Sunday, October 19, 2008

Duck, duck, duck, duck…gray duck!

I’m just guessing, but I’ll bet they don’t play that game in school anymore. Too competitive. Too many hurt feelings. Too unfair to slower, smaller, less aggressive children. Too bad. It was fun. But today’s post is not about childhood games. It’s about DUCK STAMPS. Every year, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service holds a competition for the new Federal Duck Stamp design. Hundreds of wildlife artists enter this competition, and the winning design is featured on the next year’s duck stamp. The first place winner then sells limited edition prints of his or her design, selling thousands of prints, and thereby profiting from their victory. Second place gets a set of steak knives.* The contest attracts the best of the best in wildlife art. This year, the judging took place in Minnesota. Mary and I attended the event, along with dozens of friends and relatives. Why? Because my brothers Bob and Jim were finalists. (My other wildlife artist brother, Joe, was not eligible, because he won the contest last year.) The results were not all we hoped for. Bob’s entry made it into the top ten. Jim won the set of steak knives.*Josh Spies was the winner. Congratulations, Josh! *If you don't get the steak knife reference, go rent the movie "Glengarry Glenross" and see Alec Baldwin in one of his most memorable roles.  Jack Lemmon, too! You can view all the entries here. For more information about the Duck Stamp, go here.

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