Message from the President December 2010

And the Biggest Thank You Goes to . . .

By Brian Pitman, September 2010

I generally save the December issue of The Carnival Pump to discuss the previous year, our successes and failures, and sometimes to point out a person or two whom I think were really great for ICGA in the past year. I also look to the future, often to discuss the next year’s convention and how great it will be, how much we really hope to see you, our members, there and what a great program we will have to see. I usually close with some warm thoughts about the club and all of you. This edition of the President’s Message will be similar in spirit, but I am going to take a very narrow focus this year and talk primarily about one thing: The Carnival Pump itself.

The term “education” means many different things to different people (which is to be expected from an organization with so many teachers as members). As you may know, people learn in different ways (and at different speeds). Some learn by doing. Some learn with visuals. Others may want to digest a thickly worded article with descriptive phrases. Some prefer tables. Some prefer “stories” and recollections. Some prefer audio or video. Some need it to be first hand and in person. The thing we can all agree upon is that we completely disagree on what is the best method of learning, especially when you throw in the wrinkle of “learning about carnival glass.”

We at ICGA spend a lot of time and effort to make sure we have a top notch convention program with interesting topics, glass, and speakers. They do very well, and usually they are quite profitable, enabling our association to continue in providing resources for our members and carnival glass collectors in general. That being said, ICGA provides one thing that stands far above the other clubs in the Carnival Pump, the single best newsletter in all the land about carnival glass.

Carl Booker is The Pump Secretary and Editor. He dedicates an abnormal amount of time and heart in making sure this resource is unsurpassed. He does this because he cares. You may not realize what his duties entail, but here is a small snapshot for you to consider. He solicits articles for The Pump (usually by e-mailing people, calling people, sending people letters, asking them when he sees them, etc.). Then when he is successful in getting an article, he has to edit it (making sure it reads well, finding any spelling issues, retyping the entire article in some cases so that we have it in a format that can be placed into The Pump). He spends large amounts of time finding pictures that go with the article (if the author hasn’t provided any). He does this with a goal of putting together thirty-two pages of well-matched information that flow well and aren’t too heavy on auction reports or sales items or “fluff.”

When Carl has everything pulled together for a Pump, he and Eunice provide all of the information, including an idea of where he would like all the content placed in the document, to the professional printer that does the final layout and “blueline” (a draft document) for Carl and Eunice to read three or four (or more) times to make sure it is done right. Usually Carl and Eunice have to drive back and forth to the printer to drop off or pickup information. FYI, the printer isn’t anywhere remotely close to their home, so many times the back and forth take up an entire day.

When all is done and printed, Carl and Eunice drive and pickup the five hundred copies of the newsletter, take them home, and then spend several hours stuffing them into large envelopes (with any extras that should go in, such as the color extras Carl creates and prints on his own) for mailing. The envelopes are addressed with labels that they printed and placed on the envelopes themselves. Then they visit the hectic post office with boxes and boxes of Pumps and put them into the mail for all of you.

They do this four times a year. They are both a stone’s throw from being octogenarians (and yes, they are going to kill me for saying that). They don’t do it for money, or fame, or to be patted on the back. They do it because they love ICGA.

Joan Doty fits into this equation as well. Joan is an extra set of eyes who reads the Pump several times before it is printed. She adds valuable suggestions on layout, verbiage, and more. When you read your Pump, Joan has probably read it at least five times already (and sometimes more). She helps the Pump maintain its professional feel compared to many of the other newsletters out there.

And then there are the authors. Their style and subjects are the epitome of variety. From some lighthearted fare to lengthy academic tomes, we’ve got it all. Some of our regulars include Dr. Larry Keig (who is probably one of the more complete and controversial authors in our stable of talent), Dr. Roy Hieger (who is one of the few I’ve seen who can be as brilliant on paper as he is in giving a live presentation), Larry’s sister (and ICGA Treasurer) Barb Chamberlain (who is quite a prolific writer and whose articles are always very enjoyable reads), Lee Markley (also prolific and enjoyable, and also the Secretary of the club), Jerry and Carol Curtis (very educational and always very helpful) buBBa Johnsun (just darned funny!) and others including Don Chamberlain, Sherry Cyza, LeAnne Milliser. Imagine putting out an opinion or information in the guise of “education” while knowing that it would be “permanent” in the history of ICGA. These wonderful people do it again and again, all because they love carnival glass and ICGA.

And so, on this last issue of 2010, I stop to say a heartfelt thank you to all of these people who have done work this year to maintain the standard set by The Carnival Pump. Every quarter we have another reminder of your work and love, which is always educational and always entertaining. The Carnival Pump is the single best reason to be a member of ICGA, and for that, you deserve our thanks and our gratitude. You, more than any others, have made 2010 a great year.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy New Year everyone! Thank YOU for being an ICGA Member!!!