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Monday, July 14

got culture?

A friend says we art show folk are really just carnies, setting up our tents, making a buck then folding up and moving on. Usually, I agree with him. Usually, we are set up on city streets with ciggy butts in the gutter and the smell of kettle corn in the air. But this was Chautauqua, I reminded myself. There would be culture. And then we checked into our motel.

You have to remember that the accomodations on the grounds of the Institution look something like this:

and cost 2 grand a week.

We opted for a motel a few miles away that had this for the in-room coffee pot:

That carnie image was very clear as I drank the brew from that coffin pot. And watched one of the 3 TV channels provided by the 20 year old TV that actually had a radio tuner in it. I thought the brochure said cable TV. It said color TV.

But then we got to the show and there was a whole lot of beauty ...and a really crazy set up. We were to come in and set up on the grass and then move our canopies into the street an hour later. Sadly, we had a gimungous tree right where that first bit of work should be taking place, so we basically propped the thing half way up and watched everyone else get organized

I was a little worried, until I looked down the line and saw controlled chaos everywhere. We were not alone. I couldn't imagine how it would all come together.

But these folks know what they are doing. Little by little it did come together. A glimpse of how it looked early the next morning before the crowds came :

I'll give more details next time, but I'll just say this: The organizers gave us weekend gate passes so we could attend some of the concerts. We were too tired for Duke Ellington on Friday night, but we caught the symphony on Saturday. One morning, I exited the ladies room and heard laughter. I wandered over a few yards to the ampitheater and caught some of Garry Trudeau's Doonesbury stories.

This was not your typical craft show.

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