The Origin of Mid-America Woodcarvers Association
Submitted by Dwight Brookens, Secretary-Treasurer,
January 30, 1977
Have you ever wondered JUST HOW we got started?
Well, our Historian, Sandy Foral, gently prodded me to get the accurate facts and report them; here, at long last are my findings.
During the summer of 1974 Harlan Skeers was contentedly carving at home, (having retired from the Postal Service the preceding year), and said to himself, “This is so much fun; there must be others in the area that carve, or want to”.
So, he wrote to the editor of “Chip-Chats”, asking for a list of subscribers in the Omaha and surrounding areas. Promptly, they sent the list, and Ray and wife Eleanor put a notice in the paper that anyone interested in wood carving should meet at the Kellogg’s the evening of August 14, 1974.
Seven showed up at that first meeting: Ray Kellogg, Harlan Skeers, Bill Comstock, Mervin Meade, Jim Long, Gary Parker, and Dwight Brookens. Generalities were discussed and a second meeting set for September 11, 1974 at the Comstock’s, with more notices to be run in the paper.
Seventeen were there: Bill Comstock, Jim Long, Les Hunt, Harlan Skeers, Fritz Mellberg, Ray Kellogg, Frank Reinhold, Don Tolstead, Bob Hegler, Clarence Boles, Carl Olson, Jim Schober, George Foral, Herm Stephenson, Dwight Brookens, Richard Dick, and Gary Parker. A lot of progress was made, including the very important point that the Kellogg’s had determined that we could meet regularly at their church, Lowe Ave. United Presbyterian Church, 1023 N. 40th St. Omaha. The official “organization night” would be there on October 9, 1974.
Again, seventeen showed up: officers were elected with Harlan Skeers, President; Les Hunt, Vice President; Margrete Skeers, Secretary-Treasurer. It was decided that “charter members” would be defined as those who had joined by the end of January, 1975 meeting; a contest was announced to decide the club’s name. Very deservedly, the special efforts made by Ray and Eleanor Kellogg were given special thanks.
At the November, 1974 meeting the attendance included 20 members, 4 wives and 3 guests. Mid-America Woodcarvers Association was chosen for the club name, and membership in the National Wood Carvers Association, (which automatically brings a subscription to “Chip-Chats”), was encouraged but not obligatory.
The December meeting was attended by 20 members, 5 wives and 1 guest. The January, 1975 meeting had 22 members present. The charter members were:
Dwight BrookensGeorge Foral Bert FrichotCharles Gallet Bob Glenn Don Hanson Leon Harman Bob Hegler Gene Henthorn Fred Hubbard Lester Hunt Paul Johnson Ray Kellogg Jim Long Bob McClarrinonDan McGuire Myrven Mead Fritz Mellberg Charles Miller Einar Olsen Carl Olsen Lloyd Richardson Brad Pickel Harvey Pickel Jim Schober Harlan Skeers Herm Stephenson Helen Weber
Special thanks for the club’s first year were due to Ray, Eleanor, Harlan and Margrete’s extra efforts, and the support of the wives of the members in many, many ways.