Special NAME Memory of the Month

In honor of NAME's 50th anniversary in 2022, we're asking
several of our longest serving and influential members of
NAME to share some of their early experiences with us. 


For April, we are featuring Bruce Steinke who shares:

Technology and miniatures - a curious path... 

• 1988 I started a new job in SLC as a software engineer. 
• 1988 "Marry me, marry my miniatures” - Judy’s steadfast prenuptial requirement. 
• 1990 Gay 90's Centennial Houseparty, 1st Salt Lake HP! 
• As secretary for the above, I corresponded with Naomi Doss a lot and she was the instigator on recruiting me to the Board. 
• 1991 B J Miniatures was officially born (uh oh - this is getting serious)

• 1993 the World Wide Web went public. Yikes, this is like when you are at the top of that first roller coaster hill, ready to go on a wild ride. 
• 1993 My boss at work calls me into his office to share his discovery of the above. He had found a whopping 3 (that’s right, THREE) websites! Had we been really smart we could have snatched up just about any domain (think “google.com” or “ford.com”) but, oh well... 
• 1996 (9/5/96) Saw the opportunity for our infant B J Minis and grabbed bjminis.com. As a member of the Board at this point, I also thought this new WWW could help NAME. Tried to get name.com & name.org but both were already taken but did grab miniatures.org (9/30/96). 
From 1996 on we saw new tools coming into play like laser cutting/engraving and then 3D printing which raised the bar in so many ways. 
Technology is now just another aspect in our daily lives. I often wonder what will be around in when our grandkids are my age! May the FORCE be with them. 

Take a look at a snapshot from The Wayback Machine. This link is from March 29, 1997: 


For March, we featured Phil and Lynne Joehnk who shared:

When I bought a “Pepperwood Farm” dollhouse plan book by Jackie Kerr Dieber in the summer of 1976, Phil and I didn’t realize how it would change the path of our lives. We met Jean Ellsworth, who had just recently opened a miniature shop and was starting the Miniature Society of Cincinnati Club. She invited us to attend their meetings and as they say “the rest is history”. We joined NAME in 1977. We have had so many experiences over our 47 years as members of NAME. One of those is having served as Museum Chairmen. NAME’s original headquarters were in California but due to the efforts of Carolyn Terrell, Lisa Rupp and many others, the NAME office was moved to Carmel, IN to the house it occupies today. The first floor was set up to be a Museum and the offices were on the 2nd floor. The purpose of the Museum was and is to maintain the history of NAME. This was done and is still being done through displays of centerpieces including one from the very first NAME Houseparty, souvenirs, Gazettes, workshop projects, and AOH members' work. One of our favorite things was attending Houseparties and being given the centerpiece and souvenirs designated for the Museum. The biggest challenge for us was finding space for everything. If you consider a centerpiece, 2 or 3 souvenirs, maybe a special gift, and in recent years a prototype of the Thursday night preconvention workshop for 50 years that takes a lot of space. But what a history and how fortunate NAME was to have members with the foresight to establish a museum and who continue to maintain it. The one thing we are amazed at is the skill level and creativity of miniaturists over the years. We marvel at the workmanship of the members in the different scales. Being chairmen is one of our favorite memories and we are grateful for all the friends and experiences we had because of it. We encourage everyone to visit the NAME Museum when you have an opportunity. Miniatures and NAME have come a long way in 50 years. 


For February, we featured Dorothy Hansen who shared:

I became editor for the Miniature Gazette in 1999. I never dreamed I would continue for 19 years. My background is in graphic design. When NAME needed an editor that could also put the publication together I decided to apply. I had worked with lots of editors in the publishing business so maybe I could do this. I was surprised to be chosen as editor, I joked that maybe I was the only one that applied. I tried to do my best for the members of NAME. I took the job very seriously and tried to listen to what members wanted in the Gazette. The best part of the Gazette was meeting so many NAME members, many have become lifelong friends. Being a miniaturist served me well in the job, especially on the work projects. I understand scale and how things are put together. Miniatures have always been a part of my life. I am a life member of NAME joining over 35 years ago, I received the Academy of Honor in 2006 and was a Mell Prescott recipient in 2017. I love going to National Conventions, Regional Houseparties and State Days, putting faces to names, and forming new friendships. It’s exciting to celebrate 50 years of NAME.


For January, we featured Sylvia Rountree who shared:

In 1968, my mother, a lifelong miniature lover, asked my Stanford Geology professor brother who was a hobbyist woodworker, to make a dollhouse for my daughter. It was similar to the one my sister and I played with as children.  Later in 1969, on a family vacation to Mother's in California, she took us to Knotts Berry farm to see Mott's miniatures. I bought a few pieces at their gift shop and returned home eager to decorate and furnish our dollhouse. I also brought my Mother's childhood German bisque doll back to Ohio with me. I went to a local doll hospital for some repairs on the doll and enjoyed the wonderful dollhouse on display in the shop. I began to collect antique dolls also and while on visit to the shop, I heard about the Cleveland miniature show. I attended the show and it was there I heard about the formation of a new organization called the National Association of Miniature Enthusiasts or NAME.  Of course I couldn't wait to join and it's been a wonderful 50 years. Congratulations NAME!!