Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Winter 2015

Over the last 25 years, I have received hundreds of phone calls and emails relating to gourds, but none like the one I received in early September. That's when Donn Kelver called and said he was an old friend of Jim Story. Of course that got my attention immediately, especially when he said he had several Jim Story gourds.

That almost sounded too good to be true, so he explained by saying "Do you happen to have a copy of the Jim Story video?" When I said yes, he said; "I'm the voice on that video and I would like to donate these gourds! I think maybe you could use them as an additional bonus for the Jim Story Award first place winners. I'll bring them to you" (he lives in Northern Indiana). "When would it be convenient for Bev and me to drive down to Georgia"?

Donn and Bev did come to visit and it was a wonderful experience to meet another of Jim's many friends. Donn brought 15 of jim's gourds, a signed copy of his book "GOURDS From Vine to Design," and a fascinating "We Remember Jim Story" article. Twelve of the gourds were Jim's fantastic rope twisted manipulated creations. The other three were manipulated designs that Jim experimented with.

Beginning with the 2015 JSA competition, the first place winner of the national competition will receive one of Jim's gourds! This is in addition to the cash award and trophy. So---all you "backyard gardeners" out there, start making plans now, to plant a seed and manipulate a gourd in 2016 so you can enter the chapter competition in 2017. A win at the state level and you are eligible for the national competition! Just do it! I know you would like to have a Jim Story gourd.

There were no donations received during the last quarter. As you know, the Jim Story Award is self-funded and we greatly appreciate the past support we have received from the AGS chapters, gourd societies and individuals.

We need all "backyard" gardeners to plant a gourd seed, manipulate a gourd, and enter the Jim Story Award competition. Complete instructions along with several tutorials and manipulation techniques are on the JSA webpage. Check it out!

 We would like to add one more member to our committee. If you have been impressed with Jim Story's pioneering efforts in gourd manipulation and his exemplary dedication to the AGS and the gourd world in general and would like to be a part of the continued success of the Jim Story Award, please contact one of our members. Some computer expertise would be a plus.

Glenn Burkhalter
Chairman, Jim Story Award Committee

Fall 2015

Your JSA committee has completed the Simplified, Clarified, Updated and Educational Information revisions to be posted on the Jim Story Award page of the AGS website.  This information was recently forwarded to Lyn Rehm, AGS Web Manager.

It is a complete “redo” of the existing information and includes not only the JSA application for entry of a manipulated gourd in the national JSA competition, but includes a lot of Jim Story articles, tutorials and educational information about manipulating gourds.

While the new posting will contain much more information than was previously available on our web page, we have attempted to make it easily accessible by listing the different topics under “Contents” on the first page.  You can scan the topics, click on the subject of interest and go directly to that file.

As previously stated, these revisions were submitted to Lyn only recently and she may not have had the time to post them as of press time for The Gourd Magazine.  There is a lot of information to be processed and Lyn will get it posted as soon as she can and we appreciate the excellent job she is doing with the website.  And we extend a special thank you to Terry Noxell for contributing a lot of her time, effort and technical expertise.

The AGS is now a 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt organization!  And all donations to the AGS are tax deductible!
It is with great appreciation that we recognize the following donations since the summer issue of The Gourd Magazine:
Ohio Gourd Society   $20  Bill Freihofer $100 (Gold level)
Loess Hills Gourd Society   $20 
Virginia Gourd Society   $20 

The Jim Story Award is self-funded.  Chapter and individual donations are our only means of support.

Over the last two years we have received and published several wonderful “I Remember” articles from some AGS “old timers” who had the privilege of meeting and becoming friends with Jim.  And once Jim met you, you automatically became his friend whether you intended for it to be that way or not.  That’s just the way it was!

We would like to keep the series going for as long as possible and I know Jim had a lot of  friends who have not yet shared their Jim Story story.  None will be too short or too long, or “not professional” enough.  We want you to share your Jim Story story with the rest of us.  Can we count on you?  Just send it to algourds@aol.com or by US Mail to Glenn Burkhalter, 3363 Indian Hawthorne Ridge, Gainesville, GA 30504.

As a result of a recent request I sent to some AGS members that I thought might write an article, or know someone who would, I was given the name of a lady who was one of Jim’s friends.  I don’t know if Kathy Laugheed is a current AGS member or if she ever has been, but she did know Jim Story!  And I will leave it to her to tell “The Rest Of The Story”, as Paul Harvey might have said.  It’s a reprint of an article she wrote for a local newspaper in 1994 and is published in this issue.  You won’t want to miss it!

Send me your article!

Several state chapters have held their 2015 gourd festivals and we have already received a couple of entries in the national competition.  With several fall and early winter festivals coming up, we are expecting more entries this year than ever before.  And that’s a good thing!

