Message from the President March 2006

Working Together To Make It Happen In Iowa

By Brian Pitman, March 2006

The planning of this year’s ICGA convention continues to bring many good things to the table, and I wanted to begin this report with a big and honest “thank you” to the very fine people who have committed to making it happen. As you may remember, this will be one of our most ambitious conventions to date, with our “Flash Mob” format bringing three enormous display rooms to the convention on three successive days. The people behind this are working super hard to make it happen.

John and Loretta Nielsen are pulling double duty on the wine and cordials flash mob display room by running the team working to collect the huge display and also by speaking during it. They are trying very hard to make sure we have a dazzling display of glass, and they asked me to let all of you know that they need you to contact them so that they can make plans to accommodate your glass as well. The philosophy behind our display rooms this year is that EVERYONE is encouraged to bring glass. We don’t care if we have multiple sets or pieces. The idea is quantity, so bring as much as you can. If you would, please give the Nielsen’s a buzz (their phone number is on the back cover of the Pump) to let them know you have some glass for them. They would appreciate it, as would the team they have assembled to make this all happen.

Don and Barb Chamberlain are the masterminds behind the Northwood vase flash mob, with Kevin Clark providing the speaking duties. Their team is reporting the same thing; they need to hear from you. With so many people out there having at least one Northwood vase in their collection, we can make this a display unlike any other. We only need your help. Call these guys and let them know what you can bring.

Our third flash mob will be totally like no other; the eerie glow of Vaseline glass will fill a room, at least if Cathy Dunham has anything to say about it. Cathy has assembled her team, and she wants enough Vaseline glass that our banquet dinner will feature purple skin, white teeth, and the stunning glow of white dishes. She needs your help as well. All it takes is for you to pick up the phone and tell her what glass you can bring. The convention will be a phenomenal event, and it will be because of these people working with all of you to make it happen. They have all worked very hard to pull this off, so please contact them to show your support.

So with that, let’s take a closer look at the convention. There are many different things about it in the Pump this time, including a tentative program. I want to point a few things out to you so that you know why you should plan on attending as many of the functions as possible.

We will have our early bird function on Tuesday night, and I expect the food to be even better than last year’s Italian buffet. We have worked very hard to raise the quality of food we have during our convention, and this year will be no different. The best part of this night is that it is entirely free to all attendees as a way of saying thanks for coming to the convention. Try your hardest to come in on Tuesday, and dinner will be on us.

We kick it in early on Wednesday with the return of our Breakfast Seminar series. This will be our third year offering these, and they keep growing each year. Like last year, the three speakers will be local to the convention, and so this will be your chance to see some of the good glass that resides in Iowa. Wednesday will be a busy one, as our first flash mob, “Kisses Sweeter than Wine” will be set up and torn down all on the same day. If you aren’t there when it is open, you will miss an astonishing display of wines and cordials.

Wednesday night will continue our tradition of trying to fatten you up as we offer our ice cream buffet and social. Last year we took this annual event to new heights as we offered many different toppings, plus cookies, cakes, and more. If you have a sweet tooth, this social is one to attend. And of course, this one is free as well.

Thursday will be a throwback to the “good old days” when ICGA attendees would go on a field trip. After the Breakfast Seminar, we will have our short annual Business Meeting. Then at 10:00, the buses leave for the Amana Colonies. We will be taken to an area known for its food and antiques, where we will tour and shop. Then at 11:30, we will have a superb (and very filling) lunch at the famous Ox Yolk Inn (bring your appetite, because we will have a lot of food, served family style).

After some recovery time in which you can antique and shop, the buses will bring us back to the hotel by 2:00 p.m. This trip plans to give us a lot of fun, food and fellowship, and the cost for the entire thing (including transportation and lunch) is $35.00 per person.

On Thursday night, we will have our second flash mob presentation, Filling Spaces with Northwood Vases. We are working to create one of the largest displays of Northwood vases ever, and the evening time will find a wonderful site for all to see.

Friday brings even more fun and more action. We begin the day with our third Breakfast Seminar, and then it will be time once again to roam through the open rooms for our 2nd Annual Scavenger Hunt. Last year’s inaugural Hunt saw a lot of people (especially the next generation of carnival glass collectors) wandering through the rooms, looking for the answers to questions (as well as the occasional bargain). Don and Barb Chamberlain are making it even more difficult this year, so come to the convention to see if you can figure out what this year’s “rampant lion” may be.

In the afternoon we will have our auction preview of the wonderful auction brought by Jim Seeck and his family auction service. Jim is beginning to put up more pictures from the auction on his website ( for you to see, with new pictures appearing every two weeks. This auction features a lot of wonderful glass (much of which you can read about further into this issue of the Pump).

On Friday night, we are going to have one of the most unique banquet dinners in the history of carnival glass. The banquet room will glow with blacklights and Vaseline glass, as our third flash mob in three days will occur, entitled Glow, Little Glow Worm, Glow. We will also have our whimsy auction, maybe honor a few people, and so much more. This will be a banquet dinner everyone can enjoy.

On Saturday, it will be auction time. One of the best parts of this year’s convention is that it marks our return to an atrium-style hotel. Space is beginning to fill up, so get in your reservations as quickly as possible. Also, fill out the registration form included in this issue of the Pump, and send it to Lee so that we know you are coming. It will help us plan our meals, our hospitality room (run once again by Ann McMorris), and our transportation count for the Amana trip.

And so, let me close by once again inviting you to attend. Conventions aren’t the reason we collect carnival glass, or even why we belong to ICGA. They are, however, the single best way to get to know your fellow collectors, start some new friendships, have a laugh or two, eat a great meal, and have a good time. We want you to attend, mostly for that good time we want to share with you. Pick up the phone and make your reservations today. You will be very happy you did come July.

Brian Pitman