A Belated . . . .
I had hoped to have a Year-End Holiday Meeting, but events in December overtook. Hoping you all enjoyed your holidays - now, but a distant memory.
I would like to get some input from our membership, and from those who have shown an interest, in our SoCA INS Chapter, for use in planning our 2013 Meeting Schedule, and some other things.
Here are some questions, mixed in with comments - please let me hear your thoughts:
1- I did not charge dues so far - I think that we need to have dues paid now so that we can tackle the issue of a suitable meeting venue - my idea is to find a local restaurant in West LA, where we can reserve a meeting room. To do that, we need: a) funds available, and b) attendance commitments, as we will have to guarantee a certain number of people to hold a room. How much should those dues be?
2- I wanted to have a meeting for members to Show, Tell & Trade with one another by now, but we got on a regular schedule of lectures from various dealers coming to town, and we never got around to the idea. These types of meetings were held in the past, and I have talked to enough of you to know that there is interest in doing it again. I also have been monitoring the CA legal situation, as there was uncertainty earlier last year about protection of antique ivory in this state. In fact, that concern and resulting uncertainty have played a big role in our not having had a meeting for longer now than I would have preferred, as I had hoped that I could give you some definitive information by now. I wish that I had more to tell you about the CA legal situation, but, other than that things having died down considerably in the latter half of 2012, and a bunch of unconfirmed rumors that state authorities were reconsidering some rash, bold and likely illegal moves made earlier last year (and even apologizing for them!), the whole issue has receded into (uncomfortable, to me) silence and uncertainty, once again. I believe it would be great fun to have a Show, Tell & Trade Meeting for members only. What do you think? What other meeting ideas do you have? How do you feel about having the occasional dealer, or other visiting authority or academic, come to lecture us in future meetings? One thing that I learned (painfully) last year was that my encouraging our members to bring their own netsuke to show and compare with other members, came into direct collision with the expectations of at least one lecturing dealer, who was less than happy about having members' netsuke competing with netsuke which that dealer brought for sale. We do have to remember that, if a dealer comes to lecture us and incurs the expense in so doing, they do have a reasonable expectation that the netsuke which they bring, should be able to viewed and considered without competition from our members' own netsuke. My mistake in not seeing that before it happened.
3- I have read many old Journal reports of meetings of this chapter at which 40, 50, and even in one case, over 90 people, attended. I would appreciate all input on how we can go about re-building our INS So CA Chapter to assure larger attendance.
4- My thought, also from those old Journal reports, is that four Sunday afternoon, or Saturday afternoon, meetings per calendar year would be a good year's schedule. Now, because the INS Convention is set for early May 2013 this year in London, we have to give some attention to how to space out those meetings properly, and to assure our best attendance. Please let me know whether you prefer Saturday afternoons, or Sunday afternoons - (noon to 3pm) and also please let me know dates and time periods in which we should not schedule a meeting, such as August, which is a month when many take vacations.
5- Please share with me what else is good, what else is bad, and any other thoughts which you may have for making our INS So CA Chapter grow, and thrive again.
Your responses can be discretely directed to me only, if you wish, and you can be as candid as you like. I do, however need and appreciate your thoughts and input.
We cannot please everybody, but we will surely try to please as many as possible if we can get your input on these questions.
I appreciate your anticipated cooperation in sharing your thoughts on these topics and any others on which you have ideas.
As for our location for future meetings, if anybody would like to volunteer their home as a location, please let me know and we will figure out a way to make the location known without unduly publicizing your home address if you wish to keep that private (& I don't blame you, if you do). If you know of a restaurant with a meeting room which does not charge an arm and a leg for use of that meeting room, along with a meal, kindly let me know of the restaurant and any contact person there with whom you believe I should speak, in order to make arrangements.
Thanks in advance, and I look forward to seeing all of you again soon.
P.S. If any member would like to speak on a topic of their own interest at a meeting, or you think some other member might be willing to speak on a topic on which they have particular knowledge, kindly let me know that too!
P.P.S. If you want your future communications concerning our INS SoCA Chapter and meetings sent to you at a 'bcc'd' address (as I am doing with at least one member, who requests that his email address not be distributed) please let me know that too.
&, if I have missed anybody who should be on our emailing list, please let me know that too.
David S. White
Chair, International Nestuke Society SoCA Chapter