The Picnic in Central Park
John Broughton's "The Picnic in Central Park"

The Luncheon on the Grass
Manet's "The Luncheon on the Grass" 

The What Would You do for a BlackBerry Storm? Contest is now a part of smartphone / blog history (wrap up post here), but we did have one unfinished piece of business to take care of...  What happened to the handmade BlackBerry Storm quilt that sold on ebay for $1000? 

The money part of this story is easy. The $1,000 went to the Toys for Tots Foundation! As for Heather Schilling's BlackBerry Storm quilt, once the auction ended I shipped it off to New York City to the hands (err.. bed) of its deserving new owner and CrackBerry Hero, John Broughton. I'll let John tell you how he welcomed home the new quilt...

The Storm Quilt Homecoming
by John Broughton

Here's the 'welcome' we gave to the Storm Quilt here in Manhattan. A group of us had fun brainstorming on the best way to commemorate the occasion. Our second choice idea was to display the quilt from the Brooklyn Bridge and have its picture taken from the South Street Seaport. But I wanted something more cultural, more meaningful, but still in the spirit of the Storm competition and the creativity of members.

Our winning idea was to pay homage to the Bow Wow Wow controversy back in the 80s, where that band remade the classic Manet painting "The Luncheon on the Grass". We thought it would be a blast to recreate the scene in Central Park, especially since it involved a couple of mostly nude girls freezing their cute butts off in the middle of December! It was quite cold.

Despite only getting one shot in before we were removed by the park police, the photographer, Cynthia Vesser, delivered an amazing photo. The area of the Park that we were in was not covered by permits, and because of the partial nudity we had to pack up the shoot and go before we were able to finalize the scene. We did manage to convince the park police for one shot before leaving and the attachment is what was produced in that shot!

Personally, I think the photo was well worth the excitement! We tried to pay attention to detail -if you squint, you can even see blackberries in the front (but also my cowboy boots still on the girl in the back - she didn't have time to take them off and stand in the freezing stream). We had wanted to better position the quilt to show the Blackberry name or CB logo, but we had no time. Every time I see the picture, I can still visualize the two park police, standing just out of the frame of the photo on the left - and especially their surprise when the girls started disrobing for the shot :-)

For the Storm, I borrowed a friend's Storm - he had to go without for about 5 hours on Sunday and he was happy to get it back (I didn't tell him I almost dropped the Storm in the stream at one point). I'm the guy proudly holding the Storm; I still have two more weeks to go before I can get mine!

The quilt was well-protected by a carefully-placed tarp and is now adorning its proper position on my bed. It looks fantastic and I couldn't be happier with what a great job Heather did. Hope you like what we did, all in the spirit of what any fan would do! ##

A CrackBerry Hero 

And with that, I officially name John Broughton a CrackBerry Hero. He gave $1,000 to a great cause and welcomed the Storm Quilt in true CrackBerry fashion - over the top!! 

What's really awesome about this story is that John isn't even a BlackBerry owner yet! When I first contacted John after he won the auction he clarified the situation...

Must seem strange for someone to buy a quilt with a BlackBerry on it and not own a BlackBerry. You got me on that one!

Here in Manhattan, while some carriers are decent around the city (but don't get me started on AT&T!), only Verizon is pretty much rock-solid everywhere, especially within brownstones and large buildings (with metal roofs and wiring that turn them into Faraday cages). Since smartphones must be phones first (which some people forget), that pretty much makes me locked in to Verizon.

But, I LOVE big touchscreens - the ability to surf and use Google maps are my two ‘killer apps'. But, as you know, Verizon has the crappiest phones. Currently suffering with the Samsung i760 - I wouldn't wish this phone on anyone - and yeah, I should have gotten the Curve a long time ago at least, my bad. And don't mention their first fullscreens - the Dare and the Instinct - ugh and double-ugh. I even switched to AT&T for a couple weeks this summer after waiting in line for hours for the iPhone 3G, only to sadly return it a couple weeks later after hitting dead zone after dead zone. So, to sum up, the Storm represents a NIRVANA for me! Tethering, big screen, BlackBerriness, Verizon network, all in one device!
I lurked on CB for the last few months (love the site) and eagerly devoured all tidbits on the Storm (also haunted Engadget, Gizmodo, etc. for the same). So, my BlackBerry virginity notwithstanding, I am secretly a big fan!
Again, the main thing is that it's all for a great cause, and the best motivation was seeing Heather's awesome video showing all her work and attention to detail.
As if that all weren't enough, John is an all around good guy. In his spare time he organizes charity events - be sure to check out for more details.

Congrats again John! Enjoy the quilt! You deserve it!!