Wednesday Report: Moving In Day

There is always something about a milestone anniversary, in this case our thirtieth, that causes one to reflect on how things have changed.

As I drove up Sunset Mountain yesterday and caught my first glimpse of the Grove Park Inn this week, I could not help but think about how well it has withstood the test of time. Naturally, wiring, plumbing and furnishings have had to be updated, but those massive granite boulders that those men somehow wrestled into place still look the same now as they did in 1913.

But thirty years ago when I drove up Sunset Mountain on February 16, 1988, to host the inaugural Arts and Crafts Conference, I had everything I needed packed into the back of my Dodge Caravan.

Today we again made that now familiar trek up Sunset Mountain, but now the boxes, tubs and computers needed for the 30th Arts and Crafts Conference require six pick-up truck and car loads.

And I’m still not sure we didn’t forget something back in the office.

Besides Daisy and Jasper.

Alex spent the afternoon setting up what will be her office in the Sammons Wing registration desk, surrounded by more than fifty boxes of tote bags, catalogs, calendars, posters, name badges, file folders, and office supplies.

Down at the opposite end of the 510-room Grove Park Inn, I stood amid my own small mountain of boxes, booth signs, books, magazines, bottled water, programs, silent auction donations and floor plans.

And so today, this being Wednesday, I will get the pipe-and-drape crew started laying out the booths for the antiques show, will check to make sure the hotel staff has placed the right number and sizes of tables in each booth, will make sure the luncheon I host for the hotel’s reservation staff goes off without a hitch, and will have boxes of materials sent ahead by exhibitors hauled out of my temporary office and delivered to each booth before the exhibitors start moving in on Thursday.

But, rest assured, I am not complaining, for despite the thirteen months of planning which go into each annual Arts and Crafts Conference, it is worth every minute of effort and worry, for when those now empty booths, meeting rooms, ballrooms and hallways fill with Arts and Crafts enthusiasts, there will be enough energy generated to light the entire city of Asheville.

Until tomorrow,

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.