Paperweight National Convention
Wow! What a ride! The new Selman team has been officially initiated into the process; our first national convention was a star spangled event. We packed up our entire showroom and made a slow, low drive to Washington D.C. where it was resurrected, fondled, admired and sometimes acquired. No surprise to any of you collectors, the paperweight world is a special one, and the veteran dealers amid whose stands we pitched tent, were welcoming and helpful in every way. Some were familiar to us already, but some were new and absolutely all a genuine pleasure to get to know as colleagues. We were honored to join the ranks of such a cooperative crowd and plenty grateful for the generous spirit of camaraderie that prevailed. Again, as first-timers, the big thrill was putting faces to names. Meeting up with friends we've come to know during the course of these last two years leant a huge element of party to the task at hand, and there were reliable after dinner get-togethers in the lounge at the end of long, informative days.
Ellen Rostker did a sterling, impeccable job of organizing everything from hotel accommodations to cocktail nuts. Pity there were no soups or I could have said "everything from soup to nuts" but, in truth, that was the essence of her effort. The hotel was an excellent choice, which got us off to a good start. A new Hilton strategy has positioned the lounge directly at the hotel entrance - a wonderful innovation that makes it not only easy but inevitable to run into friends.
Talks were informative and fun and consistently well-attended. Lots of miscellany to be gleaned; how many of you knew, for instance, that shot glasses were originally used to hold shot on one's desk as receptacles for an inky quill in between drafts?
The Selman stand was greatly enhanced by John Hawley's kindness and expertise - he was on hand to sign his newest book The New England Glass Company. And one of David Graeber's many spectacular new creations was featured in the Washington Post to advertise the convention! Great prestige for the paperweight world. The Smithsonian paperweight exhibit, so generously organized for us by the Kaplans, was perfect impetus for a tour of our truly beautiful capitol which is chock-a-block with glorious museums and monuments, all of which are utterly admission-free. It is quite fun to sashay in and out of beautiful exhibits without even once opening up a wallet, and the easy access meant that virtually all of us dipped into to the Museum of Natural Sciences only to look at the Hope Diamond. As it turns out, the setting is gaudy and cumbersome, so I have decided to strike it from my Christmas list. I thought Ed Poore would have done so much better by it.
- Alexis Magarò