If you've been around the Center in the last few years, there's a good chance you will have run into Gene Gustafson. Gene has always had a keen interest in wildlife and could be found greeting the visitors with a warm smile. Gene showed up at the Center yesterday to drop off a supply of his wares before he and his wife head south to Texas for a warmer place to winter. I was thrilled to see Gene because, as many of you know, he has been in a battle with cancer the last several months and has has something of a miraculous recovery. His health and strength have been good of late allowing him to get out and around!
We are fortunate enough to have a nice display of Gene's hand carved cranes and a few penguins in our Crimson Crown Gift Shop. He picked up the hobby at the age of 73 and has been carving for 13 years (you do the math). They are carved from catalpa wood found on his family's farm. The grove was planted years ago to provide wood for posts. The cranes are very nice and will sell for around $30. I'll look forward to enjoying both Gene and one of Gene's cranes for years to come!
The selection of merchandise like Gene's is growing every day and we are planning on having an open house the first week of March. We are also working hard on preparing for the crane viewing tours. Stay tuned for more info.