Highlights of the 2020 Southeast Regional Winter Woodfest at the Lake Yale Baptist Conference Center, Eustis, Florida
The Lake Yale meeting is the most attended US IWCS meeting. This year, it will be held Monday afternoon through Friday breakfast, February 17 – 21, 2020. The registration form is located at http:woodcollectors.org/pdf/2020-southeast-regional-woodfest-registration.pdf. 10/20/2019
Request for vouchered chestnut samples to assist with a joint American Chestnut Society and Pennsylvania State University research project. *– Letter from Chuck Ray –*
November-December 2019 President’s Message
I have so much to report that I contacted Mihaly ahead of time to see if he could work it all in. Here goes …
Christine and I have just returned from the Canberra, Australia, Australasia Region AGM. We were treated like royalty not only by the Aussie members but nearly everyone we encountered. I was advised that the Australians put on a good meet and we were certainly not disappointed! I’ll not take space here to mention everyone who housed and fed us, but they were all wonderful and we will remember them fondly. And don’t forget the wood – I shipped five large boxes back to myself.
I’ll take yet another opportunity here to remind you that if you are not attending IWCS meets, you are missing out on the best benefit of membership. Also, consider that if you choose to host a meet, you might be making lifelong memories for others. If you think your location has little to offer you, you need to ask yourself why you’re living there.
The USA September Annual General Meeting in Shipshewana (IN), was a huge success in fund-raising, the meet content and tours. I grew up just miles from Shipshewana and wondered what the big attraction could be when Roger Pletcher #8016 suggested it as a possible AGM location two years ago. It has changed since I was a kid many, many years ago. The complimentary Rise’n Roll bakery’s cinnamon caramel doughnuts alone were worth the price of registration. The thought of them is making me a bit peckish, Australian for kind of hungry.The USA September Annual General Meeting in Shipshewana (IN), was a huge success in fund-raising, the meet content and tours. I grew up just miles from Shipshewana and wondered what the big attraction could be when Roger Pletcher #8016 suggested it as a possible AGM location two years ago. It has changed since I was a kid many, many years ago. The complimentary Rise’n Roll bakery’s cinnamon caramel doughnuts alone were worth the price of registration. The thought of them is making me a bit peckish, Australian for kind of hungry.
The low point for me was the wood auction. I talked the committee into making it huge, inviting the public to participate for a $10 bidder’s fee. We hired a professional auctioneer, had fliers printed, advertised in local newspapers and an auction website and I donated about 2,000 board feet of kiln dried, surfaced lumber from my inventory. As I recall, only 15 outsiders came and only about five of them bought anything. Despite this, there was so much material that the net receipts were about what would be considered usual. The experiment is now over.
Personnel Changes: As reported earlier, Jim Ciesla #9275 resigned as President-Elect and Dennis Wilson #2324L, Alpena, Michigan, USA has stepped in to take his place. As replacement for President-Elect is an appointment no election is required — just in case you think you slept through that. I know I’ll be leaving out some details and dates, but Dennis served as Secretary/ Treasurer from 1990 – 92, was President from 1999 – 2000, has served as Archivist for the past several years, wrote our Roles and Responsibilities (the Green Book) and more recently, revised the same. Needless to say, Dennis is no stranger to the IWCS and will do us proud! More about Dennis later.
Eric Oman #10103, Lake St. Louis, Missouri, USA has resigned as Secretary/Treasurer. Eric has been an outstanding member and volunteered to do anything asked of him. He and wife Violet are very active in their region and may hold the record for the most regional meets this year. They have enlisted many new IWCS members. He has a full-time job and many other pursuits that I hope he will now have time to enjoy to the fullest.
Patti Dickherber #8719 has agreed to act as interim Secretary/Treasurer until a replacement for Eric can be found. Patti was Secretary/Treasurer from 2017 – 2018 and resigned to have more time to devote to family and genealogy which she got me hooked on. Patti is truly my hero for stepping up! We are in search of her replacement ASAP. Please see the ad on page 4.
Robert Ritchie #3457L, Burk’s Falls, Ontario, Canada has resigned as Canadian Trustee. Robert has acted in the capacity of interim for several years after his term expired. He and Heidi Clausen hosted the 2014 AGM in Huntsville, Ontario which was a huge undertaking for two people. We are currently searching for a replacement. Anybody???
