What a week! Teachers Workshops at the Museum, Wednesday and Thursday and then Society Chapter Training, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Malcolm and I staggered back to Mathews yesterday morning, once again physically and emotionally exhausted.
I wish you all could have been present to witness the teachers’ workshops presented by the Foundation and then the three days of training for the leaders of the Society’s chapters. Both events were inspiring and were testimonies to the successes being achieved by the Foundation and the Society. I thank and congratulate all who were involved and I thank the membership of the Society for their support for the workshops and the other activities of the Foundation.
The Teacher Workshops:
The following comment by Cheryle Gardner, Principal Specialist of Fine Arts, Virginia Department of Education, gives you an independent assessment. “This workshop provided an excellent opportunity for teachers to learn new ways of incorporating the fine arts with the academic core curriculum. Dr Hooper’s insightful ideas and engaging activities for K-12 students deserves the widest attention. I congratulate the P. Buckley Moss Foundation for giving us this outstanding in-service to promote high-quality arts education in the Commonwealth.”
I am full of admiration for the teachers who were with us. Their professional dedication to better serving their students is in contrast to the shortcomings of our politician’s provision of money for education. The children are our future and our investment in them should match the investment being made by teachers.
The Foundation offers many excellent programs and I wish that all teachers knew of them. We have the capacity to expand but we need help in getting the information into the hands of the classroom teachers. All too often our publicity dies on an administrative desk and does not find its way to the front line troops, the teachers.
The Foundation's next important event is its "Creative Mind Conference" on November 1-3. Please ask your teacher contacts to take a look at the Foundation's web page for details.
Held at the Omni Hotel in Charlottesville we shed the years. We ladies dressed in poodle skirts, some pink and some black, bobby socks and saddle shoes and had bows in our hair. The men wore black jeans and rolled cigarette packets into their T-shirt sleeves, rolled up the cuffs of their pants and had loafers or white buckskin shoes. The more senior ones covered their gray hair with black dye.
The chapters decorated their dinner tables with 50's and 60's memorabilia. George Johnson and Mark Allen, the brother of Lance and, like Lance, a member of the office staff, put together a program of rock and roll music and songs of the period. We ate hot dogs and root beer floats and danced the Parade, the Bunny Hop, the Twist and Rock and Roll, the Slide and the Stroll.
On Saturday night everyone came to the Barn for dinner and to draw the raffle prizes donated by each of the chapters. There were many prizes and the proceeds from the sale of the tickets raised $600. I drew a black cat on the shirt of my son-in-law, Corrado and Malcolm auction it off for $270. Including other raffles and the sale of "I walked with Moss T shirts," the Foundation benefited by more than $1000. Additional to this, there were many raffles sponsored by the Society chapters.
Seeing is believing and so I am relying on these photos to convince you of the fun enjoyed by all. My words cannot do the weekend justice but remember the photos are about the fun side. Equally professional were the seminars and panel discussions. Well done all!
Our next collective fun time will be at the Dayton convention, October 3-5.
This week and beyond:
After this coming weekend, Malcolm and I have a six week standdown. Malcolm is going to isolate himself on the farm in Panama and concentrate on the final effort to complete his book about the crazy Englishman who thinks he can become a farmer in the tropics. He is also hoping to complete a sequel to Katie and Her Friends. He has written several drafts but none that he is satisfied with. The inspiration has yet to hit him.
I will be busy here in Mathews painting, gardening and going to Busch Gardens with daughter Mary and grandchildren, Kate, Sarah and Sean. While the others will hit every scary ride, Sean and I will head for the more gentle ones; our stomachs don't survive on the big bad roller coasters.
With a quieter life, my weekly newsletters with be domestic in nature but I plan to include an extract from Malcolm's letters from Panama when he has something of interest to say.
PS. Last week I told you I am not superstitious but I do not walk under ladders. When Malcolm told this to Gilbert at one of their early morning meetings over cups of tea, Gilbert spoke of the superstitions he grew up with as a waterman fishing the Chesapeake. Here are a few of them:
Never paint a boat blue or any part of it blue.
Do not wear any blue piece of clothing on a boat.
Never carry a black lunch box onto a boat.
Never whistle on a boat. If a man whistled, the captain would give him one warning. If he whistled again, the offender would be put ashore.
Never turn back to shore for something left behind.
Never start something on a Friday that could not be completed that day.
Gilbert told of the day his neighbor Captain Henry was in great pain. Bessy, his wife, and Pat, his daughter, called the rescue squad to take him to hospital. When the rescue squad showed up and joined the gathering of neighbors assembled in front of the house, the Captain sent the squad away, telling them to return the next day, Saturday.
In common with many others, the watermen did not like a black cat crossing the road in front of them. When this happened, most would turn around and go back to the start of their journey and begin it again.
Gilbert does not know how he escaped these superstitions but none of them have ever troubled him. "I didn't believe in that kind of stuff. If we were going up the road and a black cat passed in front of us my Daddy would say. "Gilbert, I am going to have bad luck today." I would reply, "It would have been bad luck for the cat if you had hit him."