may '02

FAO Schwatz - don't climb the bear!!! At the fair in Wiesbaden, Germany we had received an invitation to come to the USA in May 2002.
We are Marjolein Vos (Mick Bears) and Marian Haarink (Marian Bear). The fair we were invited to attend was the
WinZinger Teddybear Show in Mount Holly, Philadelphia, and Pat and Carol from “Teddies of Mt. Holly” organized it.As we always enjoy travelling together we decided to add a few days in New York to our trip. There is an extra long wait at Schiphol, because you still are questioned when you are travelling to New York. My special bear scissors and reversal tongs (always at my side) that I had included in my bear travelling kit, were not allowed to accompany me on the plane and had to be returned home with the Schiphol post.
I should have put them in my suitcase!! Happily, my bears, all filled with wire, did pass the strict control. As I always fear putting them in my suitcase, they are with me in my hand luggage.
It was lovely to drift through Manhattan, New York for a few days. Highlights were a visit to the wonderful Broadway musical “The Lion King” (it was just like being in Africa for an evening) and the visit to 5th avenue toyshop FAO Schwatz, where we took a picture standing between huge cuddly bears.
After that there was the train trip to Philly as the Americans call Philadelphia. Kate de Losso (one of the fair organisers) picked us up. Kate works for
Collectible Tours and she always organises the trips for bear people from the USA.
The bear in Central Park
We had been invited to stay at her home and we stayed the night there together with Wendy and Megan Chamberlain from South Africa, fellow bear makers. The hospitality we received there we fantastic.

   Marianbear: USA Winzingerbeurs           Marianbear: USA Winzingerbeurs           Marianbear: USA Winzingerbeurs

The fair was held in a beautiful Victorian mansion down by the river. The owner is Mrs. WinZinger and she put her whole house, furnished with antiques, and beautiful garden at the disposal of the bear show. On tables and in antique cabinets our bears were laid out beautifully, all the show bears had been placed at random. This also made a pretty picture. A large group of bears were dressed in the Union jack. Since the attack on 11-9, you can see flags everywhere in America; on buildings, on cars, and on many different kinds of clothing.

Marianbear: USA Winzingerbeurs            Marianbear: USA Winzingerbeurs            Marianbear: USA Winzingerbeurs

The evening preceding the fair there was an auction in aid of the Aids Foundation for which each bear maker had donated a bear. It is very exciting to hear how much money somebody is willing to pay for your bear. When its your turn and you find that five people are in the bidding and that finally your mini bear is sold for $440, then yes, you certainly feel hot all over. What’s more I got tagged with an indian name, because next day I was introduced continually as:
Maryann-they were fighting about her bear”.
I’m glad this lasted only one day.

The next day we visited a Native American festival and we spent some of our bear money
on silver Native American jewellery.
Of course these had bear designs, as the bear is an import Native American symbol.

Marianbear: USA Winzingerbeurs              Marianbear: USA Winzingerbeurs                Marianbear: USA Winzingerbeurs

On Sunday we had time to visit Pat and Carol’s wonderful shop  “Teddies of Mt. Holly”. We were welcomed with brownies and cookies. The shop is as pretty as a picture and has a wide range of high quality bears on sale. There were many artistsbears from different states and also from Europe, South Africa, Australia and Asia.
For travelling bear lovers this shop is really worth a visit.

Marianbear: USA Winzingerbeurs              Marianbear: USA Winzingerbeurs             Marianbear: USA Winzingerbeurs

Mt. Holly lies north of Philadelphia, not far from the highway to New York.
For Dutchies like us, Mt. Holly is a cute village with its  “Western look” houses, Victorian mansions, and shops. There was also a lovely shop selling fabrics and sewing-materials.
So, and then back home again, after my shoes had been pronounced free of weapons at
the New York airport we flew back to the Netherlands.
At home
I shall have to work very hard to replenish my stock of bears,
I can do this during the summer holidays.


"Marian Bear"
Marian Haarink-Getkate

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