In January 2013 a TV crew invaded our house to record for a brand new collecting show for the BBC2 called Collectaholics. Around 100 days later we wrapped filming on April 12, but not until our house and my collection were literally turned upside down. This is that story…
Posts Tagged ‘Rancho Obi-Wan’
What subject could possibly persuade five webmasters, podscasters, and bloggers to congregate on a Sunday via Google Hangout and chat throughout the day (or until the early hours of the morning for some)? Star Wars, of course, and that’s exactly what Randy Lo Gudice, Johnamarie Macias, Jeremy Conrad, Jason Ward, and I did on January 12 as we embarked on the very first Kessel Run, to raise funds for Rancho Obi-Wan.
Party time! Who among us doesn’t love to hear those words…especially if Star Wars is involved. Well, perhaps the party planner who has hundreds of details to attend to, tight budgets, deadlines to meet, occasional quirky people to contend with — and a reputation to uphold.
We’re just beginning to recover from the Nov. 2 World Record Night at Rancho Obi-Wan, an evening designed to mark our second anniversary as a nonprofit museum and to celebrate our inclusion in Guinness World Records 2014 as the “Largest Collection of Star Wars Memorabilia.” As important, the event was a fundraiser to help us continue our mission of Inspiring through the Force of Imagination, which is a nice way of saying — like any nonprofit — we need to keep raising money to stay alive. More on that later.
I don’t have the world’s longest fingernails, shortest dog, or largest collection of vacuum cleaners. But, according to the globally-recognized authority on such things, Guinness World Records 2014, I have amassed the “Largest Collection of Star Wars Memorabilia” in the galaxy. But who knew that would be such a big deal?
Sometimes it take a near-disaster as well as happy news to remind us what has made — and keeps — Star Wars so strong and such an important part of the lives of so many of us around the world. When it all happens in the space of just seven days, it’s like a bright neon sign flashing the word COMMUNITY.
Let me tell you about my week. About an hour into a guided tour of Rancho Obi-Wan on Monday for eight adults and two children, my friend and museum general manager Anne Neumann appeared at the top of the stairs with as serious a look as I’ve ever seen on her face. “Steve, there’s a major problem in the garage. Come now!” she spit out breathlessly, then turned and left. I couldn’t imagine what was up, only remembering that the garage was filled with scores of cardboard boxes filled with thousands of books and magazines that might — or might not — be duplicates of what we had in the collection. There were also cardboard store displays and more boxes filled with old and new collectibles that were awaiting integration into the museum.
by Flat Stanley as told to Steve Sansweet (Photos by Anne Neumann)
Hi! My name is Flat Stanley. If you’re of a certain age, you may have met me in school. I was born in a 1964 book by Jeff Brown, but I still look like I go to elementary school because that’s part of the magic of books and reading. I get to travel all over the world thanks to tens of thousands of students who read my adventures and a group called The Flat Stanley Project. I’m even an App!
But this is about one of my recent trips, a 2,636-mile journey from Mrs. Moore’s first-grade class at Six Mile Elementary School in Six Mile, South Carolina, to a magical place called Rancho Obi-Wan about an hour north of San Francisco. I guess I could have taken buses, but even nonstop that would have taken 39 hours — and that’s a long time to be sealed inside an envelope. Instead I was lovingly tucked into a FedEx pack and whisked away. It was marked “Extremely Urgent,” and boy, did that ever make me feel important!
What a difference a year makes!
It was just last November that we finally finished building my dream — or, at least, the foundation of it. After 18 months of planning and lots of hard work from countless contractors, friends who volunteered a bazillion hours of their time, and lots of patience and luck, we incorporated Rancho Obi-Wan Inc. as a California nonprofit public benefit corporation. And then we had a Grand Reopening party for 180 people including 30 volunteers.
At least I assume that Gremlin-esque transformation of a part of my collection happened sometime during the insanely wonderful Star Wars Celebration VI in Orlando. How else to explain the simple math: We arrived at the Orange County Convention Center with 17 pallets and crates weighing well over two tons. The returning truck has 26 pallets and crates weighing who-knows-how-much!