Reflections on Tinley Park NARBC

Mar 22, 2013
The Reptile Report
by Cindy Steinle

The Reptile Report - I really hate the use of the word industry to describe us reptile folks. Really, I feel it cheapens who we are as a whole into one very small compartment based on financial gain rather than what we really are. What we really are is a Community. That feeling of community and family is what I walked away with from this past weekend’s North American Reptile Breeders Conference in Tinley Park.

Working a show with no booth is something I have honed to a fine art over the years. In reality, it is a lot of stopping and chatting about new things coming up, legal issues and of course this show, my new position over here at The Reptile Report was still buzzing. In reality, all that my job required me to bring was my camera and laptop, but see that is where the whole community ties in. I store and transport the booth for Psychotic Exotics at home, so into the truck that went! I also sit on the Board of Directors of the Chicago Herpetological Society, so supplies for their booth were packed up. Then there is the added chauffeur service I have always offered. Every little thing helps when you work as a community.

Rather than walking away with the awe of some of the cool animals I saw, I felt the love we all had for people this weekend. Yeah there was the MONSTER hognose that Dan Krull affectionately called his “new pet ball python” and a really cool patterned ball called “two face”. There was also the sign that had me giggling all day over at Twin City’s booth by their macklots that simply said “Got real Balls? Get a Mack!” Oh and did I mention all the stunning retics? But that isn’t what left me feeling good.

Through out the weekend there was a feeling of cohesiveness and unity. The auction brought so many people together with a feeling of warm and fuzzy love. The support for both USARK and PIJAC was amazing. What however was really touching was the support for a fellow herper, Rico Walder. Being a morelia freak, it is a given that I adore Rico, but to watch complete strangers give a little bit. Brian Barczyk had his friends in from Australia. They ponied up a chunk of American dollars as a group and after some harassment from Brian Potter, they tossed in some of their own native coin. It reminded me of the love the night of the Pro Exotics special auction and also the actions I have seen for Sean Bradley. There was a coming together as a family.

An industry does not care about the little parts. From delivering sandwiches to making donations big and small, we proved we are more than an industry. Companies working together on projects and competitors sharing a hug. We are more than an industry, we are a community and a large spread out family.

Cindy Steinle

Director of the upcoming TRR Marketplace

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