As I have written here before the arts and crafts festival that begins this Thursday was in essence the marketing study and business plan from which Amish Acres was created. At the time the original ownership of Amish Acres dissolved I was left with an ambitious project just in its beginnings and a zero bank balance. It was Doug Grant, head of commercial loan for St. Joseph Valley Bank, who came to my rescue, understood this vision, and believed in me (with my father’s name and house plus my house on the dotted line.) The line of credit Doug arranged kept Amish Acres out of the footnote pile.
Shortly thereafter he became president of Lake City Bank and over two decades grew it from a proud hometown bank in Warsaw, Indiana to a billion dollar regional bank with over forty offices across northern Indiana.
Now Doug has been selected as one of the professional judges for the 45th annual arts and crafts festival. This is no pork barrel appointment. He is known throughout the country for his collection of American Art pottery, specializing in Overbeck, Weller, Roseville, Brown County, and Rookwood with an emphasis on wall pockets; He is known throughout the ceramic community as the “Wallpocket King”. Doug and Barbara Grant have assembled one of the largest collections of the genre which are featured in numerous books and publications. The R. Douglas Grant Family Gallery houses 211 pieces of art pottery, handmade clay figures, drawings and paintings by the Overbecks who started their studio in 1911 in Cambridge, Indiana. The Grant Family has bequeathed their private collection of Overbeck to the Midwest Museum of American Art. A 2007 exhibition “Folk Memories: the Painting of Emma Schrock” and “Wind in the Willows: The Ceramic Garden Animals” from the R. Douglas & Barbara Grant Collection featured over 35 paintings celebrating the life of the “Grandma Moses” of Elkhart County and playful ceramic animals, frogs, and birds used to grace front lawns and rooftops of homes from earlier times. Ms. Schrock participated in the first Arts and Crafts Festival in 1962 in downtown Nappanee surrounding the Pletcher Furniture Village. Her work continues to be exhibited in featured shows at Goshen College Library Gallery and the Mathers Museum in Bloomington, Indiana.
With age comes these opportunities to tie things up with nice little bows.