WHAT A YEAR
2009 has been quite a year, and while it's not over yet, I feel compelled to at least begin a retrospective.
Susan and I have been traveling more than usual, and some of it was actually vacation for a change. It's not that we're workaholics, but in this industry, it's almost impossible to travel somewhere without running into printmakers, usually without trying too hard.
January saw a last minute trip with friends to Orlando - and no, we didn't go to Disney World. Our friends are avid golfers and saw Orlando as heaven on earth. I, personally, think that golf is a four letter word. I was impressed with the fact that even the golf carts have GPS's on them. It's sad that my golf balls didn't have one too.
Later in the month, we were off to Frankfurt, Germany for the Paperworld show. This is likely the largest art materials show in the world, coupled with a larger office supply show, a beauty show and a Christmas show...it's just huge. We managed to find several new products which you will (or in some cases, already have) find very interesting. New products include two lines of brayers from England along with several safety supplies, and a remarkable 3 in 1 tool set that serves as a plastic baren, cutting tool set, and hand stamper.
March brought the Southern Graphics Council show in Chicago, which had the best attendance of any SGC show ever.
May represnted a personal milestone, but one which many of you are probably grateful for. I decided to retire from the Illinois State Board of Education after almost 6 1/2 years. Served with three Governors (1 in jail, 1 headed that way, and 1 still with a clean reputation), three State Superintendents and 16 different colleagues on the Board.
Never one to let too much grass grow under my feet, I have already added two activities to fill the gap. I agreed to be appointed by the current Governor to the Education Funding Advisory Board, a board I served on from 2000-2003, and I have agreed to serve on the Midwest Regional Board for a non-profit group called Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic.
It's just never dull around here. September took us back to the IMPACT show in Bristol, England. This was the 6th show that they've had, and we've attended 5. In two years we'll be in Melbourne, Australia and two years after that it looks like Dundee, Scotland is slated for IMPACT 8.
The Fall has been busy for the family with weddings (my niece), births (nephew's wife) and a trip around the World (another nephew) We've got one more trip planned for November, and then by golly, we're staying home - at least for a little while.
Oh, I almost forgot the picture at the top. That's my youngest grandson. This fearless mountain climber got up on the counters in Mom & Dad's kitchen, got into the cinnamon, and then posed for the picture!