Page 2                                             January, 1982

President's Report

"Feast and Famine"

By Gene Jones, IJA President


As the 20th century proceeds towards it eventual conclusion, we find ourselves living in a world of ever increasing paradoxes. Feasts and famines of various dimensions exist simultaneously without resolution, and increased awareness seem only to aggravate current dilemmas.

Fads arrive and fade at an accelerated pace, often leaving confusion in their wake. However, some fads do survive certain moments of truth, allowing them to stabilize into perennial institutions or endeavors of broad social value.


What does this somewhat abstract introduction have to do with the world of juggling?


 Well, to begin with, juggling is a paradoxical activity in itself. To the admiring public, it is a mystical art, but those who juggle know that mastery of the art is basically a matter of endless practice. The true mystique of juggling arises from the showmanship of each individual practitioner.


Although juggling has not reached 'fad' proportions, it is definitely catching on. As a result, IJA membership is swelling, as are the demands for our organizational services. When the dust of our expansion settles, juggling will still be popular, but the question is: With the IJA still be a strong positive force at the center of the activity? The an­swer at this point is that we are preparing the IJA to be able to function towards this goal.


First of all, IJA members have just experienced both feast and famine during the last few months. From May through July, two Newsletters were published and the Annual Convention staged. Then for more than three months, no publication appeared. Since the end of October, we have published two issues of JUGGLERS WORLD and the 1981-82 Roster. Many members have written to ask what has happened and what to expect in the future.


The apparent 'famine' period after the Cleveland convention was actually a time of tremendous internal growth for the IJA. The publication delay was due to the changeover from the Newsletter to JUGGLERS WORLD Magazine. A good deal of layout and graphic design modification was necessary, and a new printer contracted. It has been said that milestones are rarely reached without delays and inconveniences, so we apologize for the initial delay. but also hope that you appreciate the improvement. Behind the scenes in the IJA, the phones are ringing and there is a lot of shuffling of papers.


Now that we have attained new levels of quality, we are trying to implement methods of maintaining them. The largest and most rapidly increasing pressure on the IJA is the astounding expansion of necessary day-to-day operations. Requests and inquiries have been pouring into Kenmore, NY. The task of responsibly handling daily correspondences has become a huge job.


Although the only visible signs of progress to the general membership are at the Annual Conventions and in JUGGLERS WORLD, we have made strides in many areas. such as clarifying the roles and responsibilities of officers, keeping books, serving the specific needs of individual members, and beginning to establish a positive, identifiable, public image.


Looking ahead to 1982, IJA members can expect a more regular JUGGLERS WORLD schedule, with issues appearing in February/March. May/June, August/September (convention coverage), an October Roster and a November/December Christmas issue. IJA members will also receive a special pre­convention notice in June.


Our pending tax-exempt status appears to be only a few weeks from final approval. Such status will put the IJA in a much stronger position when applying for grants and soliciting contributions to support our expanding operations.


The next major step will be the sanctioning of regional and local juggling clubs. This is a mailer that was requested last year by numerous members and heartily endorsed at the convention business meeting, where a vote mandated the Board of Directors to devise a sanctioning plan at the Winter Business Meeting in Kenmore, NY. I encourage you to send in ideas about the subject to the IJA post office box now.


A rather abrupt change of direction is required at this point. As many of you know, honorary life member Bobby May died of a heart attack on November 7. Bobby May was not just a great juggler, but was a great man, a tine person in all dimensions.

My direct acquaintance with him took place in the past year. during which time he continually offered his assistance to the IJA. His personal warmth and genuine devotion to the art of juggling and those who take interest in it are eternal qualities that will never be forgotten by those who had the honor of knowing him. We now carry on with a sense of great loss, but also with an even greater determination to continue building an organization that Bobby May would be proud of.


There will always be room for improvement, but with hard work mixed with an abundance of patient enthusiasm, the IJA will provide the juggling world with a future of 'feasts' without the 'famines.'


Here are some suggestions to members looking for ways to help out the IJA:


-Report all juggling events and send pictures to the JUGGLERS WORLD editor.

-Send press clippings to PO Box 29 for our files,

-Give gift memberships to friends.

-Show JUGGLERS WORLD to your friends.

-Send us suggestions on how to serve you better.

-Attend the Annual Convention (July 13-18, 1982, Santa Barbara, CA).

-Participate in local juggling clubs.

-Attend the Winter Business Meeting (noon, February 27, 1982, Kenmore, NY.


Gene Jones

Gene Jones

IJA President

New York, NY

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