The 30th Annual NDGA Convention and Glass Show was held in Council Bluffs, Iowa, July 9-11, 2004. The sponsoring club was the Iowa Depression Glass Club, of Des Moines, Iowa, and the club members were just wonderful in their support of the Convention. The Convention Chairperson was Jeff Settell, a former NDGA President and also a former Convention Co-Chairman (Des Moines, 1996). The location of the Convention for 2004 was the Mid-America Center, situated where Interstates 29 & 80 cross, in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Across the Missouri River is Omaha, Nebraska. Things started off well, with a large crowd waiting at the doors for the Glass Show portion of the Convention to open. The waiting line snaked around the large lobby of the Mid-America Center, as you can see from the photograph.
The Annual Meeting kicked off the Convention on Friday, July 9th, with the Show Preview party following the meeting. The Convention and Show continued on Saturday and Sunday, July 10-11. During the meeting, the membership was shown quite a few items that were donated to the National Collection at the Convention. It is not possible to show all of the individual donations, many of which are lined up on the table behind Larry Cook (who did his best "Vanna White" imitation while showing off the donated glass). Nick Ochs presented a check to President Washburn to complete the funding of the Pam Ochs Endowment Fund which provides for acquisitions to the National Glass Collection. Jim and Nancy Finley of Sedalia, MO, made a nice donation to the Washburn Endowment Fund, and Mr. Washburn himself added enough to fully fund this endowment which provides for the maintenance and upkeep of the National Glass Collection. And in keeping with a tradition first established in Claremore in 2003, President Washburn displayed the piece of blue "Tulip" that was purchased for the National Glass Collection in honor of Jeff Settell, Convention Chairman for this year.
The Banquet on Saturday night, July 10, was a night to remember. The banquet was held on the River City Star riverboat, during a two-hour cruise on the Missouri River. The food was good, and there was plenty of it, and although it was a bit humid, everyone stepped outside on the deck and enjoyed the scenery as we cruised the Missouri.
There were four Seminars presented at Convention 2004. The seminar topics and speakers were:
In addition to the above formal Seminars, Jackie Wendt returned this year with her display of reproductions and original pieces. During the Convention, Jackie stayed with the display and gave impromptu "seminars" to anyone who was interested. You were able to see the "repro" and the original side by side and compare and contrast them. The Glass Society of Wisconsin provided additional money to add to the already impressive display. This was a wonderful opportunity to learn about the increased problem of "Depression Glass" reproductions.
We encourage all of the National Glass Organizations to participate in the NDGA Convention, and will provide space (conditions permitting) for any of the National Glass Organizations who wish to attend and staff a table to promote their group. The National Cambridge Collectors were the only national organization to take advantage of this opportunity this year, to distribute membership information and sell literature and souvenir items at the Show.
Each year at the Convention, collectors share their personal collections of glass and pottery with the rest of us. This year's exhibits were certainly spectacular. The displays are one of the best reasons to attend the NDGA Convention. You often see very rare pieces exhibited - items you'll probably never run into for sale. Thanks be to Kathryn Orr for coordinating this year's displays. Here is a list of the displays seen in Council Bluffs:
Here is the list of the 32 participating dealers who exhibited glass for sale at this year's Convention. They came from all across the country, from California to Virginia, Oregon to Texas, and all points in between. Barb and Larry Taylor, of Las Vegas, NV, announced that they were retiring from shows and this was their last NDGA show. We all wish them well in their retirement.