The Lone Star Chapter of Stein Collectors International came to be due to the efforts of Lawrence Beckendorff, Barry Parker and Fred Schroeder Sr. In the late 70’s Lawrence and Barry had a business called B & B Steins. They bought and sold stein collections. They advertised in Prosit with photos and prices and over time built up a fairly large mailing list. Gary Kirsner was doing the same thing. This was before the days of stein auctions.
Returning from San Antonio one day, Lawrence stopped in Seguin and met Fred Schroeder at his Lone Star Beer distributorship. Lawrence learned from Fred that the stein collectors in Texas didn’t have an organized chapter but they informally got together to socialize, talk steins and buy and sell.
Visiting with Gary by phone, Lawrence and Fred talked about forming an official Texas SCI chapter. Using the mailing lists of Gary and B & B they sent out an invitation to Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas collectors inviting them to come to a meeting and form the Lone Star Chapter.
The get together was held November 9, 1980, in Katy. There were 20 - 25 people there, including Gary Kirsner. Fred and Lawrence led the discussion about forming the chapter. Lawrence assumed Fred would be president, but Fred decreed otherwise and Lawrence became president for many years to follow. Gene Addison was elected VP, Margie Garrett was elected Secretary and Dave Cantwell was elected Treasurer, the office he’s held ever since. It was decided to have three meeting a year, as we do now. A set of by-laws was adopted that stipulated officers would be elected every two years.
In 1973 Fred & Marie Schroeder hosted SCI national convention No. 7 in San Antonio. Since then the Lone Star Chapter has hosted the convention in San Antonio in 1983 and in Houston in 2000 with broad participation from the Chapter. The Chapter membership has been over a hundred at times in our history.
Our meetings have always been informal; we value the social experience over protocol and procedure and see no need to change.