Fall 2016   Summer 2016    Spring 2016

 Jim Story Award News -- Winter 2016

Well, 2016 is almost in the books and your Jim Story Award committee is excited to see the entries in the AGS Jim Story Award competition. If you were a state winner, we hope you have completed your application for the national competition and sent it in. Photos of the first, second and third place winners will be published in the Spring issue of The Gourd Magazine.

The first place winner will receive the annual Jim Story Award trophy, a cash award of $300---AND- --thanks to Donn Kelver who donated several Jim Story gourds to the AGS last year and suggested they be used as additional incentives to enter the JSA competition, the first place winner will also receive a beautiful JIM STORY GOURD!

Second and third place winners will receive $150 or $50 cash awards respectively and a certificate. All participants will receive a participation certificate. The Jim Story Award committee thanks all "backyard" growers who grew and manipulated a gourd and entered it in one of the state competitions. AND, a big thank you to all the state chapters that included a Jim Story Award category in their gourd show or other state activity. Without your cooperation and support, the Jim Story Award would not be possible.


In the Fall edition of The Gourd Magazine, your Jim Story Award committee announced some revisions to the rules for entering the Jim Story Award competition. Those rules were effective immediately.

But there is one additional rule that takes effect with the 2017 competition: Rule number 8, as listed under "Rules" on the Jim Story page of the AGS website, will be amended to remove the "must be grown in the preceding year" requirement. Your JSA committee believes that this rule change will (1) Increase the number of entries in the competition, (2) Eliminate the "crop failure" blockade and (3) Speed the process up by one year. Beginning in 2017, you may enter any award winning manipulated gourd you have grown since the JSA wa established in 2009. However, to encourage continued development of your manipulation skills, you may not enter any gourd in a JSNmanipulated gourd national competition more than one time. In other words; "once and done" even if your gourd did not win previously.


It has been suggested that the Gourd Hat Competition announced in the summer issue of The Gourd Magazine be a FUN thing and NOT a competition. Your JSA committee agrees. So---if your gourd hat was selected as the best one In either the man or woman hat parade at a chapter festival or other gourd event, your JSA committee would like to publish a photo of you wearing your gourd hat in the spring issue of The Gourd Magazine ---JUST FOR FUN! How about it? Send your gourd hat picture to algourds@aol.com.


The Jim Story Award committee gratefully acknowledges the following recent donations in support of the Jim Story Award. Without your help, the Jim Story Award could not survive.
Chapters: New Mexico (Bronze) ,Louisiana--$20 :Private: Sylvia Nelson (Silver), Michelle Green (Silver), Dickie Martin--$20
Thank You!

This is "Gourdhenge"! Aptly named by Wade Crow. Wade's arbor is simple, efficient and located in a beautiful area-- the far western corner of North Carolina in the Smokies. Wade says he will try some knots next year  Thanks, Wade, we look forward to seeing your "winner".


Have you written your "I Remember Jim" article yet? With this issue of The Gourd Magazine, we reached the end.of our archives and are looking for more articles. So if you intended to write an article and just "haven't gotten around to it," please do it now.
Send it to algourds@aol.com.


Thanks to the generous donation of several Jim Story gourds by Donn Kelver, the beautiful Jim Story gourd
shown here will be mailed to the first place winner of the 2016 Jim Story Award competition. This is in
addition to the trophy, $300 cash award and first place certificate. We will announce the winner in the Spring issue of The Gourd Magazine.

Jim Story Award News -- Fall 2016

In the summer issue of The Gourd Magazine, we listed eleven chapters that told us they include a manipulated gourd/JSA category in their ribbon competition. Now there are 12 AGS chapters with the addition of Pennsylvania. And-with the revised rule changes shown below, we can include the Loess Hills Gourd Society in Iowa.

For the convenience of those who might want to enter a manipulated gourd in one of these festivals or' other chapter -sponsored competition, we are listing them again here. They are: Alabama, California, Florida (2 categories) Idaho, Indiana, Kentucky, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Wisconsin and Loess Hills. If there are other chapters/organizations that have a Jim Story Award/manipulated gourd category, please email algourds@aol.com so we can add you to our list.

All chapters/organizations listed accept JSA entries from other chapters, so if your chapter does not offer a JSA category and you have a manipulated gourd grown last year (2015), please check with one (or more) on this list about entering.

