One Foot in the Past

I have often said that William Morris, when he established Morris & Company, kept one foot firmly planted in the Victorian style, just in case this new Arts and Crafts thing didn’t quite pan out as he had hoped.

Turned out he didn’t have anything to worry about.

Me, on the other hand, well, when asked how it is that the National Arts and Crafts Conference and Shows at the Grove Park Inn have not only lasted twenty-nine years, but have grown in size, scope, and quality, instead of the predictable answer, I should just be honest.

I worry a lot.

I have nightmares about audio-visual equipment not working, about nobody showing up, about being on a strange street in a strange town and suddenly realizing the Arts and Crafts Conference is going on back in Asheville — and I can’t find a cab to save me.

And so I wake up at four in the morning in a sweat and I wear out the carpet in my office, walking circles around my two library tables pushed together in the center of the room to serve as a workstation, stepping on Jasper and stumbling over Daisy as I study the three enormous floor plans tacked to the wall year-round, peer at the list of Small Group Discussions, go over the printout of supplies for the workshops, and examine the blueprints of the Grove Park Inn with a magnifying glass, looking for a meeting room or corner of the hallway we haven’t yet claimed.

And when it comes to publicizing the agenda, I become William Morris, unwilling to totally trust the internet or even our own two websites, insisting that we continue to print an old-fashioned, three-fold brochure and actually mail (no, that’s not a typo for email) them out with real stamps and real labels. And sometimes I actually put a real letter in that I actually sign with a real ink pen.

But I have made one concession.

The cost of mailing out individual brochures to each one of you has become prohibitive expensive, so instead, Alex puts a printable version of the brochure on our website, where you can read it and actually print out your own brochure simply by clicking here:

But as for my other foot, it’s on the gas pedal driving 30,000 brochures to the post office to be sent out in bundles to our 125 exhibitors, plus scores of Arts and Crafts museums, historic sites, and auction houses. If the post office goes bankrupt, it won’t be my fault.

Hopefully, the recipients will put them out for their clients, visitors, and guests to pick up — and decide to join us for our three-day February celebration of everything Arts and Crafts.

But Alex (pictured) and I have held back a few thousand brochures, so if you have a suggestion of someplace we should mail them, please send me an email (because regular mail is still too slow).

Me and Bill Morris, a couple of nervous insomniacs.

Until next Monday,

Only together can we grow stronger.