Charles and his partner David Osborn created an entire teddy bear world of over 2000 teddy bears (and friends) artfully displayed in a 1855 Victorian home, originally a Baptist church, dubbed the Teddy Bear Castle. Their ambiance and immersion into the teddy bear world was complete with picturesque characters handling the convention details: Ted d ’Bear chaired the conference with Marla Bearwater assisting as the media mega bear. Other members of the team included Ross Bearot, economic advisor; Boris Ibearavitch, foreign delegate greeter; and Bearbara Walters, press secretary. Their imagination and enthusiasm lead the entire city to join the fun and become ‘Teddy Town’ for an all-too-short weekend.
Charles, a successful graphic artist, coined the words and characters to entice artists and welcome visitors to the historic Miners Foundry in the spring of each year. And the event was one of the most successful and long-running in the West. His fliers and announcements were full of lively color, lots of graphics and clever statements. Charles promoted the convention to ‘fans, friends & just-plain-curious’ and once visitors got to the event there was a LOT going on. His team organized classes, sold T-shirts, urged the public to vote for their favorite bear, and arranged tours of the nearby Teddy Bear Castle. It was impossible to be serious when the convention supplied continuous entertainment featuring the Swan Bros. Flying Teddy Bear Circus, Bearverly’s singers, a Bearbershop quartet, and the Teddy Bear Follies. Whew, busy and wonderful!
A rich and fun history to be sure and one that will continue with the arrival of spring 2012, moving from the Miners Foundry to the beautiful forest setting of the Elks Lodge in Nevada City, CA. The convention, themed Teddy Bear Adventures in the Enchanted Forest will be produced by Dorothy Drake and the Crossroads team, with several of the original committee members adding their humor and input to propel the lively legacy left by Charles and David into the next generation. Mark your calendars for May 10, 11 & 12, 2012 and visit dolls4all.com for convention details to be posted in the fall.
To quote Charles: “You know it's time to say goodbye to dingy, dark, depressing hibernation! So exchange your ear muffs for Bear Ears, discard your frazzled winter wits, throw out your dismal cold and greet Spring up in the Sierra Foothills with the Nevada City Teddy Bears!”