Also, if you are already a winner in one of the competitions and have not yet sent in your application for the national competition, please go ahead and send it to us now. The rules, application & questionnaire are on the JSA web page of the American Gourd
Society web site. You can send your application electronically or by US Mail.

Jim Story Award News -- Summer 2016
JimStory Award - Rule Change
(Effective in 2017)
Beginning January 1, 2017, the Jim Story Award Manipulated Gourd competition rules will be amended to remove the "grown  the previous year" requirement. Your JSA committee believes this will do three things to improve participation in the award. (1) Increase the number of entries in the state competitions by allowing a participant to select a gourd from his/her inventory grown as far back as 2009, the year the JSA was established, and enter it in any state chapter festival or other official chapter activity where a JSNmanipulated gourd category is available. (2) Eliminate the "crop failure" blockade and (3) Speed the process by one year. Participants will then be able to select a gourd from inventory, enter a state competition and, as a 1st place inner, enter their gourd in the national competition. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd place national competition winners will then be announced the following January. There will be some additional amendments and further explanations in future issues of The Gourd Magazine, but this announcement will let you know about one of the future plans we have to encourage more participation in the Jim Story Award.

Jim Story Award Expansion - Gourd Hats
(Effective in 2017)
The Jim Story Award committee has discussed possible ways to broaden the scope of the Jim Story Award and increase its appeal to more AGS members. While the Award was established to recognize Jim's pioneering accomplishments in gourd manipulation through hand training of a growing gourd, Jim supported all aspects of gourd creativity.

A gourd hat parade was among the many things he pioneered in his support of the AGS! Through Jim's enthusiastic promotional ability, gourd hats became a very popular and competitive category in several AGS chapter festivals. If your chapter does not have a gourd festival, a gourd hat competition/parade could be planned as a part of other chapter activities or patch meetings.

The JSA committee would like to encourage all chapters to include a gourd hat category and hat parade at their festivals or other chapter activities. Beginning in 2017, the JSA committee will accept applications from chapter winners and our panel of judges will select a NATIONAL GOURD HAT champion from photos submitted. The winner will receive a certificate similar to the ones received by the winners of the Jim Story Award gourd manipulation competition and a photo of her/him wearing their hat will be published in the January issue of The Gourd Magazine. There will be no cash award. For those chapters that do not have a gourd hat competition but would consider adding one, what Jim did was simple. He asked everyone to make a gourd hat and wear it in a parade. But a parade is not essential--just fun! A parade (or gathering of members wearing their hats if that is preferred) could be scheduled during the festival or at a Saturday night dinner or Sunday morning breakfast. The winner would be selected by audience applause or a count of hands. Simple!

The cutoff date for entry will be November 30, the same date as for the manipulated gourd competition.

Jim Story Awarf State Competitions
No show? Yes,  You Can Still Hold a Jim Story Award Competition - by Terry Noxel
In New York State we have held Jim Story Competitions twice.  The first year we did it as part of our first (and only) show. The following year we chose to not have a show, but our growers had manipulated gourd that could/should be entered in the JSA competition. 'Well, there's no rule that says theJSA competition z: place at a show, it just says that the "entrant must win a stae chapter competition to be eligible."

There are only two steps you must do. One, Choose a date for the competition and spread the word among your membership,  and Two, Recruit a couple of judges who are familiar with the JSA Judging Guidelies  (on the AGS website) and ideally at least one of the judges is an AGS-certified Judge. Once your competition has  been held and you have a winner, twist their arm to enter the AGS-sponsored Jim Story Award Competition ... again all he/she needs to know is on the AGS website.
Here are a few tips for encouraging your members to start manipulation gourds.

Jim Story Award Competition
The following states have verified that they have JSA competition categories either in their festivals or other chapter activities:

Alabama, California, Florida (2 categories), Idaho, Indiana, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Kentucky, Texas and Wisconsin.
There are three "maybe's" for future festivals: Nevada, Pennsylvania and Virginia.

Six states have no current plans for a JSA competition and as of this writing, five states have not weighed in.

Not bad! Now, if we could just get a winner from each of those chapters to enter the national competition, we could really celebrate Jim's gourd manipulation accomplishments!

