December 2020

I’m a day late and a dollar short on getting the president’s letter out this month, because I’ve been struggling with what to write.  Perhaps its just the constant bombardment of the daily news cycle, mixed with the endless trolling on Facebook that has sapped any creative thought and sense of humor, but I don’t suppose I’ll ever really know why.  Regardless, I find myself in a somewhat reflective mood. 

As near as I can think, the good news is that we are on the final countdown until this horrible year has finally ended.  2020 can’t end soon enough for me!  The bad news is that the country is as divided as it ever has been, with the possible exception of the civil war.  Everything seems to be an either/or proposition.  Either you’re a “maskhole” or a “covidiot”.  Either Biden won in the most secure election ever, or Trump was the victim of systemic corruption and widespread cheating.  Either “big tech” is finally taking steps to stop hate speech and misinformation, or there is censorship happening that is worse than any book burnings or McCarthy era tactics.  The middle ground seems to have eroded away to a mere sliver as everyone seems to rush the edges.  I’d like to say flipping the calendar page to the new year will help, but I suspect its going to take much more than that to return to some kind of civility!

Our club is not immune from these social pressures.  We are, after all, a group of people who exist in the real world, with real perspectives, and real opinions.  What I think is different with us, is that despite all of the differences, we’ve still been able to be civil to each other, come together as social distancing will allow, and continue to move forward.  Even with 2020 being such a dumpster fire, our club has accomplished quite a bit this year.  I’m most likely missing some things, but here’s what I see at this point:

  • We eventually received the three mini lathes that were granted to us by the AAW and have them secured and awaiting use in multiple ways.
  • We were able to transition to online meetings via Zoom, without too much interruption, which will likely continue well into 2021.
  • We have had multiple demonstrations from members who have not demonstrated before or have not demonstrated for a long time.
  • We were able to complete an extensive overhaul of our club website, complete with a much more extensive offering of pictures and galleries of what we make. It is also using a new hosting service and has extra security to prevent being hacked again.
  • Our Facebook group has grown to 169 members!
  • Our membership has grown, despite the pandemic.
  • We have been able to produce several videos of the monthly demonstrations that can be watched by our members at their convenience.
  • We have created a PayPal account that will allow members to pay dues and other charges electronically.
  • We have created a club email account that will help streamline the way we communicate.
  • We were able to participate in two public demonstrations before the virus shut everything down.
  • We continue to inch closer to the 1000 mark on the number of wig stands we have donated, which means we are inching closer to our 1000th cancer patient who knows someone out there they’ve never met has compassion for them and is trying to support them in their fight.
  • We successfully conducted the election process for a new slate of officers that didn’t end in court battles and saw multiple members take on their first term as a board member.

All of this tells me that our club is still alive, we’re growing, and that whatever 2021 brings, we’ll take it in stride.  That makes me smile and makes me thankful that in a sea of chaos, our club can still exist as a safe escape from all the craziness that seems to be swirling around.

As for club business, we’re still working out details for the December meeting.  Having a potluck just isn’t possible in the current environment, so we’re looking at options and looking for a demonstration that would be appropriate.

We’re also running up to the deadline for all President’s Challenges to be submitted.  ALL ENTRIES MUST BE RECEIVED BY MIDNIGHT, 12/31/2020!  No exceptions!  If you have an entry, all you need to do is send a picture of it to Dan Augstin, with a CC to me.  We’ll make sure you get credit for having competed the challenge and that the picture is placed in the appropriate gallery on the club website.  The drawing for the 2020 winner of the president’s challenge will be held at the January meeting.

Russ is trying to schedule demonstrations for 2021. If you would like to do a demonstration, please reach on to Russ. If you have a specific topic or project that you’d like to see demonstrated, please let Russ know and we’ll work to get something scheduled. I’ve already sent Russ a couple of ideas on things I’d like to be shown, but the more input we have from the club, the better the demonstrations will be.

Finally, I wanted to take this opportunity to publicly thank a few people. 

  • When we were putting together the slate of officers for the 2020 election, Dave Kraft saw that there was a gap and he stepped forward to offer his help, filling a one year commitment as a Director on the board.  Dave, I have come to appreciate your consistently positive attitude, your level headed approach to all the discussions we’ve had, your sense of humor, your perspective on club history, and that ever present smile.  Thank you, Dave, for stepping up and helping the club! 
  • I would also like to thank Ron Pierce, who was another member who answered an unfilled need.  When he stepped forward to become the club’s Program Chair, I’m sure he did it with some reluctance, but during 2020, Ron was able to have more demonstrations scheduled than we had meetings!  To my knowledge, that was a first for the club.  It was because of his work, hustling to get people lined up well in advance, that we were able transition from physical meetings to the online meetings to so seamlessly.  Well done, Ron, well done!
  • A very special thank you needs to be made to Hod Bailey!  Hod has been a member of the CIW board for many, many years and had been the club’s treasurer for the last 7 years.  Between his work to keep the books, his tireless work to make sure our raffles have something enticing enough for members to buy tickets, to his thoughts on club issues, his knowledge of club history, and his willingness to be open and honest with his thoughts, there is no doubt that he has been a consistent and positive reason why our club is in the existence today.  I also like that he has a sense of humor and always picks of the phone when I call.  Hod, after all the many, many contributions you’ve made to the club over the years, “THANK YOU” doesn’t really seem like enough, but please know your efforts have been noticed and appreciated.

Until next time, thanks for reading, and remember that behind all of the politics and all of the divisions, there’s still a person on the other side of the issue, so try to treat them with some level of civility and kindness.  Maybe that’s how we can slowly start to make things better and find our way back to the middle ground.