Heart of America Carnival Glass Association

How HOACGA Got Started

By Co-founder Eleanor Mochel

Shortly after Charles and I were married in the fall of 1968, we were introduced to Carnival glass. I was working for a physician in his office as a nurse and one of our patients (Ophelia) an elderly lady had brought a box of orange colored glass in to the office and asked if I would want to buy it for $3.00.

I took the glass home and thought it might be carnival glass but really wasn’t sure of what carnival glass was. I had only seen it advertised in the paper. After the holidays were over I told Charles we had to find out what the glass was and the value of it. Our first trip to an antique store gave us our first lesson in carnival glass. The antique owner didn’t have any carnival glass but referred us to another antique shop. The next shop didn’t have any carnival glass either but there we were told about the Antique Trader, so we subscribed to it and our journey chasing carnival glass had began.

We were so anxious for the Antique Trader to arrive each week. We then started to learn of many dealers and collectors all over the United States through the Antique Trader publication. We were then well on our way to collecting this beautiful glass by going to local auctions whenever carnival glass was advertised for sale.

There was a Labor Day auction advertised with carnival glass for sale in it so we had decided to go. While at the auction we noticed there was a couple there buying piece after piece of carnival glass. Charles was not shy in meeting strangers, so he decided he would go find out who these people were and introduce himself. It turned out they were Bill and Dorothy Taylor and they lived just across town from us. After talking for a while, we had decided to have Dorothy contact all the collectors she had met and we would try to get them all together and meet at someone’s house to see and learn about carnival glass.

So from then on many local couples would meet at people’s homes on Sunday afternoon for a carnival glass education. As our group continued to grow, we decided then to form a formal club with officers and by laws. Those early days and discussions formed the birth of the “Heart of America Carnival Glass Association”. At that time, we had nine original couples leading the club that were the charter members.

They are as follows:

  1. Charles & Eleanor Mochel, Overland Park, KS
  2. Bill & Dorothy Taylor, Raytown, Missouri
  3. Davis & Viola Shikles, Independence, Missouri
  4. Frank & Faye Ronk, Merriam, Kansas
  5. Herb & Sadie Treff, Kansas City, Missouri
  6. Jack & Mary Adams, Kansas City, Missouri
  7. RD & Dorothy Kavonaugh, Gladstone, Missouri
  8. Alex & Silvia Boris, Westwood, Kansas
  9. Edwin & Mary Francis Derrendinger, Gladstone, Missouri

This original group met on April 31, 1972, they decided to call the club, “Heart of America Carnival Glass Association” or “HOACGA” and it was to extend membership to other collectors. Kenny & Helen James of Olathe, Kansas and Florence Cunningham of Lake Quivira, Kansas were present as guests; they joined the organization at this time. A committee was named to prepare the by-laws for the new organization. At the next meeting of the organization was held on May 7, 1972 for the purpose of voting on the by-laws and electing officers, the Officers elected were:

  • Davis Shikles – President
  • Hurbert Treff – Vice President
  • Mary Francis Derrindinger – Treasurer
  • Dorothy Taylor – Secretary

The dues established at this meeting were $5.00 per couple and $3.00 per individual. Honorary memberships were conferred on O. Joe Olson, Rosalie White, Sherman Hand, Marion Hartung, and Rose Presznick.

Some More Early Members to Were:

  • Bob & Rosa Grissom
  • Helen & Kenny James
  • John & Lucille Britt
  • Ronald Kuhn & Don Kime
  • Glen & Jackie & Harold Fortney
  • Cooley & Marge Miller
  • Don & Connie Moore
  • Karen Engel

The club then started advertising HOACGA in the Antique Trader weekly publication and we extended our club membership to people from all over the United States. Many people wrote to us and joined the club. After the initial beginning of nine couples that first met to talk about a carnival club, the Heart of America Carnival Glass Association had quickly grown to approximately 165 members nationwide by March 1, 1973.

Our first HOACGA convention was held on April 27 & 28, 1973 at the Western Hills Motor Hotel in Merriam, KS. All of the rooms at the motel opened to the outside air. For the first HOACGA convention, the weather was very nice so people could visit from room to room in comfort while looking at carnival glass. John Woody sold the carnival collection of Wilson Reed on Saturday during the convention. Approximately 250 people attended the auction. The banquet speaker was Ed Gaida from Victoria, Texas. There were 115 members present at the Saturday night banquet. After the banquet, several members donated items to be auctioned, the proceeds then went to the club. Approximately $1250 dollars was raised as a result of the auction. The room sales were very brisk. John & Lucille Britt had there room of carnival glass for sale open until 3AM on Saturday morning.

The club officers elected at the business meeting after the banquet in 1973 were:

  • Bob Grissom – President
  • John Britt – Vice President
  • Mary Francis Derrindinger – Treasurer
  • Dorothy Taylor – Secretary

The 1973 convention was more of a success that any of us could have imagined. Everyone in attendance seemed to have and enjoyable time. It was the consensus of those in attendance that the club should make the convention an annual affair.

Thus the birth of HOACGA and its annual convention and auction has been going ever since. Our members have since come from all around the world and over seas to join in our yearly Carnival Glass convention.

I am sure that patient Ophelia, had no idea, that she would change so many lives in the world the day she brought that box of orange glass into the doctors office. What was in the box you might ask? Mostly all Marigold Lattice and Bouquet bowls and plates and one white leaf ray nappy. As many collectors have since learned with their first purchases of glass, it’s not the value of the glass that is most important but the people and fun you find through collecting the glass. Carnival glass has so richly blessed our family from the early days of collecting to today and we will forever be thankful for it.