As I Remember It
by Claudette Tidwell
In 1986, Carol Spining, the owner of a local cake supply shop, Sugar Drop, sponsored Roland and Marsha Winbeckler in Nashville for classes. During our lunch break we were chatting about ICES. A few of the folks in the class had been to an ICES Convention, but most of us did not know about the organization. They were telling us about the fun, the great demonstrations, the sharing spirit of the attendees and the local Day of Sharing events in other states. We got very excited. We were having such a good time leaning from the Winbeckler’s and from each other and we knew we wanted more opportunities to learn about the sugar arts.
In July, 1986 we began a Cake Decorators Share Group that met once a month. We enjoyed hands-on demonstrations by one of the attendees and sharing ideas with each other. A few of us drove to the ICES convention in Indianapolis, Indiana that year. While we were there we had a caucus in Tennessee Representative, Irene Ballard’s room. We learned that there had previously been an ICES group in Tennessee. Now our enthusiasm was growing for an active Tennessee ICES group.
In April, 1987, Carol Spining and I attended a Kentucky ICES Day of Sharing. We were so impressed with the demos and the friendly sharing people. After the meeting, we trapped Charter Member, Brenda Harrington, outside the meeting hall and quizzed her, “How do you get a local group, how do you get demonstrators, what about finances, where do you find meeting places?” We had question after question for Brenda. She was so helpful and shared so much information with us. We were even more anxious to have local meetings. We talked with Irene Ballard and posted a notice of an organizational meeting.
In July, 1987 a meeting was held in Nashville. Irene Ballard, Hazel Douglas, Swanee Young, Vic Hartman, Rosa Schmidt, Patty Anderson, Carol Spining and Claudette Tidwell attended. From that meeting a Tennessee Day of Sharing was planned for October 4, 1987. The meeting was at the Remada Inn Downtown, Nashville. Sixteen people attended this first Day of Sharing. We had demonstrations of gumpaste, chocolate candy, gingerbread and rolled buttercream. The members in attendance at that meeting decided to meet in Nashville, twice a year, in March and October. The next meeting had thirty-five in attendance. We have continued to meet twice a year in the Middle Tennessee area. Our attendees come from across the state of Tennessee, and other states, with regular attendance and support from members in Kentucky and Alabama.
We also hosted the ICES Annual Show and Convention in 2002, with the help of many ICES members from Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, Pennsylvania and other states.
The Tennessee ICES Representatives have been: Irene Ballard, Claudette Tidwell, Mary Jo Manis, Deborah Johnson, Debbie Boyt, Lora Hammond, Carol Ambrosetti, Leah Langford, Gail Forrester and Elaine Miller.