Thursday, January 18, 2018

July 2014 – Message from the Guildmaster

August 4, 2014 by  
Filed under Message from the Guildmaster


On Friday, July 25th, my wife and I got an early start to Dixon’s happy with the weather report that an unexpected late July break in the normal heat was in the weekend forcast. I had read an early e-mail that Horn Book editor Bill Carter was not coming , and I was met at the Horn tent by Kris Polizzi with the sad news that Bill’s brother Bob had passed away while Bill was enroute North. Bill Carter is a sensitive and caring man full of good mirth that you cannot be but happy around. Bob’s passing was not totally unexpected and Bill had been helping Bob’s family for some time. The Horn Guild family wishes to express our heartfelt condolences to Bill and his kin.

In spite of the good weather, public attendance seemed a little lighter. Sales were brisk and seminars were well attended. Less guns to be judged and more accouterments this year. The highlight of the show for a little over seventy of us was the Friday night reception. Fifteen rural driving minutes on a farmstead surrounded with lush summer crops, a spirited horse named Buddy in the pasture, and a coop full of chickens screened behind our picnic tables on a beautiful summer evening. All the food was home cooked and served cafeteria style in a large walk through family room. Many times when dining out you are offered a local specialty. Not this time. The entire menu starting with corn fritter appetizers to shoofly pie with homemade ice cream was Berks County, Pennsylvania Dutch including hog belly and it was outstanding.

The Mendel family are caterers by profession and the warm reception at their home reflects old style hospitality. They have invited us back for next year and space is limited so be warned to sign up early with Art DeCamp or you might miss out. Frank and Faith Willis were applauded for their last ten years of making the yearly reception first at their home, then Jacobsburg and now at the Mendel’s near Kutztown. Frank’s farewell speech was interrupted as if on cue numerous times by a confident rooster much to the entertainment of all present.


Guildmaster Dick Toone (left) congratulates Zachary Griner on his big win.

Another highlight was to see the real joy and exuberant excitement of a good-looking giant of a young man that won the John DeWald-Frank Willis horn and bag grand prize. Congratulations to Zachary Griner of Georgia on his winning of this high-art Pennsylvania set.

The weekend ended without the annual rain storm and with lots of Horn Guild members winning ribbons.

If you have not decided on a vacation place this summer and would consider the middle of the country for a trip, try to visit Greenfield Village and the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan. This is a two day experience of first class historical perspective. The village is 90 acres of original houses, schools and factories moved to a 90 acre site with walking, Model T or horse and wagon tours. Henry Ford’s first shop and Thomas Edison’s experimental lab/factory are intact. Edison’s building is even sitting on the dirt moved from Menlo Park, New Jersey. The museum is huge and like Greenfield Village started in the 1920′s by the multimillionaire with an interest in preserving the past. The museum covers all aspects of American history much from the early part of the 1900′s when Henry Ford was a buddy with the likes of Thomas Edison, Henry Firestone and others, and modern industry and invention was bursting forth. There is an impressive collection of Early American furniture including pieces belonging to George Washington and Abraham Lincoln as well as a surprisingly large display of American guns. There are horns and bags to drool over.

Hope you all are having a great summer. We’ll be at the CLA show demonstrating the Guild lathe in August.

Best regards,Dick Toone, Guildmaster

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