[vcf-midatlantic] Ken Thompson video

corey cohen coreyvcf at gmail.com
Wed Nov 11 09:57:25 EST 2020

I have avoided chiming into this conversation for a few reasons, but wanted to thank Bill for his kind words “Corey fixed a lot of structural problems”.  I believe everyone involved in VCF helped to fix these problems, I only enforced what I am required to do as the treasurer for a public charity.  This may be where Evan feels he was forced out, and I’m sorry he feels that way.  Many of us have tried to turn this hobby into a sustaining income so that we can get away from our legacy day jobs and I applaud Bill for being able to make this work. I have tried with my stint as TV producer, Apple-1 consulting and other stuff, but have not seen the success he has had were I could say good bye to “modern computing” and spend a good portion of my work time in the vintage world.  This “dream” was the impetus for Evan leaving the VCF board of directors to avoid a conflict of interest.  Evan wanted to take a shot at seeing if professional fundraising for VCF and artifact rentals could be something to allow him to turn VCF into a career not just a hobby.   He was paid a commission on this work as a contractor to VCF and did help us become more financially stable with this work.  His actual executive director position was voluntary, though we covered reasonable daily expenses, he actually did not receive compensation.   In his capacity as a contractor the BOD was not allow to direct his daily operations or he would have been considered an employee by NJ State law covering non-profit volunteers where we would have had many legally required expenses that we could not really do at the time.

I also want to thank the steering committee for really stepping up the local game and not only making improvements on the actual museum, but real steps towards having a climate controlled warehouse.  Much of this thanks need to go to Tony Bogan aka Captain Tony, who has use much of his spare personal time, money and sweat equity to get us on the path to this outcome.   The rest of the Steering Committee has also been critical to this, but Tony more than anyone has take on a lot of this burden personally.  Tony will not be disappearing when his term on the committee expires, but will still be very involved with the warehouse refurbishment and our day to day relationships with the other groups at InfoAge.  One thing the steering committee has really shown is that we can work well with other groups as they seem to find a person on the committee the like and that is the person they go to eliminating any potential clashes of personality and to be honest greatly benefiting InfoAge and the other groups as much as ourselves.

I also wanted to make mention about Jeff Brace.  Before Jeff started heavy involvement as the project manager and eventually co-show runner for VCF East,  the show was running on a "knifes edge" every year.   There were many “emergencies” that the public was not aware of that required duct tape and baling wire and to be honest panic among the show team that Jeff with his “post-mortem” analysis and managerial skills prevented from happening again.  This did cause some conflict with Evan who was very much “a seat of the pants” type of show management style.  Jeff as VCF East show runner and the steering committee were well on to hosting a much larger and expansive show for Spring 2020, but thanks to Covid-19, Jeff and team were able to pivot and produce a great hybrid/virtual show where we did not have to charge a fee to watch the presentations or talks.   We learned a lot from the experience of Erik Klein, the show runner for VCF West, hosting a virtual show in August.

I know in these trying times people’s blood can get a little too warm at times and also sometimes email/online messages don’t always get interpreted the way they were intended, but to quote Rodney King, “Can’t we all just get a long”.

One final note: I cannot help but be saddened by Mike Brutman’s announcement.  I have loved working with him on the Board of Directors of VCF, and while we didn’t always agree, we could always go out and have a drink after a show.   I truly hope that he stays involved as a member and moderator of the VCFed online forums as I believe everything he does is from the heart not from heartburn.

