Wednesday, October 19, 2005

EXPO — wow!

Those of you who have been to big trade shows like EXPO and GIE know what it's all about: The maze of booths inside, mowers and power equipment cranking up dirt and dust outside. This year was my first EXPO and yes, it was cool. It's a well-organized show. Informational sessions for us press people filled up a good part of the days, but I did get some good chances to hang around outside.

That's where the real fun was. Echo sponsored a carving competition, the final leg of its series pitting champion carvers against one another. This was something I had never seen before. These guys, some young, some not-so-young, do this full time, traveling around and creating masterpieces out of single blocks of wood. They don't know what kind of wood it will be, what imperfections it might have, and heck--they don't even sketch their designs out beforehand! Forty-eight hours after they started, they had works of art ready for auction.

And let me take just a moment here to bow down humbly before my editor, Ron Hall. Why, you ask? Ron was the fearless leader of Team Landscape Management, the raggedy bunch of us at EXPO who agreed to participate in the Ferris Run With the Winners 5K to benefit a local children's charity. Needless to say, Ron left the rest of us in the dust. We're considering a re-match at GIE.
— Stephanie Ricca

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