Texas PCA Chapter Meeting
We're initiated! We made our first trip to a PCA meeting and came home hankering for more. I must warn all of our fellow Northerners though that the bar has been set high. The Texas PCA gave us a true taste of southern hospitality and lots of big hearty laughs and handshakes.
We met up in Galveston in the very swank San Luis Resort Hotel where we all had rooms staring straight out at the Gulf of Mexico. Jayne Gilbert, the chapter president, got us immediately into the swing by inviting the lot of us up to her room for drinks and hors d'oeuvres before we all headed out for a seafood dinner. My kind of girl. We were elbow to elbow and perching variously on her desk, dresser and beds. I knew I would like her even before drinks because Ben and I met her quite by accident in the hotel elevator upon our arrival. She was wearing a big black coat with a bright red boa draped across her breast. I later learned from her that she knits these herself (they're fluffy like ostrich feathers). She finally got so worn down by my compliments which were, I promise, most sincere and entirely free of guile, that she gave me one! I was much abashed but not so very that I felt obliged to decline. Besides, I live in a cold climate and a girl has to be practical.
Mayauel Ward was the featured artist and Ben and I knew immediately we had found a new friend when we scooped him up at the airport. He was great. Danny Salazar and David Graeber had each sent some of their weights to us directly at the hotel. Mayauel, too, had shipped most of his weights ahead. As we pulled up to the desk we all made our package inquiries straight away. Ben and I were promptly rewarded with exactly what we were expecting; Mayauel, on the other hand, came away with no prize and a very knit brow. Poor fellow. We were off for drinks in Jayne's room all the same and Mayauel tried hard to be cavalier. He had flown all the way from California to sell weights and there were none! Oy oy. Well, it turned out not to be true. His package was simply bigger and the gal at the desk hadn't thought to look in the back room. End of drama.
Saturday morning Ben and Mayauel and I set up early for the meeting. Larry and Marti Selman, who had preceded us to Texas by way of Chicago, were there to show us the ropes. Marti was her usual invaluable self and Larry the sage old guru that we expect him to be and that he is. There were lots of speeches, all fun, and even a group telephone call to the Favres in Oklahoma to wish them a happy anniversary - 60th , I believe! After a long but festive meeting, lunch break and paperweight shopping, we all dashed off across town to Susan Bogan's art gallery for a quick perusal and more chatter. Dinner was Italian and followed by dessert at the beautiful home of Jan and Jeff Whitley. Jan has a stunning collection of antique Clichy and for me, just as impressively, three little toy terriers who scamper about like mice and are not much bigger.
Next day, we all met up at an extraordinary old hotel for the most sumptuous brunch of my life. What a shame that we're only set up to eat one meal at a time. We weren't shy though and there were mimosas a go-go. Then, we hopped in our cars and raced off to the wonderful home of wonderful Fran Van Winkle and her wondrous and copious collection of everything from D'Onofrio to a critter section. Is this enough activity for you? Perhaps, but not for us. Ben and Mayauel and I then launched ourselves in the direction of Houston to catch planes. We managed a whirlwind tour of the Art and Joyce Elder collection along the way. Another marvel.
Texas was a wonderful experience for us in all the best possible ways, so I won't say that we were overwhelmed. We were, however, very definitely whelmed.
- Alexis Magaro