Humpty Dumpty would have been proud.
Artists from all over the state will convene March 2 and 3 at the Hyatt Westlake Plaza Hotel for the annual California Egg Artistry Show. It will be the first time the show has come to the county. In past years the turnout has totaled nearly 2,000 people.
"There are thousands of eggers around the world," said egg artist Ann Copeland, a member of the tri-county egg artists' association that meets monthly in either Oxnard or Santa Barbara.
"We use rhinestones, fabrics, gold and silver lame and ultra-suede to decorate them." she said. "People who haven't seen a naturally decorated eggshell have no idea what can be done to it."
So what exactly can be done to it? "One man found out that white bathtub caulking makes beautiful snow when you put glitter on top," said Copeland. "One man in Detroit made a little Volkswagen bug out of an egg and it ran in a circle. It had a little engine in it."
Then there was the guy from Pennsylvania who hand-painted a likeness of the Last Supper on a rhea egg, inserted it inside an ostrich egg and sold it for $5,000.
And how about the Pasadena woman, a member of the local group, who built a miniature Christmas tree inside a goose egg and decorated it with blinking lights.
As promised, we have selected the winners of our Valentine's Day Romantic Mate Contest. We now know who the most romantic and least romantic mates in the county are. But let's let the suspense mount just a little.
From the entries we received we learned that Ventura is overwhelmingly more romantic than unromantic. We also found that romance, as with beauty, is determined by the beholder.
Take the entry sent in by Peggy Spidel of Moorpark. She said her mate was the most romantic because he "showers me with attention and wondrous gifts." But then there was Kim Webster, also of Moorpark, who praised her mate for writing letters and holding her hand. "To be romantic is not to be showered with money or gifts," she wrote. This seems to prove that one can be romantic without going broke.
Well, enough of the general. Let's get to the specifics.
The winner of our Golden Arrow award--a $100 gift certificate at a restaurant of his choice--goes to 57-year-old Don Scott of Camarillo, who was nominated by his 51-year-old fiancee Rita Godfrey, also of Camarillo. Godrey pushed the judges' "Aah!" meter over the top with her description of Block's romantic gestures:
"One morning as we left early for a day at the beach," she wrote, "he scattered pink rose petals over my driveway. When we arrived at the beach it was clear he had been there earlier that morning. Looking down the bank to where we were going to spend the day, I could see a giant heart traced in the sand with my name in the center and more pink roses in bottles."
We asked Godfrey, a teacher at Bernice Curren School in Oxnard, the circumstance under which she met her romantic mate. "We met right after my husband and I separated about three years ago. We didn't date right away because he had a guiding principle. He used to say he'd never date a woman until she was divorced for three years."
The couple met in the video rental shop where Block worked as a VCR repairman. "I didn't have a job. I was putting in applications for teaching positions," she said. "Every day or two I would go up to the store to use the copy machine to copy my resume and we would chat." They met in May, 1988, and had their first date in December of that year. No wedding date has been set.
And now, the dubious honor of winning the Rusty Arrow Award--two tickets to the Grant Park Pistol Range--goes to 66-year-old J.J. Gonzalez of Fillmore.
When Gonzalez's wife of 15 years, Helen, found out that her entry had won, her response was: "Oh, no. Oh, no. Oh my God. I haven't told him. Oh my God. I haven't told him. I was sitting there feeling sorry for myself. Oh my God. What am. . . . Oh. This is funny. I have to tell him now. You know, I never thought I even had a chance."
In her entry the 51-year-old Gonzalaz wrote that her husband "has to be the most unromantic mate ever. On a cold night he turns the electric blanket on instead of me."
So is he really that unromantic? "It has to be really quiet. Everything has to be just right. . . . It takes a long time for him to get romantic," she said. "Other than candlelight and wine he doesn't go out of his way like flowers or candy or special dinners--no. If I need or like a perfume, he'll say, 'Yeah, yeah, go ahead and buy it.' "
Gonzalez met her husband when the two were in an adult education program. It wasn't exactly love at first sight. "When I met him I thought he was the most conceited person in the world. He acted like he was God's gift to women. I couldn't stand him."
They were married within the year.