Iowa is my second home, at least in my memories and thoughts.
Our convention in Cedar Rapids this past weekend was full of family
style friendship and was a reunion with treasured friends.
|Pat and Malcolm on the dance floor at Saturday
night's dinner dance.
||Pat and Ruthie Van Gilder, dj and entertainer. This is Ruthie's
third Moss convention and we are trying to get her to rearrange
her schedule so that she can be with us in Pennsylvania.
We started with a visit to the Iowa City Ronald McDonald
House. It is a place of unbounded love that inspires by its countless
examples of the deep caring and dedication of its staff and volunteers.
In recent years, the Society's Moss Country Friends Chapter,
has helped the House with contributions of various kinds. On Thursday
we presented the print Coming
Home to Ed Zastrow, the executive director. Doris Greiner, owner
of the Village Shoppe Gallery of Kalona, donated the framing.
I was particularly delighted to meet Ann Papouchis who
had traveled from Mason City to be with us. Two years ago, Ann and her
husband Bill purchased the original watercolor of the print And
the Greatest of These and donated it to the House. The donation
was a thank you for the comfort the House and staff provided to the
Papouchis family at a time of great stress and sadness.
|Pat and Judy Roe, director on the board of the P. Buckley Moss
Society, showing off String
Quartet. Judy was top bidder for the framed print which swept
the framing competition by winning first place by the judges and
first place by popular choice. Kim White from White's Gallery, Osceola,
Iowa, framed the print. Proceeds of the auction benefit the P. Buckley
Moss Foundation for Children's Education.
||Lance Allen, administrator of the Society
office, cuts loose on the dance floor with his staff, Amanda Corbett
(left) and Ann King (middle).
I have visited several Ronald McDonald Houses over the
years of my travels. I am invariably spiritually uplifted by witnessing
the love and caring that pervades every aspect and corner of each of
these sanctuaries. The love comes not only from the staff but also from
one guest family to another. The sharing of worry and grief with others
who face similar emotional traumas becomes a comfort, particularly within
the settings of these wonderful houses. Thank you Ed, your staff, your
volunteers and your families for a morning I will never forget. Thank
you Chapter President, Pearl Yoder, and the members of Moss Country
Friends for your commitment to the Ronald McDonald House.
The convention began on Friday morning with a tour of
Brucemore House and the Czech Slovak Museum. Both were most interesting
and make Cedar Rapids a great place to visit. I painted the Czech and
Slovak Museum in 1999 (we printed it under the title Remembering Homelands)
and I am adding Brucemore to my list of subjects for future paintings.
|Greg and Vicki Angove of Heritage Art Gallery, Cedar Falls,
Iowa, proudly display their newly-acquired doll, won at auction.
Over 700 dolls were collected and dispersed to area children's hospitals.
The dolls are used to comfort children undergoing surgery and as
a tool for the doctors and nurses to explain surgical procedures
to the children. This is a project of the Central Iowa Chapter of
the P. Buckley Moss Society.
Saturday and Sunday of the convention were remarkable
for the fun and friendship shared with all. After twenty years of coming
to Iowa, I have many enduring friends in this state and seeing them
again has been an enriching experience. Thank you Betty Johnson and
members of Moss Reflections Chapter for the hard work you put in to
make the convention such a success.
Finally, I am very happy to report that the weekend raised
$7,628.00 for the P. Buckley
Moss Foundation for Children's Education.
I am now on my way to Italy where I will be etching with
my daughter Becky. Between etching sessions, I am going to walk the
steep slopes of the Tuscany mountains in an effort to shed the five
pounds still separating me from the goal of losing ten pounds by June
30. I hope the others of you in our weight loss challenge are doing
better than me. By the way, as I mentioned before, I accidently deleted
your addresses from my computer and am not able to report to each of
you individually. I am hoping that the majority are receiving this weekly