Message from the President December 2005

Have a Merry Christmas

By Brian Pitman, December 2005

The holidays are here again, and another year has flown by in record time. 2005 was a very good year for carnival glass, and a great year for ICGA. Our club is getting stronger financially each and every month, and the potential for peril to our club is starting to ebb. Tom Mordini, my esteemed friend, collector, and immediate past president of our club, did a great thing by taking ICGA out of the auctioneering business, and we have had to adjust to the changing revenue sources for the Association.

These adjustments have been very beneficial for us, and we are building the coffers up once again. Our convention this year was kind of a ground-breaker for us and possibly a harbinger of things to come. Our auction did over $200,000 in sales, which brought in the big crowds, and we beat the heck out of our room block at the convention.

Next year’s auction promises to be even grander (Have you been looking a the secret members only web site I let you in on in my last president’s message?. I can tell you that as of right now, the special auction page for next year has been seen over 500 times.

The year was also a good one for carnival glass. Some really big collections came out (with the recent Cinclair auction in November bringing in well over $300,000), and lots of people made the decision this year to sell their stuff (which was unheard of in the old days). The Jim Seeck auction in Missouri brought in some very big numbers. The year began with people wondering if values were going down, and ended with a huge ICGA auction, then Cinclair, then the Seeck auction, and now no one is wondering anymore.

Next year, we will all have the chance to buy a People’s Vase at auction, see some of John and Jeannette’s best stuff sell, and witness an historic ICGA convention in which three of the largest display rooms EVER come together on successive days. I am excited about 2006, and 2005 was what it took to get me there.

“Two thousand five” wasn’t a complete positive. We saw a legendary figure in Frank Fenton pass on. 2006 will be the first complete year collectors will have without the vigilant, ever watchful eye of “the Big Guy.” I hope that, as we move along the time line, we all aspire to be as helpful, patient, and loving as Frank. In a way, he is responsible for carnival glass collecting reaching this pinnacle, and I only hope we can keep it going in a bigger way than even he imagined.

“Two thousand five” was also the year one of our former presidents and most beloved friends discovered he has cancer. Reg Dunham had surgery for prostate cancer shortly after our convention this year, and now they are looking to find the rest of the cancer to kill it. Reg is someone with whom I always ask for advice and counsel, because his knowledge and willingness to share is tremendous, but also because he tends to be very even-tempered and considerate of every angle to any issue. Reg is also one tenacious person when he needs to be, and right now, he is fighting to beat cancer with everything he has. I know that he is going to be victorious.

No matter how you look at it, though, 2005 was definitely a galvanizing year. Now that we are at the end, I want to take a moment to wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas. We have made it through this year together, like a huge extended family. We will all be together next year at our convention in July (much like a family reunion), but for now, just know that you are loved and appreciated. Your membership in ICGA makes you incredibly special.

Brian Pitman