How can satchels hold precious stories? Easy. Every one was either a gift or had an association with bygone days. And there were a bunch of them!
Once upon a time there was an International Arabian Horse Association (IAHA). It was one of three organizations that governed all things Arabian Horse in the US and Canada. The other two were the Arabian Horse Registry of America (AHRA) and the Arabian Horse Trust. The red satchel in the middle came from the IAHA convention held in 2001 in Williamsburg, VA. I was not a delegate, but attended as a guest for one day. My friend Dian Deal and I sponsored two bottles of wine for the banquet in the names of our horses Mi Ddandi Deal and AM Captain Goodie.
In 2003 or 2004, IAHA and AHRA merged to become the Arabian Horse Association. The Arabian Horse Trust became the Purebred Arabian Trust. The first AHA convention was held in Anchorage, Alaska, in November, 2004. I did serve as a delegate. The satchel on the left was (I think) from that convention. November in Alaska is DARK, but one benefit was seeing the northern lights from the airplane window. The trip up was quite exciting with missed airline connections and closed airports. At one point we were diverted to Nome, Alaska, and upon landing the pilot (at that time passengers could listen in on cockpit chatter) was told to "follow the white station wagon at the end of the runway" to our parking spot.
The satchel on the right had the same AHA logo on its opposite side. This side gave the year of the convention: 2005. That year the gathering was held in Ft. Worth, TX. We met up again with friend Dian Deal, who had moved to Texas.
In 2006 the convention was in Louisville, KY. We were able to drive to that one, but I don't have any specific memories. The black satchel and the red SAHIBA bag were our souvenirs. SAHIBA is the "Society for the Arabian Horse in the Bluegrass Area." Quite a mouthful.
We attended many other conventions, Reno (2009), Disney World (2010), Vancouver (2011), Denver (2012), and Tulsa (2015), but the only other souvenir bag I have is the "Race to the Bluegrass" from the 2013 convention in Lexington, KY.. Although I am seldom without a camera when I travel, I only have pictures from only a couple of the convention trips and only the Lexington trip has made it online.
From the left, the Eastern Crabbet Arabian Horse Society bag was from one of the two Crabbet celebrations we attended. One was at the Fair Hill Equestrian Center in Maryland. We didn't take a horse to that one. The other was at the Airfield Conference Center in Wakefield, VA. Friend Dian Deal and I took our horses and had a blast. Cookie came home with multiple ribbons including one for a bareback class.
Stonewall Farm was the barn where I took lessons for many years when we had our farm in Northern Virginia. We had many happy days, attended multitudinous schooling shows, and made a couple of expeditions to Vermont for Centered Riding clinics.
Tandem Computers was my long-time employer. This bag was from an Analyst Symposium in Phoenix. No actual horses, but I do remember a fun float down the Salt River in an inner-tube with colleagues and an inner tube configured as a beer cooler.
The yellow bag in the middle is another Tandem memento. Around 1990 I was selected as a Tandem Outstanding Performer. and as a result. Jim and I attend the TOPS celebration, which that year was held at Marco Island, FL. This nifty carryall was a prize.
The other two bags were from Rotary International conventions attended by Jim and myself. On the right, was the 2009 event in Birmingham, England. Read more about it at the link. The bag on the left came from the 2011 convention in New Orleans. That bag has some frequent flier miles as I have used it ever since to carry my needlework on our travels. It even has a security sticker from one of the Central Asian countries we visited on our Five Stans trip.
These two bags are ancient history.
The one on the left dates to my college years. It also has quite a few frequent flyer miles, but once I started carrying needlework, it wasn't the right shape.
The carpet bag on the right belonged to my mother. She carried it here and there as well.
Another similarly sturdy bag, labeled "Knitting," also belonged to my mother. It has taken the place of the tattered Rotary bag. It once carried her handwork, and now it will carry mine.
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