Thursday, January 18, 2018

March 2014 – Message from the Guildmaster

March 3, 2014 by  
Filed under Message from the Guildmaster

Steve Riley, Joel Savoy, and Wilson Savoy play at the grave of Dennis McGee during Cajun Mardi Gras

Steve Riley, Joel Savoy, and Wilson Savoy play at the grave of Dennis McGee during Cajun Mardi Gras


I am looking forward to seeing many of you this coming weekend in Carlisle. Our annual meeting is always a special time, and this year promises to be a spectacular event. Right now it is snowing in central Virginia with a forecast of four to six inches by this evening. Temperatures are predicted to fall into the upper teens by nightfall, and remain there for a while. March is always unpredictable, and I remember many seasons where our worst storms were very late in the winter. At least the forecast for this weekend looks good, and I wish all of you a safe trip to Carlisle.

In the interim, there is one important holiday to celebrate. Today is Shrove Monday (Lundi Gras) and tomorrow is Fat Tuesday…, Mardi Gras! My friends in southwest Louisiana have already begun their Cajun celebrations, and tomorrow will make their traditional costumed walk, begging for food and party contributions. After much music, merriment, chicken chasing, and trickery, they will culminate the day with a large dinner of gumbo and other Cajun treats, along with a dance. We are also preparing for the day, with plans for costumes, King Cakes, and Cajun fish Po’Boys for dinner. The fiddle is tuned, the accordion is working, and the triangle (tit-fer) is ready, but somehow the snow is putting a slightly different light on things. Laissez les bons temps rouler! But for the moment, let us consider some other things.

Over the past six years I have watched our guild grow and mature in many ways. As for membership, I remember everyone being very excited at the 2008 Williamsburg meeting that we had broken two hundred in our ranks. As of this year, we have eclipsed the four hundred mark, and gaining more members on a regular basis. Let us hope that our efforts will continue to expand our numbers as we have in the past.

Our programs, publications, and funding have experienced similar expansion over the past years. Through the careful management of our funds and expenditures, we are in a better financial position than ever, and I hope this trend will continue. Increased funding has allowed us to expand the scope of our excellent magazine, “The Horn Book”, and to produce other notable publications including The Hartley Book. In 2010 we witnessed a tremendous revamping and expansion of our website with incredible results. Our website is truly something to be proud of, and I hope that you utilize its numerous resources. In late 2013 we began a new groundbreaking project with the HCH Jim Dresslar Digital Museum. All of these projects have been possible through the dedication and efforts of our Publications Committee, and we all owe them a sincere thanks for their efforts.

Education is extremely important for the HCH, and I believe we have made great advances in this area over the past few years. Several members regularly teach horn making classes at the Jacobsburg Historical Museum. Other members teach at Conner Prairie each year for their Art and Arms Making program. On a more local level, we have members who teach workshops at various shows and gatherings each year. Two groups within our organization hold annual workshops in other parts of the country. I believe the West Coast Horn Fair is entering its fourth year , and the smaller Southern Workshop has completed its fourth year as well. Both offer classes and workshops focusing on various aspects of historical  horn work for its attendees. At Dixon’s Muzzle Loading Fair, we are represented by members who teach workshops, demonstrate horn making, and serve as judges for the competitions.

All of this growth has resulted from a small group of people who shared a dream for an organization that focused exclusively on historical horn work. Many people have dreams for success in a particular venture. When they surround themselves with like-minded individuals who share the desire, focus and purpose to make it happen, great things can occur. The current state of our guild is the result of this type of enthusiasm, dedication, and just plain hard work. As we celebrate what I believe is our 18th gathering, let’s not forget our purpose and desire to make the HCH even better. To do this, you, our members, have to take the bull by the horns and continue into the future. As I have stated before, this is your organization, and without your involvement and efforts, it could not, and will not, exist.

This is my last monthly message to you as your Guildmaster. Over the past two years, I have delved into a variety of topics, some purely historical, others with a more current focus. While investigating these ideas, I have had a lot of fun exploring their relation to our history and past. I viewed this column as a platform for exploration in many areas, not just as a monthly newsletter for guild business. I hope that my topics have provided you with some entertainment and perhaps something to think about. This month, I thought it was important to focus on the guild, its values, achievements, and future direction. I have great confidence that Dick Toone and our Executive Committee will work to move us into the future, and I encourage your support in whatever way possible.

Thank you for allowing me to serve as your Guildmaster for the past two years, and also for reading and putting up with my monthly ramblings here on the website. It has been a pleasure and an honor to serve you in this capacity. As always, the door is always open for comments, suggestions and other colorful observations.


Jeff Bibb


5 Responses to “March 2014 – Message from the Guildmaster”
  1. Dennis Layman says:

    Ramblings we all love, Thanks, Dennis Layman

  2. John Proud says:

    And thank you for your service as Guildmaster. I have enjoyed your Updates immensely, always something to think about. Looking forward to seeing you this weekend. John

    • Jeff Bibb says:


      Thanks as well. Two years seems to have flown by. Glad my messages were worthwhile. I enjoyed writing them.

      Jeff Bibb

  3. Glenn Sutt says:


    I inadvertently left my Journeyman’s certificate on the table when I left the HCH banquet in Carlisle.  Was wondering if anyone turned it in to you.  Willie said he hadn’t heard anything.

    Glenn Sutt

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