Thursday evening Monte Jumper had a little "mixer" at his house for the chat pals. You know you're in a special group when you invite folks you have never met (aside from the internet) over to your house. About 6:30 chatters started showing up, MrBill and his wife,wetpainter and his family, Artee, Dar-n, swirly-q,and others. Fred even showed up with Bob Harper in tow! We sat around and told funny stories, had a few drinks, snacked on some great food (thanks Patsy). It just seemed like I was at a family gathering. I didn't want to leave, but it was 11:00 and I hadn't even checked into my hotel room yet. Wetpainter left about the same time I did. He thought it would be a good idea to follow me back to the hotel. WRONG! I got lost about ten times, but we did get to see some scenic parts of Oklahoma City.
Friday morning, I show up at Fred's and almost decided to leave right then and there. I mean this place is more of an art gallery than a sign shop! I took a few photos, wondered around in a daze for about 30 minutes. Then Bang! We're off .I'm watching a guy doing some glass-etching, he turns around and says "here, you try it".Then it's time for Fred to show us glue chipping. Artee's doing some amazing work with his airbrush, Darren's turning out an incredible koala bear. All of these blank panels were turning into art right before my eyes.
Monte grabs me, and slaps a brush in my hands. He's going through teaching me some basics of hand-lettering. I'm trying real hard, but those were some ugly strokes. I mean Bob Harper is standing over my shoulder, for Pete's sake! I just couldn't quit shaking. Then I had to cut the lesson short, to do some more work on the glue chip piece. The whole day seemed like it was over in about 10 minutes.
Saturday wetpainter started me on some basic airbrush lessons, and Artee was right there with some excellent advice as well. The whole place was really jammin' now. They were pulling in cars to pinstripe. People were in the backroom sandblasting, every corner of the shop was buzzing with people turning out incredible things!
How do you get a bunch of letterheads to stop working? Give some stuff away! Fred had a bunch of paint, and goodies. Marilyn drew numbers, and I think just about everybody won something. Wetpainter won a new airbrush, I'll let him tell you the story about that. Another day had whizzed by!
It was starting to get late, (Trena was already asleep at the hotel). Fred walked up to me, and asked "do you want to trade panels?" I said "sure!" Then I realized he meant trade with him! I almost broke into tears right then and there! Artee gave me a ride back to the hotel, but I couldn't sleep. I just lay in bed trying to process what I had experienced the last three days.
Sunday came, and things were still cooking at Fred's! I didn't want to leave, but I had promised my son I would be back home before dark. It took at least 30 minutes to shake hands, hug, and say goodbye to my new friends.
Thanks to everyone at the meet for making it such a special weekend. Thanks to Fred, Marilyn, and Skip, for letting us invade your shop. And, thanks to Steve and Barb Shortreed for all that you do for us nuts!
VISIT THE LETTERHEAD WEBSITE