*** New for 2018 ***
After the 2017 NTA Convention Armadillo Red came up with a great new idea for next year’s NTA convention. He suggested instead of a Host next time how about a Grand Marshall instead? I loved his idea and Charlotte Guttenberg and Chuck Helmke came to my mind, I thought, they’d be perfect, and as I was about to say their names Red said, “I was thinking that Charlotte & Chuck would make the best First Co-Grand Marshall’s for 2018”. JJ Told Red PERFECT! He contacted them and they said “YES! They would be honored.” In reality – it is we, who are honored that they said YES! The following is a letter from them to let you know that they have already gotten started on their role as Co-Grand Marshall’s for 2018…
By Chuck Helmke and Charlotte Guttenberg
2018 Convention Co-Grand Marshals
“Wow!” that was my immediate reaction when we were asked to be the first grand marshals for the 39th annual convention. I was definitely stunned and speechless, a situation that does not often occur – the speechless part.
“It was such an unexpected honor,” Chuck confirmed my first reaction. (He is a much deeper thinker than I.) “I was flabbergasted.”
From the time we walked under the portal at the Doubletree a few years back, to attend our first NTA convention, we were made welcome by members standing around outside. They were people we didn’t even know. I feel certain they didn’t know us either. But that has been our experience with NTA, everyone is made to feel welcome.
We weren’t certain at first how we would be received. Another member who was misinformed, told us at the last minute that although we could attend, we could not participate in anything – including the contests. Wrong. Wrong. Wrong – as we soon found out. We did become NTA members but only as we were leaving the convention after being included in everything that had been going on the whole time we were there.
One of our goals as grand marshals is to help bridge the communication gap – dispel misinformation floating about. We want to assist in getting people to attend the convention and join NTA as members, regardless of their being tattooists, enthusiasts, or the curious. How can we do this? We have already started touting the convention through social media and will continue to do so. We plan to work with Red and Flo to help them get everything underway and well-publicized to the best of our abilities.
“My particular goal as grand marshal this coming year, is to help lay a foundation for continued growth of the NTA.” Chuck said. “I want to help to build the organization and assist it in absorbing new members, both tattooed and non-tattooed people.”
We both feel that there is an enormous interest in tattooing at the present. Why not capitalize on that interest? Although the information people have garnered from whatever sources, likely televised reality shows, may be incorrect, this may be our opportunity to correct those wrong notions and win the respect of those people.
Personally, my goal is the same as the goal I hold in all that do – promoting kindness, consideration, and respect to everyone I meet. (Yes, I do fail miserably, at times, but I move on from failure.) I have a clipping on my bulletin board that states, “In the end only KINDNESS matters…” I believe that and it is why I am a member of the organization, because that is all we have ever encountered in NTA, kindness. Kindness = respect. Respect = understanding. New math? Perhaps. Does it matter as long as the end result is achieved?
We hope to see all of you at the convention. When we reserved our rooms last month, the hotel was ready and had the discount in place and signed us up. We are looking forward to seeing the completion of the projects that were underway when we were last there. This is going to be amazing! All of it!
Note: Visit our “inked” Facebook page – fb.me/inked.chronicles, like and share, please, or message us at: m.me/inked.chronicles! This column was “Chuck-approved”!
Photo credit: Guinness World Records