HISTORY

of the SIXTH YEAR of 

CONEJO VALLEY WOODWORKERS' ASSOCIATION

March 1999 to March 2000

John Tarpley, President

 

I have been active in CVWA since its beginning. In fact, I was one of the organizing members of the group when we sought to replace the fellowship and instruction we lost when the Shopsmith store closed. I served as Second Vice President and First Vice President in the two terms prior to my election as President. I had three goals as I started my term. First, I wanted to leave the treasury of the club with a surplus that could be used for emergencies or unexpected expenses. Second, I wanted the club to reach more woodworkers in the area. Third, I wanted to have the club present programs and other activities that were interesting and fun for the membership. We accomplished the first two goals because there was more money in the treasury at the end of the term than at the beginning and we ended the year with more members than at the beginning. As to the final goal, well that is more subjective and I hope that most of the CVWA membership would agree that we also accomplished that goal. Every President must have the support of a quality Board of Directors and I was pleased to have the best. The BOD members were Tom Hutchinson, First Vice President; Felix Masci, Second Vice President; Mike DeCaprio, Secretary; Marlene Peters, Treasurer; Stephen Case-Pall, Librarian; Ira Goldberg, Newsletter Editor; Stan Wolpert, Immediate Past President; Howard Wallis, Gene Strojek, and Gene West, Directors. I also appreciated the support and advise of the Past Presidents. I feel it is very important for our Board to contain a mix of new members with new ideas and members who have served before to add balance and continuity.

During my term as First Vice president we had the first CVWA Auction which we followed by the second in December of my term as President. The money raised at these events in large part gave us the desired financial cushion so that we knew we could meet expenses.

Our programs for the year included programs on steam wood bending, gunstock checkering, designing and building rocking horses, vacuum veneering, furniture restoration, bandsaw boxes, and box joints. Programs were presented by experienced members and also by representatives from various suppliers and manufactures. Some of these programs were followed by Saturday workshops. One of our most unique Saturday sessions was a visit to McMullin's Japanese Antiques, arranged by Gene West, where we were treated to close inspection of Japanese antique furniture and the unique joinery used in their pieces.

In an effort to show the community examples of our work and also to interest others in joining us we exhibited our smaller work and photos of larger items at the Thousand Oaks Library kiosk for one month. This project also led to the development of our first brochure which we have continued to use in various modifications for publicity and information.

We also began to expand our service projects which had begun with our annual Christmas Toy Project to other areas such as the cutouts we do for the Camarillo Adult Daycare and later to other school projects. The club as a whole as well as several members individually worked to increase shop opportunities for students in the Conejo Valley Unified School System. While we were not as successful as we had hoped to be the shop at Newbury Park High School was ultimately reopened to day students.

It was also during this time that our Web site was developed. Glenn Packard volunteered to design, develop, test, and serve as first Webmaster for our site, WWW.CVWA.org. Without his help, technical expertise, insight, and hard work the site would not have been developed. Brad Ormsby also deserves special recognition for finding an ISP to host our site. Our site has been greatly expanded and improved as our organization has grown. Our presence on the Web has become an important and integral part of our organization and our abilities to serve the membership.

We also began club challenges that have continued on an irregular basis to the present. We announced a theme for the challenge and the rules of the challenge and then gave the members time to build the project before the projects were then displayed and judged at a future meeting. The problem has always been designing a challenge that will interest a group as diverse as ours, not be too difficult or time-consuming to build, and hold the members interest. We've done everything from 2x4 construction, to musical instruments, to birdhouses.

Our summer BBQ developed into a pool party held at Stan Wolpert's home. Stan was the Immediate Past President. Several members and their spouses attended. We were well fed on tri-tip grilled by Howard Johnson accompanied by an assortment of dishes brought by the members.

In the fall of the year we participated in a Fine Woodworking show sponsored by Conejo Hardwoods. Our table allowed members to display their work and again provided an outreach to the community. As a result of the show several new members joined CVWA and several CVWA members received awards for the work they displayed.

We finished the year with our second bus trip to the American Woodworker Show in Ontario. This all day trip again proved to be very popular and informative for our membership. As with the previous trip the bus provided a comfortable way to attend the show and provided plenty of room for all those must have items that were purchased. Also we were able to receive discounted, expedited ticketing for the show. The trip also provided an additional chance for members to socialize with each other and just enjoy the company of fellow woodworkers. At the end of the trip we added up all the purchases, but the amount has been kept secret forever among those attending. Let's just say that the amount well exceeded the amount of the CVWA treasury at that time.

Towards the end of my term I held two shop sessions in my shop. The first was a hands-on basic turning session. After some basic instruction everyone had a chance to try their hand using the tools. The second was a basic bandsaw and bandsaw box session where several members brought bandsaws and we helped each other learn to make bandsaw boxes. To me these sessions really embodied the spirit and intent of CVWA. We were there as a group of friendly woodworkers making skills and training available to others and by doing so everyone's skills improved. I was so impressed with the bandsaw boxes being made that we had a bandsaw box challenge the next month and several very well designed and executed boxes were entered.

That summarizes my year as CVWA President. I hope this history helps members remember where we've come from as we continue to grow, develop, and meet new challenges. I enjoyed my tenure as President and want to again thank the membership for allowing me to serve. One of the nicest parts of being President was learning how willing the members were to help organize and carryout the goals of the organization. I hope that this is one characteristic of CVWA that never changes.

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