As always, Cheers,

> On Nov 11, 2020, at 9:08 AM, Bill Degnan via vcf-midatlantic <vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org> wrote:
> I respect both Mike and Tony's statements and corrections.  Some of them
> are misunderstandings to what I said or meant, but I dont debate what you
> said and I can take a punch anyway.  I still think Evan was kind of
> manipulated.  I have a huge respect for everyone you mentioned for what
> they contributed to bring things to the next level.  You are correct that I
> have been rock throwing,.sorry and accept my apology.  You are correct that
> I made it sound like it's too much of a business and not about the hobby,
> perhaps, but I witnessed the changes and evolution and *at times* it was
> that way.  Perhaps less so now but some questions about governance remain.
> A lot of this evolution had to happen no doubt or the club would stay
> small and unorganized .  Corey fixed a lot of structural problems.
> Of course there are other clubs out your way Mike, I am just saying that
> the life of vcfed flows though what was MARCH and there is nothing like
> that managed by vcfed in the west or midwest because these events did not
> evolve that way  The new west coast shows were not generated by local
> groups.
> There was a time before the new MidAtlantic steering committee that
> priorities were out of balance and it was too much about control and less
> about the hobby.  The pendulum swung back.  Also, the new steering
> committee brought back some balance.  I never implied that the huge
> personal donations of effort and money were anything but selfless acts of
> service for the benefit of everyone.  I am not claiming I or past members
> did more, but a lot of that effort has been forgotten as if all of a sudden
> there was this club Evan made magically and you guys rescued it from Evan
> and now it's great.
> As far as kennett Classic goes, my original offer proposed to the board was
> to set it up as a new satellite office within vcfed for media and
> communications. I did not have a show to run and I felt bad that I lived
> too far away from wall, nj to be there and volunteer more often.  Sometimes
> it seemed like that was all we ever talked about when I was with the board,
> running shows and tshirt sales.  Nothing about curation, nothing about the
> needs of the original membership.  It seemed like these things were Evan's
> to deal with and not the concern of the board at all.
> I wanted to set up a media center for the group and host it in Kennett to
> inject new life into my involvement with this group.  My offer was rejected
> so I quit the board and started kennett Classic anyway.  There was a time
> when I put in as much into MARCH as some of you now put into aspects of
> vcfed.  But I dint care to compare my involvement and effort other than to
> say I earned then right to say what I am saying, throw a few rocks
> perhaps.  I also admit that it sure *seems* like I am just complaining
> here, and a lot of you did not know how much personal.time I put into MARCH
> before most of you joined this group.  By then, and due to health problems
> for about three years, my involvement was a shell of what it had once
> been.  I am sorry that I dropped off.
> I am empathic and loyal to Evan here, despite his mouthing off and temper.
> I counseled him two days ago about using this whole Ken Thimpson thing as
> an opportunity to apologize for how the talk was handled before it blew up,
> but it balloned into this!  I also see why you all have issues with him.  I
> totally see his perspective though,.have a little mercy publically.  I am
> just trying to set the record straight.
> The whole profit/non profit thing is a tax thing dont be self righteous
> about one or the other structure, it's still business. KC simply represents
> my vision of what I wanted to work on at VCF next, in was going to be my
> way to get more involved, not make a profit for myself.  My offer was
> basically ignored.
> I still think having no vcfed board elections is concerning and I still
> dont see why the MAtlantic group should report to anyone but that's just
> me.
> Bill
> On Wed, Nov 11, 2020, 5:43 AM Tony Bogan via vcf-midatlantic <
> vcf-midatlantic at lists.vcfed.org> wrote:
>> Bill, I won’t speak to before I was involved with MARCH/VCF, only since I
>> got involved.
>> You and I BOTH told Evan at Festivus that he was “giving up his power”
>> with the transition to VCF, a national Board, his paid position etc. You
>> and I even talked to each other about it. Evan said “no I’m not. I’m not
>> giving up anything.”
>> You and I talked about that as well and we agreed he did not grasp the
>> implications of the changes being made despite our comments to him.
>> There was no conspiracy at the SC level (I can’t speak for the Board since
>> I wasn’t then and am not now involved with the Board)
>> I know, I was there. Evan cleary states, to more than one person, that he
>> “won” his argument with the board about Jeff and oversight. Told a whole
>> bunch of us at Festivus. He gave the Board an ultimatum, he gets his way or
>> he walks (I have the emails to prove it and my response telling him that
>> was a dick maneuver)
>> So the Board gave him what he wanted and created the Steering Committee.
>> It was THE STEERING COMMITTEE that argued Evan should be part of it even
>> though he held a paid Executive Director position. We all agreed even
>> though it was not appropriate for a paid executive director to sit on the
>> SC Evan was the man that did most of the work and so should be directly
>> involved in the direction of VCF as dictated by the SC.
>> I know, I was there and I have the emails to prove it.
>> Evan didn’t have an issue until he realized he couldn’t just dictate to
>> the SC what to do and that he was one voice of five,  or one voice over top
>> of everyone else. As we made motions to vote on things he did or didn not
>> want his response, amongst other things, was to tell an SC member to “shove
>> his motions up his ass.” (I paraphrase without pulling the email up, he did
>> say shove, might have said “you know where”)
>> I have the emails to prove it.
>> The person he most blames for this supposed conspiracy is the very person
>> who FOUGHT THE HARDEST AND SPOKE THE LOUDEST to put Evan and keep Evan on
>> the SC.
>> He refuses to believe this even though I’ve told him more than once when
>> we Have discussed it.
>> Evan refuses to get involved until certain people “give him an apology.”
>> That’s a direct quote.
>> I suggested back in the spring that maybe he stop fire shots across our
>> bow to help calm things down and then talk about it later as time passes.
>> You see how well that worked out.
>> The day before Evan bolted... the day before.....my last conversation with
>> him when he was still saying he was going to leave after vcf East was “why
>> leave? Just become joe member who can sit in the cheap seats and watch
>> others Do the heavy lifting like you’ve had to do all these years. But if
>> you do go, don’t burn any bridges on your way. Because a week, a month, a
>> year from now you might miss it too much and want to come back.” That’s a
>> direct quote.
>> Next day he nuked his bridges.
>> Last point.
>> I’ve dumped thousands of dollars of my own money into the museum and
>> warehouse. I do it because I can, when I can. I’ve spent countless hours
>> there over the past six+ years, and hope to spend countless more. I’ve
>> donated machines, both to vcf and other groups now too, and I am just an
>> amateur compared to what others have given, including you. So many people
>> both past and present making this group what it is. A shame you feel the
>> need to knock it down now that you’ve “left” of your own volition.
>> Vcfed is a non profit. What’s Kennett Classic? (Which I love by the way
>> and has no need to be anything but what you want it to be, but you
>> mentioned a business.....more than once..... when discussing vcf)
>> Tony

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