Message from the President September 2005

Are You Ready for the 2006 Flash Mob???

By Brian Pitman, September 2005

The 2005 ICGA Annual Convention this past July was one of the most successful conventions we have had in the past decade. We had many attendees, we had some great seminars, our display room was awesome, and our auction brought people from out of the woodwork, making it one of the largest of the year. Before I shock you with all the details of 2006 (you’ll see what I mean in a moment), I need to thank a great many people for this past convention. Let me preface this by saying that I must thank each and every one of you. By being a member in ICGA, you are one of the best people in the carnival glass collecting world. Thank you!!

My thanks go to all those who worked at the convention, by manning the registration desk, sitting in the display room, putting together the displays and the silent auctions, coming to the meetings, etc. You helped make this great convention happen, and we all appreciate it very much! I also thank those of you who spoke at the convention. It isn’t always easy to get up in front of your peers and speak, and by doing so, you stand above the rest. I also want to thank everyone else who attended, because coming to the convention is what makes it all come together.

Okay, now let’s move on to ICGA 2006. Our next convention will take place at the Cedar Rapids Marriott in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on July 18-22, 2006. This hotel is an atrium hotel, which means we will all finally be back in a nice atrium that allows you to see everyone milling around from room to room. Our room rate is $104 per night for a regular room, and $114 per night for a two-room suite. The hotel has a breakfast buffet every morning for less than $10 per person (plus there is a 10% discount for senior citizens) which you can enjoy if you choose.

Our theme for this convention is “Flash Mob.” Now what the heck is a “flash mob” you may ask. Flash mobs are a thing kids are doing these days (and don’t ask me why, because I can’t explain the actions of today’s youth any more than any of you can). A flash mob is when someone calls for a quick event, and then he sends it out to everyone he knows, via email, text messaging, word of mouth, etc. Flash mobs are generally tied around some nonsensical event, such as applauding and cheering for no apparent reason. At the pre-determined time and place, 300-400 people show up out of nowhere and start clapping, cheering, applauding, whooping and hollering, and generally making themselves as loud and obvious as possible. After five or ten minutes, everyone suddenly disappears, leaving a lot of confused bystanders.

So why did we choose Flash Mob as our theme? Because we are going to do something never before attempted at a carnival glass convention. We are going to attempt to put together three of the largest display rooms EVER at a carnival glass convention in three different days.

Why??? Because we can. On Tuesday, we will kick things off with our Early Bird special. This year, we had a nice Italian buffet with pizza, pasta, and more. Next year, we are even going to beat that. Show up and get ready to eat!!!! On Wednesday, Flash Mob Day One will begin. With only 2-3 hours to prepare, we will open up our display room with a display entitled Kisses Sweeter than Wine. In this display, we will attempt to put together as many examples of Wines, Cordials, Decanters, and more as possible. Once the display is opened up for everyone to view, we will have a seminar on wines and stemware by John and Loretta Nielsen. An hour after their seminar, the display room will disband, gone forever.

Now let me talk about the display rooms briefly. The idea here is to have the BIGGEST display rooms ever. This isn’t a display room in which we only want a certain value of glass, or a certain rarity. We want EVERYTHING! Each display room has not only a speaker, but also a Team Leader. The Team Leader is in charge of putting together the team for the display room (people to check in glass and people to arrange the display), as well as to solicit as many pieces as possible. The Team Leader wants your glass, no matter what it is. If we have 200 examples of Imperial Grape at the first display room, then GREAT! No one’s glass will be turned away. This is your chance to become involved and to make carnival glass history. This is a group effort, and you are part of the group.

Just think for a moment, walking into a display room and seeing more glass than you have seen in one room before, and it is all built around a single theme. Oh, and it will all be history in a period of three hours, never again to be reassembled as a display. Amazing thought, isn’t it?

Okay, John and Loretta are the Team Leaders for the wine display, so get involved by turning to the back cover of the Pump and calling them. Let them know you will help. You can be a team member, or you can bring plenty of examples for the display!! And did I mention that during the Kisses Sweeter than Wine display, we will be having our ice cream social, with more toppings than we had this year (which was a lot)!

On Thursday, we are going to make it even crazier. Thursday morning will begin with our Breakfast Seminar (yes, we are having one on Wednesday as well) and annual meeting. Afterwards, we are all going to pile into some very nice tour buses and head down to the Amanas Colonies. Only 20 minutes away, these are a step backwards in time, to a nice old-style German settlement. There is shopping (antique malls, as well as crafts and food), and we will all enjoy a large family style lunch together (and remember, family-style means LOTS of food and desserts). Afterwards, we head back to the hotel.

On Thursday night, Flash Mob Day Two kicks in. This display, held for the first time in the later hours, will be called Filling Spaces with Northwood Vases. This room, featuring a seminar by Kevin and April Clark and our Team Leaders, Don and Barb Chamberlain, will try to contain as many Northwood Vases as we can fit in. We want funeral, bud, mid-size, squatty, weird, ugly, and pretty vases; and we want them in quantity. If you own a Northwood vase, we want it in this display!!!

On Friday morning, we will have our third Breakfast Seminar, and then it will be time for our 2nd Annual Scavenger Hunt. This year’s was a hoot, with lots of people running around in the rooms, checking out the glass on display and for sale, and answering some fun questions about each room.

On Friday afternoon, we will have our auction preview, but I will talk about the auction a bit more in a minute. On Friday night, we will try to put together Flash Mob Day Three, entitled Glow, You Little Glow Worm. This display room, our biggest and most ambitious yet, has a Team Leader in Cathy Dunham. It will occur as a part of our Banquet, featuring a banquet seminar on Vaseline Glass by……well now, that would be telling, wouldn’t it? That’s right, we are going to put together a giant display of glowing Vaseline glass in a night that will be remembered for a very long time. If it glows (whether it’s Vaseline or not), WE WANT IT!! Picture a lovely dinner lit not by candlelight, but the fabulous and eerie glow of glass. You will WANT to be at this event!!!

On Saturday, we will have our annual auction, held by Jim and Jan Seeck, and it features the collections of Dick and Phyllis Ott and of John and Loretta Nielsen. This is going to be one of our biggest auctions EVER!!

BUT, there is even more! Now this part is a SECRET!! This next part is only for YOU, because YOU are an ICGA Member, which makes you special. DO NOT share this next part with anyone who isn’t a member!! We already have pictures of MANY of the pieces for next year’s auction. Furthermore, the full listing for the auction is almost done. The brochure for this auction will not be sent out until June, but because you are an ICGA Member, you get this information almost 9 months before the rest of the world.

Get online and go to the ICGA website. Specifically, go to and check it out. We have pictures there for you, and the text will be there as soon as we have it. Later in January and February, we will have even more pictures for you. This is given to all of you as a big thank you for being an ICGA Member. Please don’t share it with others. They aren’t members, and they need to become members.

There you have it. You can make your reservations now by calling (319) 393-6600 and telling them you are with the International Carnival Glass Association. People are still talking about this year’s convention, but 2006 is going to blow them away! Come be a part of it!!

Brian Pitman