If you’ve attended Road to California, undoubtedly you heard many times over the loud speaker: “Attention Quilters. Attention Quilters,” followed by announcements of giveaways, vendor activities, and $5.00 Lecture Classes. Just who exactly does that booming voice belong to? Why none other than the voice of Road to California, Randy Graves.
Randy came to Road with a unique background. For one, Randy has a doctorate in Mechanical Engineering. He worked for NASA for 26 years, has had his own company making sails, and is now retired—sort of. He still stays busy in his field spending a lot of his time volunteering for his alma mater, George Washington University in Washington, D.C.. He has served on their National Advisory Council for their School of Engineering and Applied Sciences for the past 18 years. Randy is also a director with GWERT, a mentoring organization that provides experienced volunteer mentors to student and faculty startups at George Washington. And he is on the Board of Directors of the George Washington Alumni Association. When Randy isn’t working with his GW groups, he spends time with his hobby: doing machine metal work on a milling machine, where one of his projects was designing a four-cylinder airplane engine!!
So how does a man with his background end up being the voice of Road to California? Well, a lot has to do with wife of 52 years, Stevii Graves. Stevii is well known in the quilting world and has been on staff with Road for the past 22 years. One of her main responsibilities is overseeing the judging of the contest quilts. She is also involved in bringing outstanding teachers to the Show.
Six years ago, Stevii invited Randy to come out to Road with her. Not one to sit around, Randy was looking for ways to contribute. In addition to being the voice of Road to California, Randy oversees vendor check in/check out, and runs the Daily Raffles.
For Road 2019, that duty was expanded to include the new Daily Roadie Bucks Raffles. Lastly, Randy helps after the Show with packaging the show quilts to be returned to their owners.
What does the voice of Road to California enjoy most about Road? “Meeting all the interesting people.” Randy’s favorite Road moments are when “the winners of the sewing machine raffles come running down the hall” when their name is announced.
On February 16, 2019, Randy will be celebrating his 80th Birthday!! Randy confided, “I never thought I’d be 80.” He attributes his longevity to staying mentally active with his volunteer work and physically active by playing golf and shoveling snow. (He and Stevii make their home in Virginia). Randy has also taken “massive doses of vitamins every day” for the past 60 years, starting when he was in college. About 30 years ago, he added glucosamine to his regimen to aid in mobility.
Summing up his 80 years, Randy says, “Life is Fun. Every day I wake up it is a great day!”
Randy Graves, the voice of Road to California, is a great asset to the Show. Road to California wishes Randy a very Happy 80th Birthday— and many more!!!]]>