Remember, if you have a manipulated gourd eligible for the JSA competition, you may enter it in the JSA/Manipulated Gourd category in any or the states listed as having a JSA competition. Rules for entry are on the JSA page of the AGS web site .

It is with great appreciation that the JSA committee recognizes the following states and individuals for their donations and support of the Jim Story Award this year. Without these donations we could not continue with the Award. The Jim Story Award is not funded by the AGS.

Arizona, California (Gold)**, Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington, Wisconsin

Alan Sweeney (Silver), Cecile Garrison (Silver)

** A special thank you to California for their "Gold"
contribution! That helps a lot!

The AGS Jim Story Award
We receive an occasional request for information about the Jim Story Manipulated Gourd Award. Briefly, the award was established in 2009 to recognize the pioneering accomplishments of Jim Story and to honor his legacy. Jim did much to promote and grow the AGS for many years and he is a legend in the gourd world, not only in America but Internationally as well. Jim never charged for anything he did! He did it to help the AGS and his fellow man!

All of the information for participation in the JSA is available on the Jim Story Page of the AGS web site. You may access it by visiting, americangourdsociety.org and clicking on the Jim Story Award page. There is a wealth of gourd information posted there!

Jim Story Award News -- Spring  2016

The judges have spoken and the results are in! The First Place winner of our 2015 JSA competition is Jim Ballard! The Second Place winner is Alan Sweeney! And the Third Place winner is Phil Hart! Congratulations to Jim, Alan, and Phil. They planted a seed, grew and manipulated a gourd, completed and submitted their application, and won! Congratulations to each of you!

Jim Ballard - 1st Alan Sweeny - 2nd Phil Hart -3rd

And a special thank you to all the other entrants who participated. They were all great manipulations and Jim would be proud of every one.

he cash awards have been mailed to the winners, the participation certificates have been completed and the trophy will be presented at Jim’s home gourd show or other show of his choice by the highest ranking AGS or state chapter officer or JSA committee member available.

The beautiful hand trained Jim Story gourd shown below  is an added bonus for winning 1st place. It is one of several donated by Donn Kelver and it has been delivered to Jim. Thank you all for a job well done.

Gourds grown and manipulated in 2015 will eligible for the 2016 competition. All you have to do is prepare your manipulated gourd according to the JSA or Manipulated Gourd category rules in an AGS chapter competition. If you win first place there, you are eligible to enter the National competition. Entry forms, competition rules and judging guidelines are all available on the JSA page of the AGS

We hope to see your entry next year. But if you didn’t grow a manipulated gourd last year, or didn’t win a stat competition, now is the time to be planning a winning strategy for 2017! Just do it!

As most of you are aware, the Jim Story Award is a self funded award sponsored by the American Gourd Society. We greatly appreciate all the chapter and individual donations received since the award was established in 2009. Without them, the Jim Story Award would not exist.

The following donations were received in the fourth quarter of 2015: Glenn Burkhalter--Platinum

If you would like to help support the Jim Story Award, donation information is available on the JSA page of the AGS website. Just click on the “Make a donation” link All donations are tax deductible! Thank you!

Donations are published quarterly in The Gourd Magazine and recorded annually >If you have comments or concerns about the competition, please contact the committee chair, Bonnie Gibson, at bonnie@arizonagourds.  We welcome your suggestions for qualified gallery judges or professional level gourd artists that might wish to judge or serve on the committee in the future.

Winners are responsible for sending in qualifying entries. The deadline for submission is December 1, 2016. You may send in your entries at any time as soon as the event is finished. Entries submitted to date: 0 There have been several shows already – please send in your entries now!

Show Chairs, please urge, push, nag etc. your Best of Show and People's Choice award winners to submit their winning pieces for this AGS award. If your show has a designated photographer, ask him or her to photograph these gourds specifically for entry in this contest. If possible, have the judges include  a note on the winner's entry card reminding them to submit it for the award. (Or attach a copy of this article.) Help promote your show and its winners by getting them to enter the 2016 Excellence in Gourd Artistry award.

To enter in 2016, send in up to 3 photos of the winning entry.  The photo should focus on the art; ribbons are not important and should be left out of the photos if possible.  LARGE digital files are the best and reproduce better.

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