Remaining thankful

AT NOTEBOOK: Tim Baldwin

The IAAPA Expo week is one I look forward to. There is a wonderful feeling of reunion each year. That one-chance-a-year opportunity to meet with so many industry friends is always rewarding.


IAAPA made the right call for 2020. Logical as it was, it still leaves a hollow part inside each of us who embraced the show. It’s just one more thing added to the pile of frustrations and heartbreaks this infuriating year has thrown at us.

Even though we aren’t there in person, I am thankful for the friendships that I would have enjoyed while there. Its November placement always lets me return home for Thanksgiving week more thankful than ever. Even though 2020 isn’t allowing us to see each other in person, hopefully we are all still appreciative of our friends within the industry. As the pandemic started, people were pretty cognizant of calling friends to check on how they were doing. As the reality of the long-term effects set in, we all sort of became dulled to the initial shock. Perhaps we should make an effort as this year winds down to make a return to that. Connect again. Tell each other that we are grateful for their friendship, even beyond the business dealings.

And in that vein, perhaps we should not stop there. We could go through a ream of paper listing the hardships, heartbreak and disappointments this year has wrought. It’s dreadful. But there are still takeaways to be thankful for: stronger quality time with family, opportunities to organize or work on projects, our parks are cleaner and safer than ever, time dedicated to volunteer efforts, a spark to get creative and think in new ways, those long overdue cleaning projects around the house, etc. There were some silver linings.

I think all of us are savvy enough to realize that just by hanging a new calendar in a handful of weeks that the world will not magically change in a finger snap. It will take some time. However, that shouldn’t stop us from being hopeful. I know how much I am missing people, but I am thankful to know this is only temporary. Knowing I will see hundreds of industry friends again is an encouraging light at the end of the tunnel.

On behalf of Amusement Today, allow me to say how thankful we are for the friendship, support and warmth we receive from our industry friends. You are important. We wish everyone a fantastic Thanksgiving and a wonderful holiday season. Please stay safe so that next year will be twice as nice when we meet.

Let us realize that if we have a roof over our head, food on the table, and family and friends to keep us encouraged, we are still richly blessed.

This article appears in the 
NOVEMBER 2020 IAAPA Expo issue
of Amusement Today.
View the entire issue for FREE with our digital edition!