260 paintings of waterfowl are on display and entered into the 2008 annual Federal Duck Stamp judging contest, the 76th time for the waterfowl hunting stamp, a landmark conservation program and a vital tool for wetland conservation. The Twin Cities FWS retiree reunion attendees are guest observers for this event. The paintings – watercolor, oil, acrylic – on display are a uniform 9 x 12 and depict either a Canada Goose, Brant, Northern Shoveler, Ruddy Duck, or Long-tailed duck (formerly known as an Old Squaw). The winner was Artist, Joshua Spies from Watertown, South Dakota, with his acrylic oil painting of a male long-tailed duck floating with a decoy. This art will grace the 2009-10 Federal Waterfowl Hunting Stamp.
The Twin Cities hosted the 2008 retiree reunion where 150 retirees and current employees joined in one of the best reunions yet. The highlight was attending and being part of the Duck Stamp contest but was followed by a social evening of fellowship to reunite with old friends and co-workers. The promised good weather held and it was on a lovely fall Saturday evening for a great dinner cruise up the Mississippi River to the Minnesota River and the Minnesota Valley NWR all the while being serenaded by Bill Aultfather (a FWS retiree) and the Dixiecrats jazz band – a really good bunch of musicians. Thrown in just for fun was a tour of the Minnesota Valley NWR and usual great and particularly informative and practical information session, Helping Hands After Retirement by Charles Hasty. Charles is a former FWS personellist now in the private sector and donates his time and talent to his former retired colleagues. Director Dale Hall and Regional Director Robyn Thorsen and key FWS senior staff participated with retirees. Enough can’t be said on how well planned and organized this reunion was with key support from the Regional Office in arranging events and transportation and the key planning committee of Twin Cities retirees that worked so hard to pull off a truly memorable event. If you missed this reunion, you missed a good one!
See the list of Registered Retirees and Guests at the 2008 Reunion
If you have additional photos or remembrances of this reunion, please contact us at web@FWSRetirees.org