Marchin’ On Into The Year
By Brian Pitman, March 2007
Our “new year” is now well under way (we are over a 1/6th of the way through 2007 already!), and for this article I want to look at some of the things we are doing this year and also provide you with yet another way to let us at ICGA know how we are doing. The first thing we are doing this year has already begun in this very issue of The Carnival Pump. The Great Carnival Glass Storybook debuts in this issue, and it has entries from some of you. This collaboration between ICGA members is something I foresee as not being only for each of us to enjoy throughout the year, but something interesting we can leave the next generation to read when they are leafing through old Pumps in 20 years or so. This is a way we can leave a compendium for them to know who we are (or rather who we were), much like our own beloved Don Moore did for us 20 years ago.
The key to making the Great Carnival Glass Storybook successful is contribution (but really, isn’t that they key to any success of ICGA?) As you will see with the entries this time, all it takes to contribute is a thought or story about a piece of yours (or a situation you encountered while hunting for a piece), maybe a picture, and a desire inside of you to share with the rest of us. ICGA is only as strong as its members, and I happen to think we have some of carnival’s most creative and generous people in our membership.
The next feature I want to mention isn’t really a new feature, but I would like to reinvent it and make it something bigger and bolder than it was before. This is another thing that will involve our very good friend and Pump editor, Carl Booker. You see, I talk to Carl quite a lot (of course, it helps that we email back and forth on nearly a daily basis, but there have been many times that I have been on the phone with him for several hours, and I have to say that I love the fact he lets me call him at all times of the day if need be. Carl is a lot of fun when you call him at 2:00 a.m. to tell him to dress warmly that day because there is snow in the forecast for his neck of Indiana.) Carl is the kind of person who has truly embraced all forms of communications because he simply loves to communicate with people, and he really loves to hear from people (I think this is why he was an excellent teacher.)
Well, we have this little-used section in the Pump called Letters to the Editor. This is your opportunity to send a message to Carl to include in the newsletter. It can be anything from an upcoming carnival auction you want to mention, to letting us know about a member’s birthday (or announcing your upcoming wedding anniversary), to telling us what you liked (or didn’t like) in a recent issue of the Pump. The point is that this is a feature that is controlled COMPLETELY by you! We have so few letters in this section each quarter, and I want to see (and hear) more from you in there. If you think we are doing a good job, let us know (it makes the days seem a little brighter!), and if there are suggestions for other things you want to see (or don’t want to see), then this is the perfect place to let us and everyone else know.
The final collaboration I wanted to discuss in this article is the annual convention. As you saw in the Pump last time, we have our dates and our hotel. Finding a place for our convention was especially difficult this year because, simply, hotels are doing so much business right now that they don’t need us. The Radisson Indianapolis Airport, however, enjoyed our presence so much last time, they really, REALLY wanted us to come back and “bring our pretty glass.” Now I know that our convention is something that only a fourth of our membership attends, and so I don’t want to make it the “big thing you MUST do as a member of ICGA,” but let me say that a lot of work and love goes into our conventions. This is the event that I wish all ICGA members could attend (because it would be a fun party unlike any other fun party you have ever been to before), but I know not everyone can.
So let me close by asking you to consider attending our convention. If you are trying to justify the costs to attend (because attending for four nights is going to cost you around $450 for the hotel, plus you will need some food costs, even though we try to feed you as much as possible during the convention, and we all know gas prices aren’t exactly falling through the floor), let me say that the amount of knowledge you can pick up from handling pieces with other people is worth a lot of money (think of the money you can save by NOT buying that fake because you learned what it looked and felt like at a convention, or discovering that super rare piece in a mall that you would have missed if you hadn’t have learned about it at a convention.) We charge absolutely no fee to attend (and I work for a management company that puts on educational conventions like ICGA’s where they charge people $700 or more each to attend!)
This year’s convention is going to offer a great auction by Jim Seeck (with plenty of opportunities for you to buy some glass), it will have lots of food and friendly faces, some seminars that are going to take a more personal approach to the glass, and so much more. The convention truly is collaboration between ICGA members, and we hope you find the way to become a part of it and the many other projects we have cooking this year. More on that next time…