Dixie Letterheads Civil War 2004
March 26, 27 & 28, 2004, Laurens, South Carolina

My first "official" Letterhead meet! It was absolutely incredible & so intense. I cried all the way home.

It was like one of those movies where someone steps thru a rippling wall into another dimension. At that moment you suddenly realize there are so many paths you haven't even started to explore.

I couldn't even sleep at night. Colors, textures and lines raced thru my head. I have this experience a lot, but this weekend it was really intensified because of all the contributing dynamics of sights, sounds, smells and getting to actually meet everyone LIVE. I fell in love with every person there.

I jumped in really gung-ho . . . I don't know what's worse: being "gung-ho" an' not knowin' it or knowin' it and not carin', LOL! But I did try to do too much and so for the next meet, I'm gonna paint up panels at home and just watch a lot more.

But I learned SO much!! I will be absorbin' and applyin' stuff for months and years to come! ...Just some of the stuff I learned...

  • How to use a striper. I was gonna throw that ol' brush away? Also, never allow anyone else to trim your striping brush.
  • The basics of wood carving. How and why trees grow as they do.
  • How to do gold leaf, which I had never even touched before!!
  • A bunch of tips and method directions to "go with" my own personal style.
  • Some new bass licks.

I told ya'll when I first came to Letterville that I knew I was home!

Sheila Ferrell, Alabama



What a fantastic meet!

After I dropped off "Chips" Cieslowski (thanks again Joe for the awesome carved panel) I went home and slept for 13 hours. Just to mention a few of the many highlights this year: the best Letterhead music jams I've heard at any meet. And Sheila gets my vote for the "Letterhead First Meet Duck-to-Water Award". She jumped in and was painting, picking, and singing, all simultaneously. When she talked, it was serious southern fried - I had to translate for Bob and Marsha Peach. Thanks go to all the gang on the Yankee Bus for making the trip - they get my vote for the "Endurance Award" - 14 hours in a van with Rapid Ray, Letterville's own whirling dervish.(does he sleep?) And it was hard to believe it was Ron Costa's first meet-he was slinging some good paint, as well as Cam Bortz, all-around good guy and organizer of the bus.

Of course, I have to mention John Smith's Famous Dixie Letterhead Omelets and Pancakes. Steve Shortreed told me that was his motivation for coming. Can't forget to mention the appearance of Jim Norris, one of the most amazing people I've met in this biz. I watched as he taught several people the fundamentals of striping, one of whom was a wide-eyed 9 year old boy who will show up on Jim's doorstep in about 10 years with an armful of killer panels. For Carol from NH, it'll only be about 2 weeks.

Always fun seeing Don & Dora, Judy & Roger, Marty & Si, Jillbeans & her Mom, "The" Joe Buck and his pal, Wade, Timi, Cheryl, Harris, Jeff & Racheal, Jimmy, Steve & Barb, Bruce, Billy, Kevin, Roger, Rodney, Curt,the Grace Signs guys, and especially, all the people who were attending their first meet.(Too many to name,y'all) I saw lots of people with that glazed Letterhead Look, trying to remember everything they saw, so they can give it a shot at home.

Appreciation also goes to the many suppliers who not only kicked in some great door prizes, but covered all the food, allowing the meet to be free. Thanks, Frank Manning from of course, One-Shot, as well as some great folks who were there for us from Everwood, Aluma-Panel, West Systems, Beacon Graphics, Carvaggio, Vector-Art  (I hate to forget anybody - help me Donald)
I hope you heard from many of us that we notice who's in touch with Letterheads, and we buy accordingly.

Most of all, thanks to our hosts, Donald and Ryan, and their families for the ultimate in Southern Letterhead hospitality. Those 2 guys have a very special energy that made this a meet we'll never forget.

Sonny Franks, Atlanta


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