Don Smith #9577, Mount Dora, Florida, USA was elected as Southeast Regional Trustee to replace outgoing Trustee Mark Weaver, #9885, Goochland, Virginia, USA. Don is the big and young guy who is either working at a meet’s sawmill or carrying small logs away from the auction. Mark brought Mark Junior to the Florida meet a couple years ago and I was so 4 World of Wood November/December 2019 taken with him that I tried to fix him up with my step-granddaughter. Mark Senior brought the whole family to last year’s Florida meet and was so excited that they arrived a week early! Unfortunately, they had to return to reality and missed the meet but left auction donations behind. Many thanks to both of these guys.
I was present to witness the election of Australasian Trustee Ian Heffernan #9902, Mulgrave, Victoria, Australia to replace outgoing John Lyons #9737, Mount Albert North, Victoria, Australia. These guys are amongst the hardest working trustees as their region takes care of their own memberships, WoW distribution, host their regions AGM, and so on. Christine and I had noon tea at Ian and wife June’s home and stayed at John and wife Susie’s home for five days. I learned a lot from these guys. John taught me a lot of Australian slang that I’ve used on Chris so much that I’m now fearing for my life. Thanks to these blokes for their hospitality and hard work for the IWCS.
Future Meetings: Look for details of the Florida, USA Winterfest, February 17 – 22, 2020 on pages 30-31 in this issue or on the website. This is the big IWCS meet of the year! Learn wood ID and fill your big truck with wood from the sawmill and auction. I’ll see you there!
Breaking news… Dennis and Tamera Wilson have agreed to host the 2020 AGM in Alpena, Michigan, USA in September. This is at the end of Alpena’s summer tourism season meaning that room rates will be favorable. Dennis has already chosen the venue, a hotel with decent-sized conference room. Tamera mused that for an outing we could pick wild black chokeberries that ripen in the early fall. I’m guessing we will find more exciting activities in the months ahead. Dennis signed up a new member, Gary Jones, from Alpena who owns a WoodMizer that he will bring and set up right next to the highway and the hotel will place something like “Welcome International Wood Collectors Society” on their marquee. As I recall Dennis plans to have the auction on a Saturday which will attract more locals. I got lots of feedback that many woodworkers near Shipshewana couldn’t attend the Thursday auction, so this sounds like a good plan. Thanks Dennis and Tamera!
AGM 2021. I’ve got nothing. Remember, if you think your locality has nothing to offer you need to ask yourself why you live there. Give me a call. Call your local chamber of commerce or visitors center — they’ll be happy you called. I’ll find help for you and it could be our best AGM ever!
I want to end this lengthy message with a personal story that typifies “friends in wood”. A long-time local acquaintance, Amy Sheffield, who now lives with her husband and two kids on Kodiak Island, Alaska, USA came home for a visit last summer. She and the kids came by for a tour of my lumber/woodworking operation. The kids were so polite, attentive and appreciative that it was certainly my pleasure.
Amy called in September to ask if there was any wood that I could use from Kodiak Island. The only commercial wood growing there is Sitka spruce, Picea sitchensis, but I sent her a list of native trees and shrubs that grow there and wished her luck. She went to a rather scary small sawmill nearby where the owner cut off a piece of rough-sawn Sitka spruce and from a couple brush piles cut off two small rounds, one Sitka alder, Alnus sinuata, and a piece of what he thought was diamond leaf willow, Salix planifolia ssp. pulchra. Amy sent all of these in a Priority Mail box along with some gifts.
I hated to ask but was apprehensive about the identity of the willow. Amy went out and bought a field guide for Kodiak Island plants and with this changed her mind and determined it to be Sitka willow, Salix sitchensis, and collected herbarium material. But her husband, a doctor, said she needed to go back and get a piece of the actual tree (which happened to be a downed tree) so it would match the herbarium material. So, she went back and collected a nice round with her bow-saw and mailed that to me along with all the collected herbarium material and a bottle of local Raspberry Rhubarb Syrup which I’ll have on my hotcakes tomorrow. I haven’t checked her herbarium material yet, but I’d bet my last dollar that she’s right.