Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Derek Schultz Collection Melmac Galore

Cindy Fahnestock Schafer
Derek W. Schultz & myself. 
Today I was thinking about Derek, and found this picture Renee had framed for me. After all, he was just as nuts about plastics as I am.  Originally I met Derek because he has posted an ad to sell his plastics collection in it's entirety, and I went down to buy select pieces.  I figured he had a few boxes of this or that.  When I got there I was truly in shock at the loads of plastic he had.

That day I spent a lot of money with him;  but what was worth more to me than the rare Russel Wright I bought from him was the instant relationship I formed with him.  For someone I didn't know all too well, and didn't get a chance to visit nearly enough, it was sort of an instant connection. I cannot really explain it other than I thought the world of him, and his lovely wife Renee. They were the types of people you don't get to meet often.  Just downright nice people, good people.
Rare Brookpark Black Cups from the Derek Schultz Collection.

Derek and I were certainly two plastic gurus, exchanging emails just about anything over the next few years. Sadly it would only be the course of a few years unbeknowngst to me. Though he wanted me to buy that huge plastic collection he had, and I so would have loved to, I had a basement full of my own.  Then came the call.   "Come and get it", he said.   Originally citing the storage fees were just too much for him, he said he was just giving it to me.  I made arrangements to get some helpers and load it up as soon as I could so that he wouldn't have to pay any more storage fees.
Harmony House Melmac
Harmony House Melmac Mixed Set from the Derek Schultz Collection.

The photo was taken as I was just about finished loading it up, all sweaty and dirty, it was hot that day.  Renee took it minutes before he told me the truth about his situation. Derek had lost some weight for which I commended him that day.  If you look closely you may notice a small bandage on his throat. He was in the early stages of cancer--and just minutes after this photo I was bawling when I found out the reasons for the weight loss and the sudden donation of plastics. Although Derek was hopeful, I knew in my heart this would be the last time I got to see him.

Rare Boonton Grill Plates, Thick and Heavy from the Derek Schultz Collection.

Cancer is something I know all too well. It's taken most of my loved ones from me as it runs rapid in my own family. So here was Derek, my kindred plastic spirit buddy, and now I would be losing him too.
I kept in touch with him on the email, but that would be the last time I saw Derek in person. Suffice to say, I haven't made it very far rummaging thru his boxes.  At first after he passed I couldn't even open them.  It was as if had I opened them, I would be reminded Derek was not here anymore.  There was somewhere around 130 boxes in all, and well, I've only made it through maybe 10 total, over the past few years. I should say the boxes were HUGE about 3 feet by 2 feet by 2 feet.   It took me almost a year to go and visit his wife, and learn more about the man I wish I'd had the opportunity to know much longer.
Melmac Central
Working on it, slowly...

I've managed to group things together better and gave some old scratchy undesirable things to Goodwill.   Though I try to list items on Etsy regularly, it's taken me a lot longer than expected as I have my own things to sell leftover from an old antique stand I used to have.  I can say that I'm not scared anymore to go through them.  Smiles come to my face when I think of how much Derek must have loved the piece to buy it, and when I come across something I've never seen before I wonder did he feel that same excitement then as I do now when viewing a "new discovery?"
Carleton Gracious Living Melmac
Rare Carleton for Gracious Living Covered Sugar from the Derek Schultz Collection, however, Mr. Melmac had debunked the fact this may in actuality be a Harmony House Lid, perhaps not the right lid after all?

I can only hope Derek is looking down happy that someone is still loving his plastic.  Please know anything you purchase from the Derek Schultz collection does help Renee.  These items are labeled such in my shop!

What now?

Read more about Derek. 
View Melmac in My Shop.


  1. What a great story. I'm glad I found you on Etsy and had the privilege of sharing the Harmony House Melmac Mixed Set from the Derek Schultz Collection with many of my followers.


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