Dan Coberly was showing me and my father some patches one day when these strange "O Ree" cork patches fell out of his bag. I can not honestly remember when and where I first saw one but I knew I just had to have one. Luckily, he had two of them.
The Beginning of the Cork Flaps
For years, we all dreamed of a corked flap. On and off efforts were made to find some material to make the flaps up. No one seemed to have any. A vendor was discovered at a flea market hosted on US Military Posts who made purses, wallets, bags, and other items out of a cork material. It took a few years to get a yard or so of the material from her. She would forget or things would come up...etc. This material was used to make the first Black Eagle Cork Flaps and the OAA Flap. (F-10 and QF-1 came from this material.)
The patches were very popular because they were so unique. My father and myself felt bad that not everyone could get one that wanted one at the time. There were only about 15 of the first run because the material was shared with the OAA organization and the patch manufacturer mistakenly misspelled the lodge name on some flaps from the precious little material we had. To the best of my knowledge there is an equal number of correct and incorrectly spelled cork flaps from the first run. The hunt for more material continued. Eventually my web searching took me to a site called The Cork Store. The material is expensive and costs $118.00 per yard. We used the Casablanca Upholstery for the 2nd run of flaps later classified as Black Eagle F-11.
The Happy Ending of the Cork Flaps
There was a 125 made of the F-11 cork flaps. They were made by Stadri if I remember correctly. They were so excited about the patch they even asked me where I got the material. At the time, I do not think we told them. If they are reading this blog they sure know now. The cork flaps were sold 1 per person at the 04 Spring Fellowship. It was decided to make it a NOAC fund raiser and they sold for $20.00 a piece to lodge members. There was about a dozen left of these flaps at the end of that fellowship. Hopefully, the remaining flaps fell into the hands of those that did not already have one.
It took years...the material is expensive...but the first cork flap sold on Ebay made me feel that these cork patches would be something special. Imagine my surprise at the sight of this...
Cork Makes Debut on Ebay (All Funds were donated to the lodge)