FRIDAY NIGHT DINNER - "Dinner With Ken Crow"
NOTE: This is a Nutty Collectors Club members-only event.
If room permits, dinner may be extended to other California Local Club members.
DATE: Friday, August 22, 2014
LOCATION: THE GONSALVES RANCH
- Artist will be available for signing from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
The dinner which was held in a converted barn on an almond farm was appropriately themed 'Fall Harvest'. In keeping with the theme the tables were decorated with sunflowers. In addition to having low rise sunflower centerpieces each place setting also was finished off with a sunflower.
As part of the event Ken, his family (wife Linda and daughter Michelle) and the rest of the dinner guests were treated to an old fashioned farm ride. During the ride Ken got out of the wagon and took photos of his self and Kilroy, his crow puppet with the almond trees in the background.NOTE: This was the 1st time in 35 years that Ken's family had accompanied him to a signing event. After the event they were heading to Yosemite.
Prior to speaking Ken was gifted with a red vest, with the Nutty Collector logo on it, for Kilroy and a new squirrel friend to keep Kilroy company.
Each attendee received an almond themed goodie bag and a almond covered caramel apple.
At the Friday night dinner Ken gave a brief presentation. Although no photos were shown, he did demonstrate his upcoming 'Here Comes Santa Claus!' Tree Topper, talked about some of his 2014 Keepsake ornaments and provided a few insights into several of the pieces he is working on for 2015.
Ken started the program by talking about the tree topper. As he revealed it (using his daughter Michelle as a makeshift tree), he noted that he has been wanting to do this piece since 1987. Although his original idea called for Santa and the reindeer to revolve around the tree, in the final design they ended up being stationary with a remote controlled snowflake light show and musical accompaniment.
Ken then shared that he is working on the 2015 'Santa Certified' series piece, this piece will feature a glider rocking horse with "the coolest thing he could think of on the horse". As an interesting insight he pointed out that the images included on this years 'Santa Certified' Jack-in the-box are reproductions of historical Hallmark greeting cards that are 100+ years old. He also noted that all the pieces in this series are signed by Santa himself.
In addition to his series pieces, Ken is also working on a Disney licensed ornament featuring a puppet.
As a final teaser, Ken gave a hint regarding his 2015 large light and motion piece. He said: "for his next design he gets to ‘break the rules’ and create movement on all axes of motion."
As is customary with recent signing events, members of the hosting local club were allowed to purchase their event pieces just prior to the start of the event. Shortly thereafter the general public was allowed in: to purchase their event piece and to start lining up for the early signing times.
Ken arrived in a Vintage Orange Bel Air. On his way into the store he stopped to talk to the people in line and pose for pictures with 'Kilroy,' his infamous crow puppet. Once in the store he immediately began signing. Although the line moved fairly well, it got a little backed up around 11:30 a.m. In an effort to keep the the line moving, Ken signed through most of his scheduled lunch hour. Having only taken a 15 minute break, he returned to cheers from the crowd.
Despite his best efforts to keep the line moving, due to the number of people wanting to chat and take a picture with him, it continued to run slow for the rest of the afternoon. In order to give everyone in attendance a chance to obtain a signature, it was decided around 2:00 p.m. to drop the number of signatures per person from 2 to 1. Even with this modification at the conclusion of the event, there were still people waiting in line to obtain a signature. Graciously Ken extended his time to make sure everyone was taken care of.
Through out the event attendees were given packets of Blue Diamond almonds to snack on and chilled bottles of water.
In addition to being gracious hosts both the store staff and the Nutty Collectors Club should be commended for putting together a well planned and very organized event.