Phyllis phoned and asked that I provide the following information:
"The 31st Annual Piedmont Community College Taxidermy Mini-Course will
be held April 28-30, 2005 at the College Campus in Roxboro, North
Carolina. Please contact Phyllis Gentry, Program Coordinator, at
firstname.lastname@example.org for further information or log onto
www.jimallred.com for information and to register online.
After much consideration and with mixed emotions, the College has made
the decision that the April 2005 Mini-Course will be the final chapter
in its 31-year history. The College appreciates the many loyal
supporters of the Mini-Course over the years.
The College staff promises that the final chapter will be the quality
program Piedmont has always been noted for. Don't miss it.
Program Coordinator, Continuing Education
Piedmont Community College
336/599-1181, ext. 269
Return to The Taxidermy Industry Category Menu
..and will it be picked up by another facility maybe in Salisbury, Charlotte, or Hickory?
To answer you question: Taxidermy isn't politically correct.
When Piedmont started out, it was like a lot of "Technical Schools" that you found throughout the south at that time. (In South Carolina, they called them TEC's for Technical Education Centers.) Ralph and Sandy Garland established the first comprehensive, complete taxidermy school in the nation under that mantra and did exceptionally well as most of you old enough can recall. As part of their program, they also set up Piedmont which during its heyday was one helluva show overshadowing what many of you find at the World Show or Nationals today. You couldn't GET a seminar slot unless you preregistered a year in advance.
But the school however was looking for bigger and better things. They wanted accreditation and national accreditation for an educational facility requires strict curriculum adherence and diversity. People going to learn taxidermy didn't particularly relish being told they had to take language, math, the histories.
As a result, taxidermy got farther and farther removed from the center and finally, Ralph and Sandy were terminated and the equipment sold. That effectively ended the heyday of Piedmont and thanks only to the tireless efforts of a few dedicated individuals, it's held on as long as it has.
Sadly, I wouldn't expect anything to replace Piedmont. Hosting any taxidermy show/seminar is a money game and when you make less than it costs to host, the appeal leaves. You folks have been blessed for years beyond what most of us have to be satisfied with and the loss of Piedmont is truly the sad end to an illustrious era.
And I repeat, this is MY OPINION. Some of you may have a different perspective.
I have to agree with you whole-heartedly. I've always looked forward to the mini-course each year. My husband and I usually treated it as our mini-vacation (by ourselves-NO KIDS!). That is, if you can call intensive classes for three days-practically from sun-up til' way late, a vacation. We both love to practice our art...but are always striving to learn more. I guess that's why we'd usually try to find out if one of the teachers was going to hold a "late" session for any willing students they could interest. I never saw a shortage of eager participants either.
We'd crawl out of the bed to hurry and get ready, and make a mad dash for that little restaurant just out from the campus...plenty of coffee and good home cooking (trying to fill-up just so we could hang around during dinner time & "pick" the instructors' brains that we couldn't get a class with), head on in to check-in our entries, & check-in with the other regulars (students, teachers, and suppliers)we'd gotten to know over the years.
Yep, it'll be a crying shame the day they close the doors on the Taxidermy mini-course at Roxboro, NC. I feel sure I won't be the only one to get a little misty-eyed either.
To all our friends and comrades from Hawaii, down to Florida, up to New York, back on over to California, and all the way to Canada and even over in Japan...I hope we get to see all ya'll this year at our favorite gathering place in Roxboro. All us birds of a feather(so to speak) just HAVE to flock to our favorite spring gathering-place. See you soon I hope, Susan.