the Deaf,
now in its 2
2nd year.  Eight years later, both shows are still popular with dealers and collectors.  After
retiring,
Walter Larsen (now deceased) and long time associate Bruce Dowling, visited the Truckee Show,
reminiscing with old colleagues and staying connected with the Show they had created and nurtured for
decades
.Phyllis Bear and her family still set up a booth at the Medford Show.  Dealers and collectors are
always delighted to see them.  

While mall shows were once a major part of our business, with changes in the shopping center industry
over the years,  as of June, 2015, Twin Bridges’ no longer promotes mall shows. The last was in January,
2015 at Mt. Shasta Mall in Redding.  Current events include paid admission charity shows held in Medford,
Oregon (benefitting Dogs For the Deaf), Truckee, CA (benefitting the Truckee High Boosters’ Club),
Auburn, CA (benefitting the Placer County Library), Dixon, CA (benefitting charities of Soroptimist
International of Dixon) and street fairs in the Historic District of Folsom, CA (a non profit business district.)  

Our  dog, Rummy was show mascot for Twin Bridges from 1982 to 1985.  Beginning in 1992, our dog,
Daisy took on the role of show mascot, attending shows until her passing in 2007.  While dealers who
joined Twin Bridges’ Shows in recent years never knew Don, Rummy or Daisy, many old timers still fondly
remember them.
TWIN BRIDGES CELEBRATES
THIRTY FOUR YEARS: 1982 - 2016
DAISY BERRY, TWIN BRIDGES' SHOW MASCOT
1992 - 2007
STEVE YVASKA, WELL KNOWN ANTIQUES COLUMNIST WAS
TWIN BRIDGES' FIRST APPRAISER
PHYLLIS MELTZER OF REMEMBER WHEN
ANTIQUES, OAKDALE CA
KATE WINKLE OF KATE AND CO., VACAVILLE
KENNY & JUDY LANG OF MIRACLE GLASS
REPAIR, GRASS VALLEY
ROSH MORALES (L) & ROBERT
SCHWARTZ (R) OF ROBERT'S RELICS,
WINDSOR
LARRY HULL(deceased, right), APPRAISER
& FORMER DEALER
WALTER LARSEN (decdeased, L) & BRUCE
DOWLING (R) OF WALTER LARSEN &
ASSOCIATES VISIT THEIR FORMER
TRUCKEE SHOW
GARY LINSCOTT OF LINSCOTT & CO.,
FRESNO
August, 2009, Redding, California. Twenty seven years ago, my late husband, Don and I began
promoting antiques shows.  The economy, elections, and world events have always directly and
indirectly impacted attendance and sales. That said, we’ve had a pretty good first half of the year!  At
our annual charity show in Dixon, California this past March, we experienced record attendance and
strong sales for most participating exhibitors. With many people holding off on taking expensive
trips, attending a local antiques show is an inexpensive way of enjoying the day.  While not all dealers
are having strong sales, many collectors are still shopping and spending their money on high ticket
pieces.  A theory presented by exhibitors Joe and Gloria Bilotta of Cool, California may help explain
this phenomenon:  “Both Joe and I really enjoyed the Dixon show – the sales on Saturday were like a
dream come true for dealers like us who have had such stagnant sales lately in the antique mall we
are currently in. The question we have been asking ourselves is WHY would the people of Dixon want
to come out to an antique show in such numbers (and even buy) when we are all being bombarded by
the media this past month with gloom & doom? There are few people who have not been drastically
affected by the crashing of Wall Street, job losses, banks failing, cutbacks, and uncertainty of the
future. So many people are facing really hard times through no fault of their own! So many tragedies
out there---I can only watch the news for just a few minutes at a time, as it is so terrifying and
absolutely depressing.”  Gloria continues: “I was discussing this WHY question with a friend Nancy
Barney (another antiques’ dealer), and she came up with a very interesting comment: She said that
for many people, antiques are like ‘COMFORT FOOD’--- they remind us of a time when things were not
nearly so complicated . . . or of things we had as a child, or something our mother had, or a pleasant
place we had visited, or a great memory from the past. Just like comfort food, that somehow makes
you feel better by even just smelling it, specific ‘old things’ give you a connection with the past that is
very familiar and yes, precious. (That is also the reason why a particular song or melody can trigger a
memory of a certain time, place, or person---even smells can do the same). When I, myself, walk into
an antique show or mall I get a sense of familiarity, as well as a return to past memories. It gives me
real contentment to revisit these old things!”

Considering what’s going on in “the real world”, we’ve been encouraged by high attendance and
strong sales for many dealers at my shows this calendar year.  In January 2009, our mall show at Mt.
Shasta Mall in Redding, California drew an unprecedented number of collectors. Some long time
dealers sold high end, expensive pieces they had carried for years (even decades.) Our appraisers’
panel had to work overtime because so many people turned out.  All in all, it was one of the most
successful shows we’ve had in years! Our street fairs in the Historic District of Folsom, which have
been held for over forty years, continue to draw record crowds and  enthusiastic shoppers.  Despite
these troubled times, several long-time dealers who took part in this April’s Fair reported having
their best show ever.  Perhaps Joe and Gloria Bilotta’s theory about antiques and antiquing as
“comfort food” has merit.

Dealers who are experiencing a relatively high level of success in these times have acknowledged
the importance of expanding their inventory to appeal to current collectors and shoppers.  At one of
our shows last year,  Stephen G. Turner,  Fine Arts and Antiques Appraiser and W. Brooke Sivo, Vice
President, Director, American Furniture and Decorative Arts, Bonhams and Butterfields, both of San
Francisco, California, held a seminar for antiques’ dealers on trends in the antiques’ market.  Both
Steve and Brooke talked about changes that have taken place as the “baby boomers” are replaced by
their adult children as primary antiques collectors.  The shopper who once paid full retail for a mid
1800's pattern glass pitcher is often now replaced by the shopper looking for a shabby chic lamp.

Shows come and go over the years. Once popular mall shows are now almost entirely extinct. I
sincerely believe that the enthusiasm of collectors and their desire to discover treasures at shows
will continue to fuel our industry.  One great fact about taking part in a show is that is represents a
short term commitment.  If it doesn’t work out, there’s always another show and there’s always hope.
 
DAVID GONZALES (L) AND JUAN DENIS (R)  OF
KIMO'S ANTIQUES, SACRAMENTO
MARK GRIMSHAW
OF HOBBIT SHOP
ANTIQUES,
NACHES, WA
CARRIES ON THE
TRADITION
STARTED BY HIS
FATHER, DEAN
GRIMSHAW