Meet Edith Krystan – 97 Years Young – A Member of the Rochester Button Club since 2010

One recent 96 degree evening I had the pleasure of interviewing Edith Krystan – aka my mother-in-law – for this button bio. As the ‘senior’ member of our club, Edith was chosen to be our first ‘buttion bio’.

Edith has been associated with buttons for longer than I have known her, in fact, even longer than I have been alive. For years and years (actually since the age of 6) she sewed and knitted everything from hats and scarves, to dresses, aprons, and totes – all adorned with buttons. Most of her handiwork would then be donated to the town for delivery to those less fortunate. Unfortunately, some good things come to an end as her arthritis has curtailed this endeavor.

One day my mother, Alta Doty and my wife, Kristine Doty (members of the Rochester club) introduced Edith to the amazing world of button collecting and the ‘unique’ members of the Rochester Button Club. And so her collecting adventures began…..noting how surprised she was to sell over $100 of buttons at her first meeting!

What does she enjoy collecting? Her current passion is for 3 holed buttons – proud that she has 3 so far, but we notice that she is also quick to check out buckles – any size, color or shape. Her favorite material to collect is shell / mother of pearl ….because light splits when it hits them like a prism. Her collection has been built from garage sales, other members, and sales at our area summer picnics…..never spending more than $2.00!

Ask her how she promotes her button hobby and she will tell you that she gives many away and repeatedly tries to get family members to look thru her ‘treasures’. So just what does a 97 year old do with her buttons? Some are sorted into plastic cups, some are sorted into her ‘button box’ drawers for use as a fastener or embellishment, some go onto cards for personal enjoyment, many get stored in mason jars for decorating around the house, and the rest are destined to be given away.

So, as Paul Harvey used to say, now you know the rest of the story…….

Prepared by Dale Doty