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Well, it's over. Silver Falls for 1998 has come to a close. You can only tell we've been there by the silvery afterglow of creation shimmering in the moonlight. (And maybe a few mud holes reminiscent of a feedlot). From the ankles up, it was an unqualified success! From the ankles down, it was soggy, but our spirits were not dampened. It takes more than a little ... well, a lot of. .. mud to conquer people who gather to be creative. It was overcast. We carved. It rained. We carved. It rained some more. We carved. And carved. And carved. We slogged on, wearing our rubber boots, rubber pants, rubber coats-and smiles. If you didn't go this year, you missed out on a unique experience. They've given us a nice high-and-dry site in case it rains next year.


I look forward to going to the Silver Falls Symposium. I know that the basics are taken care of very well, the location is beautiful, the lodges are clean and warm, and the food is always good. And I know that I will be free to have a wonderful time. But I'm never truly prepared for the spiritual and creative boost I get. It's always more than I expect-a transfusion that lasts for months. I used to read about artists gravitating towards each other in Paris or London or New York, and I would think, "Oh, that's so nice. They can talk to each other and show each other their work." But it's much more than that. Each person's creative urge feeds that of the next person, and back again. It's effortless. We don't feel that we're giving anything up, but that we're receiving. It's a true glimpse of how powerful and limitless the creative force is when we can all be given so much through each other.


On a more down to earth note, I talked with Stu Jacobson, and, as the Coordinator, he's also happy with the results. He said we even turned a small profit. Thank you, Stu, and thank you, Peggy! AI; far as I know, she's not a member, but she also put in many long hours to make this a success. Her only connection is that she's Stu's wife. I know it was a lot of work for her as well as for him. (As far as I know, they're still married.)


Our instructors were excellent, and they complemented each other very well. Paul Buckner was our newest instructor. For those of you who haven't worked with him yet, he proved to be very gentle in his approach, very available, and very knowledgeable. I hope he returns next year.


George Pratt was back by popular demand and showed the newcomers why we love him and why we'll keep asking for him. He was, as usual, top notch. He did a presentation on marketing art, and brought a tape of his ttu1y rugged adventure carving with the Intuits. Before that tape, I thought I knew what an obstacle was. From now on, when I think I've encountered an obstacle, I'll think of George's sculpture out on the shore of a barren cold island with an iceberg sitting on top of it. Then I'll keep my little obstacle in proportion.


Sudha Achar was available again to help the newcomers with power tools. She was very willing to give information and advice. I was next to her at the symposium and she saved my back a couple of times.

Terry Kramer did a repeat performance of his face-building lesson, but in much greater detail this year. He was also our Master Auctioneer. He was in top form and he had 'em rolling in the aisles. I was in the background, feeding him items for auction, and Kathy Ellis was tracking who gave the top bid on each item. We almost pinned him to make him slow down the show so we could get the names of the top bidders. The auction was a resounding success, almost doubling last year's total.


The lovely Masseuse de Sade, Carolyn Anderson, also returned. She was very generous with her time and with those fabulous hands. We didn't bave to ask which lodge she was set up in. It was the one that people crawled into and later floated out of, looking like newer versions of themselves.


John Pugh was there again with his tool truck, and a good selection of soapstone, alabaster, marble, chlorite, and sandstone. I hope he left with his load sufficiently lightened. (I know I helped in that cause.)

AI; happened with Camp Brotherhood, the Silver Falls Symposimn has come together, bit by bit, year by year, until it looks like the kinks are out. Or maybe that was just Stu and Peggy giving a magic touch in the background. I know Stu was a relaxed (he said he was concentrating on that part) and capable leader this year.

Next year is too far away ..