Saturday, March 31, 2007

The RIA Convention

Recently I had the opportunity to speak at the RIA convention in Orlando. RIA was ASCR, was AIDS, was NIRC. It is the trade group for Rug Cleaners and Restoration Professionals. Uncle Jimmy Keshishian was national president back in 1981 when it was NIRC (National Institute of Rug Cleaners, I think, or maybe it was AIDS). Anyway they found me and persuaded me to come and talk. I prepared a long PowerPoint show and just talked about the rugs. I was going to talk about Persian Rugs as a non-verbal language but at the last minute I decided against it. I recalled a comment by Stuart Cary Welch in the forward of one of his books. He said something about writing a specialist book for the 6 experts in the field or he could write for the general public. He chose to write for the public. I am glad I kept it general since I think everyone enjoyed it. Actually I hope they enjoyed it since I have not seen the comment cards yet.
I think I need to get out and lecture more. I learn far more than I teach but the reaction tends to be positive anyway. I find that more and more of my thoughts are becoming generally accepted. Years ago one of the curators at the Smithsonian responded to one of my theories by saying, "Mr. O'Connell, You have every right to think so... But keep in mind that No One Agrees". Now I hear people advance ideas that only a few years ago I was castigated for when I came up with them. Not to pick on anyone in particular but it is heartening to see ideas gain traction. I think the success of my sites is due in large part to the fact that when I make a mistake I go back and correct it. One of the weaknesses of the Internet is that all time is now. All too often errors left uncorrected take on a life of their own.
Best wishes,
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