As the autumn of 2012 roars ahead into full color, the North Central Chapter turns over a new leaf and prepares to close out the year with a mile-stone chapter meeting in that town that we like to call the best-kept-secret of the Plains, Sioux Falls, SD. Why, it was only last year when Paul Fell, chapter treasurer, and I were driving southward toward Kansas City for a Toonfest planning meeting, when he turned to me and said, “Why don’t you ask [Ann] Telnaes to be our guest speaker for the fall meeting?”
“But Paul, that’s nearly a year away. What’s the rush?” I replied.
Knowing how these things go, I sent an email to Ann, seeing her schedule might permit a trip to the Midwest in October and would she be obliging. To my delight and surprise, she agreed.
Once that hurtle was cleared, I contacted our point man, er, person in South Dakota, the one and only Ken Alvine. He said not to worry; he’d get right on it. Despite his mild-mannered demeanor, Ken can really hustle when the demands are high. This time he really out did himself. He had about 90% of the meeting planned and locked in before we had the judging meeting for the Reuben Awards in February.
The theme of the meeting, and we have themes so rarely, was “The Art of Editorial Cartoons in An Election Year.” The schedule included a panel discussion at the downtown public library which featured Patrick Lalley, editor of the Sioux Falls Argus Leader newspaper; Paul Fell, syndicated editorial cartoonist; Ed Fischer, editorial cartoonist formerly with the Omaha World Herald; and Jeff Koterba, editorial cartoonist for the Omaha World Herald and author. Later a welcome and reception were held at the new art gallery at Augustana College. Once we’d been fed and made welcome, Ann Telnaes, Pulitzer Prize winner and editorial cartoonist for the Washington Post was joined on stage with Joel Johnson, professor of Political Science at Augustana College to discuss Ann’s work, her new app, and then Q&A from the audience.
Then it was off to Jackie Dusseau Beilke and BrianBeilke’s house for an evening of relaxation, lively chats, and light dining and refreshments with the gang. Man, do those Beilke’s know how to party! Hell, they even remodeled part of the house for us… a-hem!
After breakfast we had our Chapter meeting, for NCS members only. How Fell got in, I’ll never know. I’d tell you what we discussed but it falls under the category of Double Top Secret. Those of us with things to sell could be found at Zanbroz Bookstore, just a couple blocks from our hotel. Books, posters, and left over beer bottles were autographed for the buying public.
Then lunch!!! Ken had made arrangements for an incredible lunch for all of us at Minervas restaurant, Sioux Falls’ answer to fine dining. And believe me, it was soooo fine! The second best cup of coffee I’ve ever had, and I’ve had many from Honolulu to Austria. If you’re ever in Sioux Falls, plan on a meal at Minervas.
After lunch it was back to the downtown public library for presentations by Dave Carpenter who told us of his years of success as a contributing cartoonist to various well-known magazines. Then it was Kelly McNutt’s turn at bat. He gave a presentation on his incredible animation work.
Once the presentations were completed it was off to the home of Chris and Carroll Browne for a let-your-hair-down kind of evening and an incredible dinner!
I don’t know how we’re going to top this chapter meeting. Those who made the effort to put it all together did one helluva job! Thank you, one and all.