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Wednesday, August 19

Hammondsport Festival of Craft

I enjoy doing this show, even though it really isn't terribly profitable for us. It is a very traditional show with stuff like hair bows and doll clothes and baby bibs and stuffed pumpkins being the "meat" of the show. Nothing wrong with that. I've been known to own a stuffed pumpkin or 2 in my time. But it doesn't bode well for my rather obscure craft. There are some more "artsy" things there, too, but this basically is not an event at which a lot of people will spend 20 bucks or more on a blank book. You can get 5 stuffed pumpkins for that.

I know this about Hammondsport, but the show is run by a couple of really high energy, savvy people, there are worker bees in yellow T's swarming the grounds to help you set up and take down.

Some good friends do the show and we spend the night at one of their homes. The rambling chatter in their sunny kitchen is worth the booth fee. Saturday night is a traditional get together for this group at a Mexican Restaurant. I have my annual alcoholic drink there, a margarita. Or 2.

So, what I'm saying is that I booked this show mostly to pad the gas money fund for our upcoming vacation and to feed my soul. I had realistic expectations.

The trip there is just under 3 hours so we hit the road at 5 and we were rewarded with a Disney sunrise for several miles.

Set up was smooth and when we first saw our spot I thought it would be a good one. Next to the gazebo, in the shade. But as they say in the NFL: upon further review....

The booth was set 8 feet off the path, between 2 food vendors. On my left, frozen wine slushies. On my right, hot fudge and jam. Both were offering samples. As you can imagine, the wine was the more popular attraction. And what that created was a mini wine garden with people slurping slush and chatting amiably in the shade. In front of our booth.

It was hard enough to get people off the path, but when a gaggle of wine slushers obscured us, it was impossible. I rearranged my booth, bringing more product and color to the front. We chatted up anyone who wandered by. I sampled a slushie or 2 myself.

Did I mention it was over 90 and sunny? Upstaters don't do heat well. We are snow people. By 1, crowds in front of the booth were no longer a problem.

I began to look forward to our Mexican dinner.

That was fun. Best Mexican food in New York is found in Bath of all places. San Carlos on Rte 54. Go there. I'll wait.

Sadly, the owner was still waiting for a liquor license for the new location, meaning no annual margarita for me. No matter. We laughed and told stories and there was even a table-hopping magician. My spirits were lifted.

That night we settled in at Leah and Ken's house. Living in the city as I do, the silence of the country is a novelty to be savored. I was lulled by the silence, by the way the moonlight broke through their stained glass panels. It would have been a perfect night had I not made a 3AM trip to the bathroom. Tiptoeing back to bed in the dark, I felt a softness against my ankle, thought it was one of the cats, realized too late it was a footstool, and proceeded to swan dive, grazing my head on an end table, landing on parts of me that should not be landed upon, ending up crumpled between said end table and a chair. I swear, there was exactly enough space for me to fit and that's where I landed. 6 inches either way and I would have really been hurt. That guardian angel of mine is working OT.

Russell sat with me until we were sure nothing odd was going to happen, that I was just bruised and feeling stupid. In retrospect, the best thing would have been for me to jump up, raise my hands over my head, bend one knee forward and declare "Superstar!" like that old SNL skit. I'm too old and bruised for that. The best I could come up with was "The Russian judge gave me a 9"

The next day, hot and sunny again, began with more laughter in Leah's kitchen, bagels and fruit at a sweet cafe in the Village, high hopes. We sold 3 things.

Three things.

Lots of wine slushie mix was sold, though. At exorbitant prices.

People: all you need to do is mix wine, water and OJ. Freeze, scrape or blend. Free.

Anyway, I made enough for gas to Chicago, but we had a nice weekend and it wasn't a show I was counting on or anything. That's next week.

You have to look on the bright side, and the company of friends is very bright indeed.

1 comment:

caseywashere said...

Thank you for this information. I am thinking of doing some shows this year, and I am not really sure which to choose to apply to. I was glad to come across your blog. Informative, and entertainling! Thank you, Casey