Basking in the Glow

I was drawn back to the Grove Park Inn more than once this past week, and found it and the staff still basking in the glow of the 29th National Arts and Crafts Conference. Any sign of the fabulous array of booths, the sprawling seminar room, the printmaking, embroidery, copper-smithing, and jewelry-making workshops, the information tables, small group discussions, and the Great Hall display cases had all been reluctantly erased in preparations for the next group.

But as more than one staff member whispered to me in strictest confidence, “Arts and Crafts is always my favorite group.”

Mine, too.

I received several emails and actual letters from last week’s attendees, and wanted to share one in particular with you, for it captures in words better than I could the attachment Arts and Crafts collectors have for this majestic hotel:

“Bruce –

When I stopped you in the Antique Show last weekend to thank you for my room assignment, you told me to send you an email. Thus, this message.

A bit of history: Being an academic, I was not able to come to the conference until I retired seven years ago. This was my seventh year. That first year I was assigned to Room XXX. I had no clue what Roycroft was. I had no idea that being in the old part of the hotel was special, until folks I met asked how I pulled it off.

In the years since, that kooky little room with the floor bumped up in the middle and the original deep tub has become mine, “loaned” to the hotel for 362 days out of the year. I could regale you with our adventures, that room and me, the most significant being the year I had a smashed femur replaced, convinced the doctor I could travel two weeks early so I could come to the conference, then stood beside that tub with the edge almost to my waist, wondering how I was going to climb in.

I registered late last year and flew all the way out Thursday afraid that someone else had my room. It was mine again for the seventh time. That’s why I thanked you.

As I look back over these years, thinking about how my dear old house has changed due to what I’ve learned in Asheville, about the friendships I’ve made, and the knowledge I’ve gained, I am very grateful.

I registered for 2017 the first day possible and requested my room.

It was a great conference! Looking forward to next year.”

Not much more I could say.

Until next Monday,

Keep the buzz going…. Tell a friend!