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Doris and her adventure with the Head Bean!
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I hope you all will enjoy this HILARIOUS story , and the great photos from the signing as much as I did! - - Sally


Doris Makes Lemonade | Doris' Boyds Collection at Collector's Corner | Women of Webspresso
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I could hardly believe it! There was Gary Lowenthal on QVC saying he would be doing a signing near Buffalo, NY…Why, that is less than 4 hours away and our youngest son attends college in Buffalo, so we could visit him, too!

This might be my once in a life-time opportunity to meet The Headbean in person. Oh wow! DH agreed to go. I could hardly wait to tell Sally and my other Boyd’s internet friends…


Well, it is now late Sunday evening and I’m back home at my same old e-mail address. Contrary to my plans, Gary didn’t succumb to my charms and it’s all DH’s fault! He really got into the spirit of things, and was right there beside me getting his treasures signed. I’m sure Gary would have loved to whisk me away to the magical world of Boyds, but he’s just too shy! If you’ve ever seen him on QVC you know I’m lying through my teeth!! He’s not shy, and he is very happily married! And…HE IS WONDERFUL!!! (please excuse the capital letters, but Gary is not a lower case letter kind of guy!!!!)

Well, we left home at about 5:00 a.m., me with my hair in rollers and wearing my Boyd’s Bailey "Love Conquers All" sweatshirt and F.o.B. pin. We arrived at the mall in Hamburg, NY, west of Buffalo at about 8:30. There were already a number of cars parked near the mall entrance and a few dozen people standing in a line under their umbrellas. Out I hopped and joined the line. I was THERE and I was going to be ready! I wasn’t sitting in my car just because of a little rain. Let the wimps stay dry-I was going to meet the Headbean!!! I started talking to everyone around us and the time went quickly, and so did my beautiful hair-do!! Yup, I had remembered to take out the curlers and put on my makeup in the car, but the rain made short work of my efforts despite my umbrella. They let us into the mall promptly at 9, and the line moved right along, in order, down to the store, which was jam-packed with collectibles! They let the first 20 people inside and gave them their numbers. As one came out, another got a number and went in. We were 35 and 36. (My 1.Q. and thigh measurement!!!) We made our selections (each person could have two items signed but they had to be purchased there) and we were done until 12:00 when the actual signing would take place in a gazebo area of the mall. We were told to be back there at noon since GL moves right along and could possibly sign for 50 people per hour. Your place in the signing line was your number and if you weren’t there, the crowd might or might not, let you in ahead of them later. (Everyone was so friendly, I’m sure they would have!) We called our son and arranged to meet for breakfast and then the three of us went back to the Mall at about ll:30. He walked right in and got #110, no line, no waiting. We think the rain and rumors that there might be a terrific mob may have kept some people away. They were also having their special event day, and lots of people were picking up their Queen of the Universe pieces or their lay-away orders.

Are you bored yet? Maybe you don’t want to hear the rest...

click hereWell, we mosey-ed on down to the Gazebo to wait. Promptly at 12, Gary came striding out announcing, "He’s here, he’s here!!" My son had the best vantage point since he’s 6’7", so he was in charge of pictures and I was in charge of saying, "Quick, take a picture of him, take another one, get one of that...etc." Gary said they told him he had to wait a few minutes before starting, so he asked, "How about a little Boyd’s chat?" He answered questions and was charming and funny and serious and delightful! He took crowd surveys about a jewelry line (most people prefer gold.) He said we’re richer than he thought. He promised to tell the manufactures who are licensed to do the T-shirts that we want bigger ones - 2X and 3X. and so we larger size ladies promised to keep buying his bears. LOL He asked for suggestions for new Boyd’s names and designs---said that’s where the sports line came from and practically all the names of new plush. In answer to a question, he talked quite a bit about the KKR/Boyds deal. He stated that he’s "still in charge" and when asked, "Couldn’t they just get rid of you if you don’t have controlling interest anymore?" he said, "Sure, but only if they kill me!" He says it was done to better organize the business end. He wants to hire a President to do that. KKR’s attitude with other companies they have invested in has been, "If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it." Some other remarks: "Hey, I’m a biology teacher, what do I know about running a company," and "This will allow me to just do the fun stuff, like creating and designing and meeting the collectors at signings in beautiful Buffalo." He said it was getting so it wasn’t as much fun anymore, and now it can be fun again.

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THBwantsu.gif (5356 bytes)The folks from Andrews Collectibles presented him with some cute boxer shorts and other gifts and the actual signing got underway. My dear son had been "working the crowd" offering to sign stuff for people who didn’t want to hang around and wait for Gary. Thank goodness no one knew us. You just can’t take that kid anywhere that he doesn’t go into a comedy routine!! Gary had said if we wanted pictures taken with him he thought we were totally nuts, but to give our cameras to "Marcia, the Vest Lady" and hope we got them back, cause you can’t trust her!! Well, I trusted her, I and thank her for the great pictures she took of DH and I with Gary. I was first and he visited with me about the mohair "Dolly Q. Bunnycombe" I’d chosen for him to sign. He asked if I liked the mohair line, cause he loves them. I also had him sign Braxton B. Bear whom I chose because I love the J.B. Bean bears, and he also has big feet, perfect for signing!! We had chosen bearstones "Stonewall…The Rebel" and "Union Jack…Love Letters" for my husband to have signed. He is very interested in the Civil War and we thought these two pieces would be perfect and very special. I motioned my shy DH forward and told Gary, "This is my husband, Pete" and he said "Oh he’s a smart guy!" I thought he meant because he married me, but he was talking about the two resins...He said it was smart to get the set, and that Union Jack is to be retired, so he was "a real good choice to have signed". Pete told him he had been hoping that Gary would go public and offer stock in Boyd’s Bears and Friends. (Since I buy so many bears he wants to acquire some Boyd’s stock and recoup some of his hard-earned money!) Gary really liked that, and commented that we should hang around for a few years. A little stock market tip, maybe? Or perhaps he was only joking? Pete said whenever Gary is ready to sell stock to look him up, he’ll be the homeless guy pushing a grocery cart full of Boyd’s bears around some big city!!! (See, Gary probably thought I already have a funnyman, and that witty weird kid, so he didn’t make any proposals to me. Darn! Next time those two stay home!!!!!)

CLICK HEREIt was so much fun! Two very nice ladies, Suzanne (Honeybear) who has a store in Elmira Heights, NY and one of her employees, Barb, had come to Buffalo to help Mrs. Lee (Andrews Collectibles) who had never held a signing before. I told Suzanne I had seen her on the message boards and got a big bear hug. A store employee told us that Gary is very explicit about how a signing must be run -from soup to nuts. This event went like clockwork. Everyone seemed to be having a great time, and it was right on schedule. Everyone was friendly and we were kept well informed about what they wanted you to do and people were very cooperative and pleasant. I thought to myself, Gary really knows what he’s doing, and has developed his system because he knows what works and what doesn’t. He is a brilliant man and doesn’t miss a trick…except of course his blown opportunity to spend the rest of his days sipping pina coladas on a tropical island with moi...( My apologies to Mrs. Lowenthal, but a girl’s gotta dream!)

Well, that’s my story. I’m still walking on air, can you tell??? I hope you enjoy viewing my pictures and I’ve also included a few of my Boyd’s collection. I get a great deal of pleasure from this hobby, and have met some wonderful people while bear hunting. Thanks to Sally for inviting me to share my adventure and if you ever have the opportunity to attend a signing…Go for it…You’ll be SO glad you did!

COMING SOON!! Doris'  Collection of Boyds!!
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