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NAGCR AGM weekend report (my experience only)

     A recurring theme of this report will be things we didn't do.
We didn't get there until Friday evening, so we missed anything that happened before that, including ringing with a simulator. I am prejudiced against them, so I didn't feel left out. A quarter of Yorkshire S Major happened during the early part of the Friday evening reception, but those ringers turned up eventually, to consume things and chat. I met some new (to me) people and greeted those I already knew. I was pleased to see Aaron Hilton, the dancer who spent part of the summer studying at Boston Ballet. He learned in DC, but lives most of the year in New York, and rings there. On Saturday, the ringing was open. We missed the PB doubles and minor session because I was jogging and then we went to the farmers' market. There were quite a few Toronto ringers in attendance. Not Michael Hinton, but he was represented by his mini-ring, which was set up in one of the chapels. My mini-ring handling technique leaves a lot to be desired, but I made it through a hunt on eight and decided to quit while I was ahead. Following that, we attended the Cambridge and London minor session. We skipped the carillon demonstration in order to do touristy things, but our trip to the area near the Zoo, trying to track down some vegetarian pastries from a place that was there twenty years ago (long gone), meant that we were too late getting back for the Stedman and Grandsire sessions. We got to ring on the ten during the general session, including call changes (called down) and some Little Bob Royal. We skipped the beginning part of the business meeting in order to see an art exhibit in the cathedral and ended up watching a wedding and then having elevator trouble, so we only were there for the last few minutes of the meeting, at which time Elisabeth Trumpler was reminding people that the guild archivist needs both artifacts and storage space to keep them. After the meeting, a quarter of Grandsire Triples was scheduled, with me on the 5th. There were 54 minutes of nice ringing on the back eight, but we think we might end up calling it a miscellaneous performance, because there were 24 repeated changes and some of us in the band don't subscribe to the "anything goes in a quarter" theory. Kathryn Tucker was in the thoughts of the band. I presume she'll be in a number of footnotes. We didn't go to the official dinner, but we recommend the Dukem restaurant. We don't necessarily recommend the #96 bus. Sunday morning we drove to Frederick, MD. Calvary Methodist Church has a ten year old ring of eight bells (9cwt). The church buildings are spacious and air conditioned, but the little ringing room was fairly stuffy. It is just off a nice room that is used for the handbell choir, though, and Carolyn Ormes provided snacks (including fabulous homemade hummus and lemonade) for the people who were sitting in the handbell room between touches. The bells feel heavier than they are, but on the other hand, people felt that they needed to be rung quite fast, for the most part. The weekend's other teenager (besides Aaron), Abby Timmel, was thrown into the deep end to an extent. Before the weekend, she had never rung Cambridge Major or spliced any methods at all. On Sunday, she (and the rest of the surprise ringers), worked for a while on a touch of Cambridge, PB Major, C, C, (four leads total, bringing us back to rounds) that seemed confusing at first but after we'd tried it a couple of times, felt natural and fun. Call changes there were called down, too. We didn't go out to eat with the other ringers, but visited the National Museum of Civil War Medicine between ringing sessions. Frederick is a pleasant place to walk around in general. I don't know what happened in Washington on Sunday or today, because we visited a friend in Maryland and then came home last night.

Laura Dickerson