Twenty years. That’s how long we have been attending Adventures in Stamping in Northeast Ohio – first at the Holiday Inn in Independence until the show outgrew it, and since 2002 at the Knight Center in Akron. This show was Bill Petal’s dream, and became his legacy – Bill died in 2002, just a month or two before the show was first held in the Knight Center. Bill’s wife Cindy and his best friend Fred Barbetti (along with Chris and Nora, Don and Eileen, and the rest of Bill’s firefighter buddies) have turned it into one of the best shows in the country.
This caricature of Bill Petal is still on the back cover of the program every year – a customer was looking at it on Saturday, just as Bill’s son John walked past our booth. And, in an instant, I realized that a little boy who lost his dad way too soon has become the spitting image of his father. I looked for him later in the day so I could take his picture, but he was already gone – so I swiped this from his Facebook page.
Here’s another one who is all grown up – Jillian Vance is graduating from high school this year (she has already finished two years of college). I walked by their booth while she was near this sign. She is another of the kids who have grown up on the show circuit.
Here are two images from the Knight Center that you will never see. The “porter” vest is on the back of a cart used during setup and teardown – and because of it, I couldn’t get the theme from “My Mother the Car” out of my head. For those of you who are not well-versed in really bad ‘60s television, My Mother the Car was a 1928 Porter. And where else will you find a pay phone and a Bat Phone side-by-side? Yes, I realize that the actual Bat Phone didn’t have push buttons . . .
In our booth, Anthony Gilbert made his first appearance at our demo table. I learned very quickly that in Northeast Ohio, everyone knows Anthony – and that is probably one of the reasons why our booth rocked all weekend.
Also seen at our demo table – this young lady is the future of crafting (and our hope of continued employment). Talent and missing front teeth make an adorable combination . . .