THIRTY FIVE YEARS: 1982 - 2017
June, 2017, Redding, California.  Twin Bridges Antique
Productions entered the new year celebrating thirty
five 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’.  

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 five 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
(which he started in 1974) and Phyllis Bear’s Medford Armory Show Benefitting Dogs For the
Deaf (which she started in 1993.)   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,  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 Auburn, CA (benefitting the Placer County Library); Dixon, CA
(benefitting charities of Soroptimist International of Dixon);  Medford, Oregon (benefitting
Dogs For the Deaf); and Truckee, CA (benefitting the Truckee High Boosters’ Club).  As of
October, 2016, Twin Bridges no longer promotes street fairs for 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.
Don & Carole Berry
Daisy Berry, Twin Bridges' Show
Mascot  1992 - 2007
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.