Stave's Easter At The White House

Stave's Easter At The White House

April 4, 1988

Imagine sitting in your tiny office in the tiny state of Vermont when suddenly the phone rings. It’s the White House – well, to be precise, a representative of the White House – requesting your participation in the Easter festivities! That’s exactly what happened in January of 1988 when our Chief Tormentor picked up the phone to find a very friendly and excited Peggy Henkel (Program Director) on the other end of the line. For the next thirty minutes, Steve listened with great interest as Ms. Henkel described the festivities that take place on the South lawn – egg roll, toy corner, artist exhibit, and Crayola mural painting (just to name a few). And they wanted Stave to be a part of the year’s activities by bringing a large, but simple puzzle with oversized pieces. Of course, Steve jumped at the opportunity, and with the event a few short months away, plans and preparations immediately began.

We knew we were to bring the extra-large puzzle with oversized pieces for the children’s ctivities and set to work designing that. Since we were also allotted an exhibition space, we crafted the set of five puzzles included in the now sold-out Limited Edition Doll House Series. To make this series of puzzles extra special and custom to the occasion, we designed and crafted the smoke from the chimneys into the shape of bunnies. This certain set of puzzles was dubbed the Easter Doll House Village.


A few months of correspondence ensued between Stave and the White House representatives. There were forms and fact sheets to be filled out and personal information given, all so we could be cleared for the event. When the confirmation letter arrived, we learned of a 6:00 a.m. arrival time for a 10:00 a.m. start time (gulp). And so, Carol and Carlye packed the activity and exhibit puzzles in a blue plastic travel case large enough to hold the contents of a small refrigerator and headed to DC for the April 4, 1988 festivities.

We felt so honored to be invited to the White House! Carlye and Carol had a blast working on a giant Stave puzzle with hundreds of children at the annual Easter celebration while their parents gazed in admiration at the complete Easter Dollhouse Village. The actual hosts of the event, President Raegan, and First Lady Nancy were on holiday so it was Vice President George Bush and wife, Barbara, who hosted the event - accompanied by their children and 5 of their 10 grandchildren. This was a very busy and exciting day in Stave history and I’m sure Carol and Carlye were just as exhausted as all the children that eventually became scattered across the lawn napping in strollers or on picnic blankets.

Written by Jennifer

Jennifer runs the company with Paula and is proud to keep Steve's legacy of puzzle torment alive. Jennifer has been with Stave since 1987, making her Stave's most seasoned crafter! She told Steve many, many years ago that she didn't want his job, but today she is rocking it! Jennifer is a tried-and-true puzzlenut. Jennifer enjoys crosswords, sudoku, and word puzzles in addition to the Stave puzzles she has crafted for her family. She also enjoys a good mystery book like Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. Have you read them? Jennifer also loves a good concert; she hopes to see Gladys Knight, Smokey Robinson, Adele, and Bruno Mars someday!