About Us

About This Site and Its Authors

Anyone who has been in my house knows I'm an ardent collector of too many things. However, the best things I've collected over the years didn't cost a thing - including great memories of childhood Christmas shared with a loving grandmother, who really knew how to decorate for Christmas. From "Nanny," I inherited my love of cardboard Christmas "putz" houses, though I didn't start collecting and displaying them until I was well (some might say very well) into "adulthood." (The story of that addiction starts on the Pete's Putzing Past page. I don't expect it to end any time soon.)

My hobby of collecting and documenting putz houses has led me into many great friendships. It's led to some sad moments, too, such as when friends and fellow collectors leave us too soon. Following the example of those who've gone before, I'm always on the lookout for ways to help fellow hobbyists.

Last year, after three years of research and experimentation, I figured out one of the great mysteries of putz houses: coconut. Not the stuff that grows on trees, but the putz house topping that made some houses resemble German chocolate cakes (except for the color). Without a durable replacement for the stuff, authentic restoration of many houses was impossible.

Once I had figured it out, I wanted a way to make the coconut and other products I was working on available to fellow collectors. So for many months, I've been working with friends to get this web site "off the ground". I owe some folks "big time," too. So when I occasionally say "we" instead of "I", that's because most of what's happened on these pages has been a real team effort. If you check out our Favorite Sites page, you'll get to know just a few of those folks - several others would rather work behind the scenes, so I won't start listing names.

But getting the site up and running, and several putz house products listed, that's just the beginning. Right now, when you click on the "Collector's Guide," you don't see much. But as the "dust settles" from our original efforts, that is the section that I hope will become the heart of the site, as I report on the countless putz houses I've encountered and what I've learned along the way.

You'll notice that on almost every page, I ask you to get in touch, with questions, complaints, corrections, additions, whatever you'd like to contribute. That's not "window dressing." I learn as much from other people's questions as any other way.

So, looking to hear from you, I remain,
Pete Oehmen,

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