Volume 47, Issue 10 - October 2012
Guten Tag, glasstec
Way back nearly 30 years ago, while I was working for another glass-related organization, we were visited by the organizers of a glass trade show in Germany. The organizers gave a robust presentation about the trade fair and their plan to develop it into the largest in the world for the glass industry. And that is exactly what they did. And now, three decades later, through name changes from GLAS to Glastec to Glasstec to glasstec, the event is indeed the center of the glass universe every two years.
This will be my 16th visit to glasstec and, as I write this, I am looking tremendously forward to it. It’s a great place to see the whole world of glass, find out what’s new and renew old friendships. I especially enjoy getting to meet up with industry journalists from around the world. (There really aren’t that many of us, so getting to talk to others who know and understand the same industry is a kick.)
glasstec 2010 marked an achievement for USGlass. We were told it was the first time a news organization ever covered the show with daily video reports every day—and we did this along with written reports, photos, a slide show, blogs and more. I hope we make it look easy enough that you would not know the Herculean effort it takes, both at show site and back home, to get that coverage to you. We plan to do all that and more this month, so please tune in to www.usgnn.com™ for our daily reports.
glasstec 2010 left me with some great personal memories, too … hundreds of little memories created by a week of glass in Germany.
My favorite came the last night during a final dinner at small local restaurant not too far from the Messe and involved our beloved Charles Cumpston, who is retiring at the end of this year (see page 40 for more details). Anyway, all during our delicious dinner in an older, typically cozy European restaurant, we kept hearing some banging and cheering. “There’s a kegelbahn dowstairs,” our wonderful translator Brigette Schmidt said. “They are bowling in the basement.”
I laughed. “No, really, they are doing it,” she said emphatically. There was absolutely no way I could imagine anyone bowling in such a small space. But curiosity won and down two flights we went. There in a very, very long and extremely narrow room was the world’s smallest bowling alley complete with one lane and a picnic table, two competition teams and plenty of pitchers of Pils and Alt. The lane was all of about 18 inches wide at one end but opened to about 30 inches in front of nine extremely well-worn pins. The gutters were about a foot wide on each side.
Once the bowlers heard we were from the United States, they invited us to bowl a few rounds and became quite the cheering section for us. This is how I ended up bowling at 10 o’clock at night in the world’s smallest bowling alley in Düsseldorf, Germany. It was a nice end to a good week.
If you are coming to glasstec this year, please stop by and see us. We are in Hall 13, Stand D53.