If you have already won a state competition in the Jim Story or manipulated gourd category and have not yet completed your application for the national competition, be sure to get it in soon. No reason to wait until the November 30 deadline to send it to us.  The 2015 winners will be selected in December and announced in the spring 2016 issue of The Gourd Magazine.

If your state chapter does not offer a Jim Story or manipulated gourd category, you may enter your manipulated gourd in one that does.  And for next year, ask your state president and show chair to include one in your show.  We would like to see dozens of “backyard growers” manipulating a gourd and entering the competition.  Try it.  It might get your competitive juices flowing!  Lets all do our part to carry on Jim’s work and preserve his legacy.

Glenn Burkhalter, Chairman, Jim Story Award Committee

Summer 2015

Did you know that the annual Jim Story Award's goal is to be 100% self-funded? What that means is the JSA Committee is tasked with raising funds to cover the cash awards, and the expenses associate with the certificates and trophies. We are grateful for the many years of support and wish to recognize our donors, but we also recognize that doing so may feel like shaming to the chapters that have not made donations, and that is not our purpose. Recent discussions about continuing the award resulted in a greater awareness of the purpose of the competition and a desire among individuals to insure that the award continues.

You too may wish to make a donation to the Jim Story Award and now you can via PayPal or by mailing a check. Five donation levels are associated with PayPal buttons on our web page or you can make a check payable to American Gourd Society - JSA Donation Fund and send your check to AGS Membership, PO Box 2186, Kokomo, IN 46904-2186.

Thank you!

The American Gourd Society and the Jim Story Award committee would like to extend our deepest appreciation to those chapters and individuals who have supported the AGS Jim Story Award through their donations since its inception in 2009. Their support keeps the Award as strong and vibrant as the man who inspired us. Below we recognize the Chapters and Individuals who have generously supported the Jim Story Award Donation Levels

Chapter - $20 
Bronze - $25 
Silver - $50 
Gold- $100 
Platinum - over $100


2015: Alabama, California, Illinois, Indiana, Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, New York State, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Washington State, Wisconsin

2014: Alabama, Arizona, California, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Washington State, Wisconsin

2013: Alabama, Arizona, California, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texa , Virginia, Washington State, Wisconsin

2015: Alan Sweeney - Platinum, Sylvia Nelson, Glenn Burkhalter and Cecile Garrison
2014: Betty Finch - Platinum & Alan Sweeney - Bronze
2013: Indiana Chapter - Platinum

Jim Story Committee at Work:
Simplifying, Clarifying, Updating and Expanding
the Information about the Jim Story Award
Spring 2015

During 2014, your Jim Story  Award Committee reviewed the information on the Jim Story Award page of the AGS website and attempted to simplify, clarify, update and expand that information. One of the first things we did was to develop and post a set of Guidelines for Judging Dry Manipulated Gourds.

The guidelines included a point system for the National (and Chapter where desired) judges to use when judging the Jim Story Award entries.

Those guidelines were used by our 2014 national judging panel and received rave reviews! So if you are planning to grow and manipulate a gourd in 2015 for entry in the 2016 Jim Story Award competition, take a close look at those judging guidelines; they will help you understand what the judges are looking for when they judge your entry.

On their questionnaires a couple of 2014 participants did an excellent job of documenting how they grew and
manipulated their winning gourds. And while extensive documentation is not an absolute requirement for winning, it does help the judges understand how you prepared and manipulated your gourd and will also serve as an excellent educational aid for teaching others.

Jim Story was all about educating and teaching everything he had learned over decades of gourd manipulation and experimentation. So the Jim Story Award committee will be adding an Educational Page to our portion of the AGS website. The first two examples on the new page will be copies of the questionnaires the Second and Third Place winners submitted with their applications documenting how they produced their winners.

So when you have a chance, take some time to check out the Simplified, Clarified, Updated and Educational
Information contained on the Jim Story Award pages of the AGS website.

2014 JimStory Award Winners
It is with great pleasure that we, the members of the Jim Story Award committee, announce the winners of the 2014 Jim Story Award competition! As always, the competition for first place was tough and the judging difficult, but our panel of national judges did an excellent job and we thank them for their contribution.
And The Winners Are ...

First Place: 
Bill Freihofer 
from Indianapolis, Indiana 

Bill won first place at the Indiana gourd festival! 

Second Place: 
Jim Ballard 
from Greenfield, Indiana 

Jim won first place at the Kentucky and Ohio gourd festivals! 

Third Place: 
Graham and Ken Ottoson 
from Ithaca, New York 

Graham and Ken worked as a team and won first place at 
the New York gourd festival! 

While Duane Langworthy, from Caldwell, Idaho, did not place as one of the top three winner, his entry was competitive and I'm sure we will see more from him in the future.

Our thanks to all participants in the 2014 Jim Story Award competition. You were all winners in a chapter gourd festival and Jim Story would have been proud of each and everyone of you.

Glenn Burkhalter, Committee Chairman
CeCe Thomas, Committee Member

Archived files: 2013   2014