Just when you think your profession has gotten way too serious, somebody like Richard McCoy comes along and shakes things up! Richard invented the AIC Great Debate in 2012 to fill that slot at the end of a four-day conference—last session—when everybody’s brains are fried and it’s time to hit the lobby bar. In 2013, Jodie Utter and I were rooming together and both of us were on AIC Great Debate teams. Luckily. we were debating different topics, so there were no violent pillow fights. Although I thought about the topic a great deal, I really didn’t obsess because I knew there would only be about 40 people at the very last session because the other 1,200-some conference attendees would already have left to shop, nap, or greet friends. Little did I know that there would be about 600 people, people who were raring to egg us on and agitate! in the audience.
This amazing group of AIC veterans debated the role of AIC in promoting emerging professionals. These are some of the most serious, well-respected, hard-working conservators in our field. They might seem intimidating to students, speakers, curators, you name it. And here they are in a serious debate but just being downright silly. I was in the hotel elevator when Peggy and Joyce got in. I found myself having a flashback to a bad acid trip I never had while watching Laugh In! You go, AIC veterans! We depend on your intelligence, leadership, and wit! (And nice glasses Peggy!)