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In recognition of her contribution and dedication to basket weaving,
we are offering a 2-day weaving scholarship in honor of our dear friend, Jackie Hood.

All of those who are registered for classes at this event
will be entered to win a voucher for the cost of a 2-day weaving registration fee. This voucher can be used towards the current cruise
or a future cruise.

Your name will automatically be registered for this award
as you register for your classes on the cruise.

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Each basket cruise we award a scholarship in memory of our dear friend Jackie. I would like to share below a little bit about who Jackie was and why she is so special to us:

My daughters attended Schulte Elementary School located in Sturtevant, WI. It was there that I met teacher, Jackie Hood during my daughter’s 5th grade parent teacher conference. After we were finished discussing what a pleasure my daughter, Jennifer, was to have in her class, the topic turned to basket weaving. Jackie had previously woven a few baskets and was interested in expanding her skills. She organized a group of fellow teachers who gathered after school to weave baskets before heading home. It was through this assembly that our relationship grew.

In 1995, I received my first brochure detailing a basket event being held in Michigan. Jackie had since retired from teaching and I called her to see if she would be available to travel with me to this convention. She agreed and since that time, our friendship and travels blossomed. Jackie was always one of the first who was ready, willing, and able to travel to any basket related gathering I was interested in.

I have fond memories of signing up for a full day’s class schedule. After classes, we would rearrange furniture to make it more accommodating for us the weave in our hotel room. We would stay up late into the evening weaving only to be up early in the morning for another full day of weaving. In one, 3 day event, we would sometimes come home with up to 12 baskets. Oh, what fun we had.

Throughout the years, Jackie encouraged me to act on my interests in teaching at such events. With her support, I began submitting proposals and my teaching days began. All the way through, she was by my side.

Jackie and I traveled together until 1999, when my cousin, Lori, joined us. The 3 of us would decide on an event and explored all of the places between our home and the location we were headed. I used to laugh when people would ask Jackie how long of a drive it is from WI to our current location and she would respond, “I have no idea, we do not go anywhere straight. We are always making side trips”. I think those side trips were what made our adventures so memorable. If we were traveling, and we saw a sign for something that spiked out interests, we would go.

As we started traveling more consistently, we outgrew our transportation. Although we once traveled in a 4 door Honda Civic, we quickly realized that even my mini van would not be space enough for our activities. Lori and Jackie would sit back and watch as I packed the van to the ceiling. On some of our trips the van was packed so tightly that seats could not be adjusted for comfort and there was just enough elbowroom not to feel claustrophobic. In fact, on at least one occasion, Lori had to ship some things home so that we would have enough room for ourselves in the van.

We have shared many experiences and a lot more laughs. Since her passing, I have found myself reflecting on some of our most enjoyable moments together. We all have commented on the fact that some of our funniest moments could not be shared with others because they may not understand. It is a situation of having to actually be present to find the situation funny. One such story, which still makes me laugh, took place in Minnesota. We had checked into a hotel and unloaded the contents of the car onto a bellhop cart. It was Lori and Jackie’s job to take the cart up to the hotel room while I parked the car. After parking and entering the hotel, I could hear the two of them hysterically laughing while I was waiting for the elevator on the first floor. I found them on the third floor, still laughing uncontrollably because they could not make the cart move. I walked right up to the cart, and easily grabbed the handle, turned it around and started walking smoothly to the room. They were still laughing in the distance.

Jackie always managed to get herself lost in large hotels. Opening hotel doors with room keys could also be a challenge for her. But, Lori and I always made sure that she was taken care of. In turn, she took care of us and always kept us on the right track.

The three of us weaving in the hotel room after class became somewhat difficult. So, we started to play cards at night instead. Jackie always made sure that she had popcorn or some other delicious snack for our evenings in the room.

Another funny story happened while away at an event and we had been playing cards with friends when Lori and Jackie decided to call it a night because we had an early morning class. As they went to pull up the car, I started talking to someone else who wanted to play cards. I was up for another game, so I walked out to the car and asked if the girls would like to play another round. With the straightest face, Jackie responded, “You know the problem with you two? You are too damn social!” Lori and I were shocked to have heard Jackie swear but we were all laughing too hard to even respond. We would always make a point to remind Jackie how social we are.

Initially Jackie was not interested in gourd projects so Lori and I would travel to those workshops without Jackie. One year, Lori had signed up for a class that she was unable to make so she asked Jackie to go in her place. Although Jackie agreed, she reminded throughout the entire drive (6 hours) that she did not want to get involved with gourds. Needless to say, after taking the class she was hooked and the three of us started to travel to gourd events also. In the end, I could not begin to calculate the amount of miles that we have traveled together.

During her final days, Lori and I visited Jackie in the hospital. She told us how proud of us she was. What she doesn’t realize is how proud I was to call her my friend. I will forever cherish the fact that I was able to talk to Jackie one last time and to say goodbye in person.

Since then, it has been difficult without Jackie with us. I am not sure that the feelings of loss and sadness will ever truly disappear. But, I will always hold Jackie near to my heart. Jackie’s favorite saying when we were together was “You can’t beat fun”. And fun is exactly what we shared each and every time we were together. I know that Jackie would have loved the basket weaving cruise.

[Written by Sandy Bulgrin]

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