Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Judging weekend

The North Central bunch gathered in the metropolis of Johnston, IA (a 'burb of Des Moines) to judge the Greeting Card category of the 2011 Reuben Awards. Before I forget, the info packet for reservations and registration for the Reubens have been mailed out. If you haven't received yours, contact Phil Pyster in Maitland, FL ( or latish@crowsegal or lois@crowsegal ... whew!) and he can get you signed in. Have your credit card at the ready. Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah, we gathered to do our duty for the NCS and the Reuben Awards. First, we found the hotel, Stoney Creek Inn whose style put me in the mood to go fly fishing... lots of logs, moose light switch plates, and stuffed animals on the beds. (I had a raccoon. I think Fell had a Sasquatch.) John Hambrock, always the first to arrive, met us at the door then followed us to our rooms. I think John was out of beer and was hoping to get a free one (or two). Then we drove to the Jones' house where Bucky and Kim entertained us with a house FULL of cartoon artwork, and not all of it was Buck's, some rather unusual toys and collectibles from Bucky's toy chest (I'd say more but this is a family website), more beer, wine for the ladies, and plenty of munchies to keep even this carnivorous lot satisfied. Eventually the guys from the Minnesota area arrived and joined in the fun. All in all, we had a good turnout for the party. The Fell's, Paul and his lovely bride Arlene (she who must be obeyed) left early, because, well she must be obeyed. The rest of us partied on until around 11:00-ish. Then back to the hotel.
Next morning we met for breakfast in the lavish and swank hotel dining den ... if you were there you know what I'm talking about. A quick bit to eat and it was upstairs to the Pine Room (conference room) where we laid out the entries and the judging began. I had the room reserved from 9:00 am until 1:00 pm. We found ourselves telling stories, drawing funny cartoons (after all, that's what we do) for the kids of a friend of Buck's who joined us AFTER the judging was done and everything was put away, and talking about the pranks we'd be pulling in Las Vegas. Oops! I wasn't supposed to say that. Just ignore that one, please.
The judging went very, very quickly. I'm sure it had little to do with my fabulous pre-planning and organizational skills. Even so, we finished quickly, checked out of the hotel and then had lunch at the Okiboji Grill, just a hop-skip-and-a-jump from the hotel. A good time was had by all.
See you in Las Vegas! :-)