Sunday, January 12, 2003

Roosters rule the roost at White house

By Marsie Hall Newbold
Enquirer Contributor

Who: Dave and Sally White of Middletown.

On display: About 1,500 rooster-related items, including figurines, salt and pepper shakers, a cookie jar, dishes, needlepoint pieces, toys, candles and jigsaw puzzles. They also own corn-on-the-cob holders that are shaped like rooster heads, rooster napkin rings, jewelry, clothing, music boxes and cookie cutters.

Where: Roosting throughout their home.

Birds of a feather: Mr. and Mrs. White, who have been married for 11 years, both began collecting roosters when they were single.

"My first was a rooster potholder that I received at a spiritual retreat called `The Walk to Emmaus,' " says Mrs. White, 59, a business administrator. "It was just a gift that someone had made because one of the logos for the weekend was a rooster."

Flock together: By coincidence, Mr. White, 58, an antique refurbisher, went on the same retreat, but at a separate time. He, too, returned with an interest in the colorful creatures. His first item was a print of a rooster called "De Colores."

"That means `the colors' in Spanish," he explains. "The rooster is usually a bright-colored bird, kind of like a rainbow, and that was the whole theme of the spiritual retreat."

No way! The Whites collect any and all types of roosters, focusing on antiques, but they draw the line at live or stuffed ones. "We don't want any of those in our house," she says.

Nobody here but us chickens: Prior to their interview, the couple did an inventory of the collection and counted 66 in the pantry, 69 in the dining room, 40 in the living room and 150 in the kitchen.

Their newly remodeled kitchen even includes a custom backsplash with eight rooster tiles.

Wherever we go: Through the years, the Whites have enjoyed hunting for their favorite creatures together.

"We have found them everywhere," she says. "From antique stores to interior decorator showrooms." But the collection has grown so large that they have had to become more selective.

"We are collecting now more for investment," he says.

"Sometimes, Dave will come home with something really different or unusual," she adds. "Something like a rooster cookie cutter. It is a way of saying, `I love and care for you.'

"We enjoy our roosters. They are a reminder of the spiritual retreat and what we base our foundation and our marriage on."

Share your prize possessions with Marsie Hall Newbold by mail: c/o The Enquirer, Tempo, 312 Elm St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; e-mail: Please include a daytime phone number.

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