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"Big As TEXAS: Lessez le bon temp rouller"

Big As
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Big As TEXAS: Lessez le bon temp rouller took place from March 12 to 14, 2004, in Corpus Christi, Texas. It was the ninth Big As TEXAS Assembly.

Friday night opened with a Mexican buffet. Each table had a host or hostess who introduced newcomers to old timers. As a get acquainted activity, tables acted as teams to try to answer trivia questions about Texas. The team that got the most questions correct all got a string of fancy Mardi Gras beads, in keeping with our theme of Lessez le bon temp rouller. Following door prizes, we had a late night swim in the hotel's heated indoor pool.


Image: women making masks.

Saturday began early with a mask making workshop. Crafts was a first at Big As TEXAS, but judging by how many people showed up to create masks, it may not be the last craft activity!

Some mask crafters: (left to right) Sharon M., Jeanette A., and Melissa T. Photo by Terry Lawler Early.
Twenty-two masks were created by some very artistic folks, led by Nora Mills of Connecticut. You may wonder "why masks?" Well, that will be explained further down, so keep reading.

Image: Informal portrait of a woman.
Nora Mills, Presenter for the Mask Making Workshop. Photo by Terry Lawler Early.

Image: Informal portrait of a man.
Following the mask workshop was an informal discussion on the state of the size acceptance movement, led by Ray Hackney of Texas. Participants talked about such things as what was happening in the movement, health issues, and whether or not the Gen Xers felt they needed the movement.

Ray Hackney, leader of the informal discussion on the state of the size acceptance movement. Photo by Terry Lawler Early.

Image: Informal portrait of a woman.
Following lunch, Terry Early of Texas led the hands-on activism workshop, which looked at what was happening in obesity-related legislation. Participants were encouraged to write to their representatives on the federal level regarding the still undecided aspects of the Impact Act. Any pending bills dealing with obesity legislation on a state level were passed out to people from those states so they could review them and act accordingly.

Terry Lawler, presenter of the hands-on activism workshop.

Image: Informal portrait of a woman.
This year we were privileged to have a water aerobics class taught by Melissa Taylor, of Louisiana. In the past, Melissa has taught regular aerobics sessions at Big As TEXAS, but water aerobics was a new treat for attendees. Exercises were adaptable for all levels of fitness.

Melissa Taylor, teacher of the water aerobics class. Photo by Terry Lawler Early.

Saturday dinner was a prime rib buffet, with "desserts to die for". Attendees came to dinner already dressed in their costumes for the Bal Masque. Each attendee was given a ballot to vote for Best Costume. Ballots were counted, and while many received votes, the majority of ballots were cast for Sharon K. of Texas.

Image: Man sitting at a table holding several masks.
Jay Early gives out masks for the Bal Masque. Photo by Terry Lawler Early.
Another Sharon, Sharon W., had made the beautiful plaque which was presented to Sharon K. as winner of best costume.

Image: One woman presenting a plaque to another, in costume.

Sharon W. presents Sharon K. the award for " Best Costume." Photo by Terry Lawler Early.


Many creative costumes were assembled for the dance. Just take a look!
Image: Informal portrait of a man and a woman in costume.

Ray and Sharon W. at the Bal Masque. Photo by Ray Hackney.

Image: A man and a woman, in costume, dancing.

Carmen Miranda (Sharon K.) and the Sheik of Araby (Bion P.) at the dance. Photo by Terry Early.

Image: Informal portrait of a man and a woman in costume.

Jay and Sharon K. (AKA Carmen Miranda) at the dance. Photo by Ray Hackney.

Image: Informal portrait of a man.

Our Keynote Address was delivered by special guest Paul Delacroix, of Dallas. Paul is an artist and activist, and in a few months he can add "gentleman farmer" to his credentials!

Keynote Speaker Paul Delacroix. Photo by Terry Early.

Image: People dancing.

The Bal Masque, or masked ball, took place following the keynote address. (Now you know why we made masks!) Our DJ was Blue Moon Productions from Corpus Christi.

A group dancing. Photo by Terry Early.

The closing brunch program was a discussion of activities for International No Diet Day (May 6) that can be done by groups as well as by individuals. Some of the group activities that have been done in the past included answering phones for PBS fund drives, giving out informational packets at malls or near Jenny Craig facilities, and adding or deleting information on diet signs stuck on public access property. Ideas for individuals included sending cards and making book markers for the public library or bookstores on the dangers and futility of severe dieting.

The Big As TEXAS Assembly concluded at noon. At least officially.

Image: People at a table.

For the last three years, those staying over until Monday have gathered on Sunday evening for a dinner out, following the close of Big As TEXAS. This year, sixteen of us went to a Corpus Christi eatery called The Two Georges.

Dinner at The Two Georges. Around the table, from left: Terry, Sharon M., Jay, and Nora. Photo by Ray Hackney.

Image: Two men and a woman at the table.

Jay with Nora and Neil of Connecticut, at The Two Georges. Photo by Ray Hackney.


More photos of the event.
Return to the Big As TEXAS homepage.

4/2004