2022 AGPI Convention Wrapup
AGPI CONVENTION IS BACK!!!
MAY 13-15, 2022
The excitement and anticipation of getting together in person with everyone was in the air!! When we arrived at the Holiday Inn in Fredericksburg, Wednesday evening, the 11th, we were searching around for familiar faces…masked and unmasked!! Ahh, before us was Dick and Ellie Moody, then Dave and Patsy Beffa-Negini, Dave Thomen and Rick Tucker We’re BACK!!!!
We grabbed a bite to eat and off to The Escape Room for us “early birds”. It was soo much fun. We laughed our way through the room and made it by about 30 seconds!!
Thursday morning, after breakfast, those of us who signed up for the Tour of Colonial Fredericksburg and the Civil War Battlefields piled into the bus. Our Tour Guide was so knowledgeable about the city, it’s expansion and determination to keep historic sections intact. He was also a civil war historian, who took us to sites of major battles of the Civil War. We visited Chatham Manor, the site from which the first surprise attack by water was waged by the Confederate army at the unsuspecting Union Army at night on a barge that was built across to Chatham Manor.
We also visited the site of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War.
Confederate soldiers were strategically placed behind a stone wall along the Sunken Road. The battle resulted in significant casualties for the Union Army. The entire Battles of Fredericksburg (there were two battles fought) resulted in 12,653 Union casualties and 4,201 Confederate casualties. We walked the wall. I must say it was eerie and I felt the ghosts of soldiers lost. I am now determined to learn more about The Civil War.
Then onto a winery and pub. We were hungry! We took the opportunity to choose flites of wine for tasting. Back to the hotel for a little rest and relaxation before going to a FredNats Ballgame. Brave fans we were sitting through torrential rain. After taking pictures with “Fred”
Friday was breakfast and guest speakers compliments of two U.S. government agencies. The speakers were so interesting. I know most of us came away educated in the “ins and outs” of patents and trademarks and the terms as used to categorize games and toys.
The US Patent and Trademark Office sent Julie Brocketti, the Quality Assurance Specialist in Technology of the US Patent & Trademark office as guest speaker. She imparted the ways that patent and trademarks are applied to technological games and puzzles as well as her love of board games. David Duffy is an examiner of electronic games and amusement arts. He spoke to us about the process of examination and comparison of patents via Zoom.
Our next guest speaker was Paul Wood, a retired U.S. Naval officer; who became an entrepreneur after falling in love with escape rooms. He and his wife have Rush Hour Live Escape Room in Fredericksburg. He explained the business models and the planning that goes into building an escape room: its pros and cons.
Our final speaker was Dr. Claire Jerry, the Lead Curator with the Political History Division of the National Museum of American History. She spoke of fascinating political history. She talked about some of the political games in the museum’s collection.
Afternoon activities included Table Sales, Theater (MOVIE) presentation for those who wanted to fall asleep for awhile . The Camelot Tournament Elimination Round was in full “combat” mode. Camelot is the famous Parker Brothers game invented by George Parker.
Friday evening’s “Featured Speaker” was Bill Ritchie, the co-founder, with his wife Andrea, and president of Binary Arts, now ThinkFun game company, which was purchased by Ravensburger company in 2017. Bill spoke of his passion for puzzles and his belief that games and puzzles strengthen children’s thinking skills preparing them for the future challenges of technology and life’s puzzle. It was his and Andrea’s, reason for creating the original Binary Arts.
After Saturday Buffet breakfast our scheduled was full of presentations from our AGPI members: Bob Finn spoke on cataloguing game collections using BGG; Joe Seymour on 25 Decades of wooden jigsaw puzzles; and Dave Thomen on “Camelot the Game”. All of three of our speakers were so informative and garnered the interest of members.
We broke for lunch. Some of us were lucky to go into downtown historic Fredericksburg for walks in and out of small antique stores and a local luncheonette. Upon returning there were “Table Sales” of games and puzzles lasting about 3 hours with great deals. All of this happening while the Camelot players were “jousting” to see who would win the Tournament. Off to prepare for our Award Dinner, Group Photo and Reception.
The AGPI Award Recipient was Wayne Kirkpatrick, who is an artist, song writer and musician whose hobby, repurposing damaged boards of games and creating clocks out of vintage board games, creating nostalgic pieces of art. This creative spirit led to his passion for the history of board games and thus to immersing himself in research and producing a documentary of the dawning of the game industry in America.
Long day!! Time to get a good night’s rest…. well maybe after an hour or so of puzzles and games together in the “GAME ROOM”. AGPI members are never too tired to play!!
Sunday, a breakfast Buffet was had by all. Goodbyes to those traveling on. The rest of the morning was about AGPI Board announcements and a presentation informing all members of the upcoming 2023 Convention to be held April 2023, in West Palm Beach, Florida, hosted by Bob Finn and Suzanne Pearlman. All members are excited and truly looking forward to being together again in 2023!!
Suzanne Pearlman - select photos by Rick Tucker