Next: Pat's Picture Gallery: Flamingo Party Part 2 (Jul-1999)Pat's Picture Gallery: Flamingo Party Part 1 (Jul-1999)

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Rev. 07-Feb-2009 09:52:58

Background: In August 1998, I was elected BYMS PTA President, much to my surprise. I'd served on the PTA board the year before, and at the end of the 1997-1998 school year the PTA president gave a small token gift to each of us on the board. (I received a notepad with strawberries on it.) At the end of the 1998-1999 school year (and therefore the end of my term as president), the school district-level PTA president (known as "council", by the way) gave us school-level presidents candy bars. I resolved I wanted to give something a little more substantial. Something that would be decorative but useful, something that people would remember me by. Like a fancy coffee mug, for example. (But I already had enough mugs.)

My wife and I decided that buying plastic lawn flamingos would be a nifty thing to do. We'd already purchased several in the past, for our front garden, from Archie McPhee of Seattle, but we wanted to order them in bulk, so to speak. I called up the manufacturer, Union Products, and learned that in order to buy direct there was a certain minimum order requirement... and when I spoke to the L.A.-area factory rep, the price she gave me on them meant that I'd have to buy 48 pairs of flamingos in order to get 30 pairs. (Each pair comes in a box, and I wanted to give a pair to each PTA board member.)

When the shipment arrived at the office, the shipping and receiving dept. hadn't been forewarned but was able to figure out who the 96 flamingos were for... At the "Installation Dinner" (the PTA board's end-of-the-year banquet), the flamingos were a big hit. Almost everyone at least made enthusiastic noises. And I heard back from some that the birds looked great by the pool, or that their garden was done up in shades of pink and they fit in nicely, or their kid decided they wanted the flamingos.

That still left us with about 36 extra flamingos...

Lynn and I had been looking for some special way to mark her birthday, which was also (plus or minus a few days) the tenth anniversary of our first meeting at Westercon in Anaheim, 1989. We decided to have a flamingo painting party. We sent out invitiations about a month and half ahead of time, telling people to think about what they wanted to do to a plastic lawn flamingo.

And about two dozen of our friends came, and they came prepared. They brought feathers and felt, beads and spangles, glitter and plastic gizmos. We went out and bought some paint - a few shades of spray paint, plus "KILZ" spray primer - and everyone got to work. These pictures were taken during the party.

0127-10127-01 (lost: 001sue_dawe.jpg)
Sue Dawe (in the crown) enjoying the party, on the couch with Liz and Kim.

0127-02 (lost: 006kim_liz.jpg), 0127-03 (lost: 007liz_kim.jpg), 0127-04 (lost: 010liz_kim.jpg).
while Liz Mortensen and Kim Bergdahl work on their flamingos.

0127-05 (lost: 011liz_kim_shawn.jpg), 0127-06 (lost: 002shawn_kim.jpg), 0127-07 (lost: 003shawn.jpg), 0127-08 (lost: 008shawn_monalisa.jpg).
Liz Mortensen and Kim Bergdahl are on the couch while Shawn Crosby takes a flamingo and starts cutting it up. In the next-to-last shot, Jeff Bergdahl is holding a bag and watching Shawn Crosby. In the last shot, Monalisa Ward is working on her bird, and Ed Green is behind them in the dining room.

Next: Pat's Picture Gallery: Flamingo Party Part 2 (Jul-1999)