Most of our day was spent hunkered down in the RV... rain & wind swirling around us...
View from the camper... we were surprised the tent didn't blow away!
By early afternoon, there wasn't much left to do but take a nap!
Around 3, I ventured out and spent a few minutes with Steve... marveling at how easily some of the biggest names in the artist teddy bear world passed in and out of his home while I was there... and how little I know of this exclusive club of highly talented creators! It was fun just to observe.
After we finally got ourselves packed, stowed and moved out of the driveway, we proceeded over to the registration office, located in the old railroad depot. What a great, old building! We picked up our packets, which contained loads of TBRH goodies and a fun tote bag. We also got to meet one of the principal organizers of the event (and the local newspaperwoman) Barb Mussman. A neat lady!
From there, we went to find our Clarion hosts, the Rectors. What a great town, the people are so friendly, we sat and talked on the porch for awhile until the event shuttle (school bus) stopped out in front of the house. The driver happened to be the Rector's neighbor, so we were sort of peer-pressured (ha ha) into taking the bus over to the museum for dinner.
The shuttle driver is a volunteer, as are all the workers here. By day, he's in charge of buses at the school district. (he's also an EMT... we had a long conversation about heart disease.) After he was dropping us off at the museum, I said, "by the way, what's your name?" He said, just call me "number 2." Ok... "thanks 2", I said. Later I found out his name is Mr. Tew.
At the museum, a dozen tables or so had been set up in the air conditioned room (mostly full of people talking and eating by the time we arrived); there were sandwiches, salads and drinks served by a crew of volunteers. The meal was included in our registration for the event. We saw quite a few people we recognized, both artists and collectors. (including two of my faves, who happened to be sitting nearby... you know who you are, ladies :)
We took a quick walk through the teddy bear museum and vowed to return later to take proper photos. The new exhibits are fantastic! There is a tribute to the Smithsonian 100th year of the teddy bear celebration, which was supposed to take place in 2002 but was canceled due to 9/11. Some of the original bears meant for that exhibit are being shown. There's also a wonderful new artist bunny exhibit. I promise to revisit, photograph and share as much of it as I can.
After catching the shuttle back to the Rectors house, we drove over to the high school for opening ceremonies. John Paul Port emceed the event. Collectors and artists are here from all over the world. Even though it seems a smaller number than the last time we were here (which we expected due to the economy), everyone seems excited, which is good.
The keynote speaker was Jack Wilson, House of Nisbet bears. He presented an interesting account of the development of his company and how he got into making bears.
All in all, a fun night!
Tomorrow, weather permitting, I will take the trusty camera out and get some more pics of the town, the venues and of course the bears. There will be a preview of the auction bears in the afternoon & viewing of the Most Spectacular Bears. Lots of photo-ops.
As for today's On The Road Blog Giveaway, here's today's prize:
1 yard of bear themed fabric. And the winner is:
C586 (follower via Google)
A Steiff plush bear, approx 16" in size. "James"; good luck to all!
Steiff mohair keyring, approx. 3 1/2 inch, with gold metal clasp. Reg. $52, special $46 All proceeds go to TBRH!
Click below to purchase:
Thanks for following the blog and our On The road postings... more from Clarion, Iowa tomorrow night...