Message from the President June 2005

The Skinny on Indy

By Brian Pitman, June 2005

All right, it is the June issue, and so now it is time to lay all the cards on the table about the “controlled” insanity that will be the ICGA Annual Convention in Indianapolis. Now why do I call this insanity? Well, mostly because planning a convention has been known to drive many people insane (our beloved Carl Schroeder did it many times, and he is absolutely nuts! Reg Dunham did it, and the man is cuckoo!) Heck, many times while planning the convention, I would call Carl and Eunice Booker to bounce an idea off them, and my phone calls have been making them both mad as hatters!

No, in all seriousness, planning a convention isn’t as easy as you think. Not only do you have to find the right hotel (which you hope is “right” but don’t really know until after the convention), and deal with the auctioneer, but you have to find people “crazy” enough to actually contribute time, glass, and effort to make it all work. Before I lay out the entire schedule for you, we need to stop a moment to recognize all of those who are doing something for this year’s convention. You are all truly wonderful stewards of the club, and you have the appreciation of all the members of this fine and historic club.

Okay, I mentioned the breakfast seminars in the last Pump, and our speakers this year will not only give us some good glass to see and hear about, but they will do so at the crack of dawn. That right there is worth the price of admission. Thanks again to Harry Meads, Geneva Crosby, and Carl Booker for being crazy enough to do this for all of us.

Okay, on Tuesday night we will be having our Early Bird reception, with some food, some drink, and some fun. Come early, say hi to everyone, and get those room displays set up and open. Wander the halls, talk to everyone, and maybe even buy some glass.

On Wednesday, we will have our first Breakfast seminar, we will have our registration, and we will have rooms open. We will also start taking some glass for the room display. Let me talk about the room display for a moment. Tom Mordini is just plain bonkers. The man is nuttier than a fruitcake. He agreed to put together a room display that features the color Red, which is waaaaay harder than you would imagine. He has pleaded with all of you in these pages to bring red glass to him, to call him and tell him what you are bringing (so he can make pretty labels), to make this one of the largest gatherings of red carnival glass in the history of man.

Did I mention he was crazy? We all need to do our part to help this poor guy out. Stop reading the Pump right now, pick up the phone and call (815) 235-4407 and when he answers, say “Tom, you are whacked, but I have some red glass to bring you.” Then tell him what you have. Do it now. The only way we can help him achieve his dreams is to make him a hero and to bring together the best red collection ever.

On Wednesday night, we will all get a little bit crazy, with ice cream, carnival glass, and paint. Yes, Gale Eichhorst (who is obviously nuts, and we have the pictures of him dressed up for his seminars to prove it) is bringing down a bunch of the 2004 souvenirs that you can buy and paint up with the special paints provided by Don and Barb Chamberlain (complete nuts). Last year we did this with a lot of amazing results, and some truly gorgeous whimsies that would rival something made by the artists at Fenton.

On Thursday, we have our next Breakfast seminar, followed by our Luncheon Business Meeting. At the meeting we will discuss the business of the club, and we will elect some Directors for the Board. We will also sell some whimsies. On Thursday night, the craziness will continue as the aforementioned (nut jobs) Don and Barb Chamberlain will be executing “Operation Room Sales Scavenger Hunt” which involves you running around in the rooms, buying glass and physically talking to others (especially people you have never met before), and scavenging for the items that Don and Barb instruct you to find (and they have promised me that this isn’t just an easy way for them to have you buy them things in the rooms). It will be fun, it will be crazy, but best of all, we will all get to know each other.

The “Red” room will also be open on this day, as will the Hospitality Room, run by Ann McMorris, that madwoman who makes way too much food for everyone and insists that you eat it all. Ann is back (I told her I would write her out of my will if she didn’t do it again), as are many of her fellow mental patients that run around making sure you are fed.

Also open during this entire time (in the “Red” room nonetheless) will be the Silent Auction, which will be operated by Ted and Judy Meeker this year (he’s not only crazy, he’s a cop, and she is batty because she married him!). I still don’t know why we even called it a Silent Auction this year, because Ted will be standing around, periodically yelling “Freeze!” at the top of his lungs (looney).

On Friday, we are just going to run you ragged. We have a Breakfast seminar at 8:00 (this one with Carl Booker), and the room display will open up at 9:00. At 10:00, Richard Cinclair (bonkers and with long hair) will step up and explain what all of this red carnival glass is doing in the room. Richard has had one of the premiere red collections in carnival glass, and so he was crazy enough to agree to talk about it, its future, and why red is such a tough color to find in carnival. At 2:00, Phil Hessenius (crazy AND he lives in a desert) is going to give his seminar entitled “A Few of My Favorite Things.” Phil is going to go through a select few pieces of his carnival glass collection that will be sold at auction the following day and explain where he found them, the emotional ties he has to them, and why he made the very difficult decision to sell them (and he is really crazy because he thinks he can do this without crying, which is nuts, because I think even I will be crying during this seminar). This will be a truly powerful presentation, and it will lead directly into the auction preview, which is made up mostly of Phil’s glass.

At 6:30 on Friday, it will be time to eat, sell a few more whimsies, induct the Board of Directors and Officers, and then turn it over to a man who used to live in Indiana before he moved to South Carolina (yes, he’s not mentally stable). Gary Braden will be giving the banquet seminar, one that will feature his wonderful collection, and will be a walk through the past. Gary used to be a carnival glass auctioneer a long time ago (maybe he isn’t so crazy, because he got out of the auction business), and the man is just filled with some amazing stories. I really like Gary (especially when he is wearing the straightjacket), and his seminar will be one of the true highlights of this year’s convention.

On Saturday, Jim and Jan Seeck (not entirely insane) will bring the wonderful auction of Phil’s glass to us all. This will be your chance to show that you, too, are a little “off” and spend a ton of money on some seriously beautiful glass.

So there you go, all the cards are on the table. In between all the events listed, we are going to all hang out with each other and talk about the glass. We are going to become very close friends, and we will be very sad at the end when we go our separate ways, longing to see each other again. In short, the only real crazy ones are those who don’t attend. They will miss out not only on all the fun, but mostly on being with all of us. And that’s crazy…

I will see you in Indy! Bring your glass, your humor, and yourself!

Brian Pitman