Modern Day Pony Express

A couple of months ago I mentioned that a fellow had found our blog by Googling “growing up in Addis” and had contacted me. Buzz Gillis had lived there in 1960, when I was also there as a child. He was in the same school I went to and was trying to track down some of the people he knew back then and thought I might be able to provide some “bread crumbs” to lead him to where they are. While Buzz and I didn’t know each other back then (first graders don’t really hang out with sophomores!) since then we’ve formed an on-line friendship and we’ve both come into contact with many of the people who were in our school back then.

Buzz in Addis Ababa, 1961

It’s been quite wonderful for me, as I’ve been put in touch with an old friend, Lee, whose family was close with mine back then, and we’ve had a great time reminiscing. I’ve also made some new friends among Buzz’s peer group, and it’s been great to hear the memories of people who were teenagers when I was a tot. For instance, we had different perspectives of the coup. Mine consisted mostly of my mother making me stay close to the floor to avoid any stray bullets that might come through the windows, while some of the older kids had some much more harrowing experiences. On a lighter note, I had no idea there was so much jitterbugging and kissing going on among the big kids!!

As many of you know, QBB has been in the process of moving the center of our operations from North Carolina to Texas. Since 2007, Noreen and Rodger Fling were “Quilt Central” and most of the donated tops and quilts were sent to their address to await transport by volunteers to Ethiopia. Noreen was one of the founders of Quilts Beyond Borders, along with her daughter, Holly, and friend June Colburn. Last summer, with the agreement of June and Holly, Noreen called Carolyn Sower and me and asked us if we would consider taking over the management of QBB to allow the three founders to concentrate more on other aspects of their lives. Once we agreed to do that, we decided to move the operations to Texas where Carolyn lives year around. We’ve been incorporated as a non-profit entity in the State of Texas, and will be participating in the International Quilt Festival in Houston later this month.

Boxes of Quilts to be Moved

One of our challenges in picking up responsibility for QBB has been the process of consolidating our donations in one location that would be convenient for our volunteers to pick up quilts to take to Ethiopia. Houston was the obvious best place to serve as a distribution point, since Carolyn lives in that area and the Quilt Festival draws people from all over the planet. So we began to try to figure the best way to get the donated quilts that were being temporarily stored in North Carolina to Houston. Postage has always been one of the biggest expenses for QBB, and we were perplexed, trying to figure out how to get 12 boxes of quilts from Raleigh to Houston without breaking the bank.

Well, the Lord truly DOES move in mysterious ways! It turns out that Buzz, my new friend from my old home town, is in the process of moving from Raleigh to Texas, and going right through Houston! And he agreed to move them for us!

Noreen and Rodger Fling with Pony Express Delivery

So last week Rodger and Noreen brought the 12 boxes of quilts to Buzz’s place, loaded them in his vehicle, and he brought them to Carolyn in Texas. He said he was happy to help with what he considers a very worthwhile charity.

Buzz and Granddaughter Marilyn

Thank you SO much, Buzz! I usually think of “Quilt Angels” as those very nice ladies with the gloves who help out at the quilt shows, but you bring a whole new dimension to the term. You’re QBB’s Pony Express Quilt Angel! You rock!



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