Early this summer I started to get e-mail notices about the Woodworking in America conference to be held in September 2014. The location this year is Winston-Salem, NC. My wife and I really wanted to go. First we looked at our schedule. Then we looked at our savings account. Finally, we looked at each other. We shook our heads and said, “not this year.”
Then just yesterday one of the conference organizers contacted me (by virtue of my being a moderator on WoodNet, I think), asking if I knew of anybody who could do A/V and wanted to go to the conference. As it happens, my wife and I have done a lot of sound tech work and even a little camera work for various churches we have attended. I eagerly volunteered our services.
So now we have a week to get ready for WIA 2014! This time we’ll be taking our four children, which will be an adventure for them and for us. Kids 12-and-under get into the Marketplace free, and there’s a “kids’ corner” this year, too. I’m already drilling them on the names of tools so they won’t embarrass themselves at the exhibitors’ booths. My wife and I trade off on childcare duties, and there are so many kid-friendly, educational things to do in Winston-Salem that we’re having a hard time deciding where to take them when they aren’t at WIA.
There will be lots of exciting things going on at conference, too. I’ll be reconnecting with old acquaintances, and I hope to meet Drew Langsner, whose book Country Woodcraft persuaded me that I could make useful things with a few, simple hand tools. Lee Valley has promised a big unveiling of new products at their booth, too. But it’s always the unplanned things that end up being really memorable.
Whatever happens at WIA 2014 won’t stay there. I’ll be taking pictures and blogging about it here next weekend.