From the night before, when I walked into the pre-festival atmosphere at Providence Place to try and get my bearings and was welcomed with a huge hug by producer David Weatherly, a man I haven't seen since the end of January, 'til I put the last folded piece of table-covering-velvet in my car to drive away last night, it was a blast. If craft fairs hold any appeal for you whatsoever, you should go ahead and mark a Save the Date in your calendar for sometime around this week, one year out. Roys Folks Craft Fair 2008 is a day I'm already looking forward to and I'm not even over the Sleep-Deprived, Achey Muscles, Gotta Take The Rest Of All That Booth Stuff Back To Storage residuals from yesterday. What a complete blast this day was! Of course, I could be saying this because the Melody Watson Booth was in the same neighborhood as and his friends Clyde Manus and Charlie Glenn and another friend of theirs whose name I didn't catch no matter how many times I shot photos for him or he hugged me. But I don't think so. (Yes, I do typically introduce myself to people before we're at the hugging phase...consider this a side effect of that lack of sleep I mentioned and will no doubt mention again.)
On the phone last night a friend who came to enjoy the fair summed it up best. "Everyone was just so nice!" she said. That's when it hit me just how much I agreed with her sentiment - and how refreshing that was. Throughout the day there was just a feeling that I was hanging out with old friends and family members. It didn't matter that I'd never met most of the other people with booths. Something about the selection process that Roy Ackland and David Weatherly use when choosing who to feature on the Roy's Folks TV show weeds out anything "undesirable." No mean people. No grumpy people. Just "Happy to be of help if I can," and "It's so great to meet you!" people...wall-to-wall. No matter why they're on the show, whether they're artists or craftpersons, musicians, writers, they make lotion and soap, or they have some other intriguing passion, every single person I met yesterday made me feel at home while I was at their booth.
My zipcode was the best, too. The folks I mentioned in the first paragraph serenaded us off and on throughout the day, playing guitars, banjos, bass and these other interesting handcrafted percussion instruments. And better than their music, they were a hoot to hang out with. I got an upright bass lesson, the greatest stories, a bunch of hugs, an apple pie fritter delivered to my booth for breakfast, and an invitation to what is apparently a fairly honkin (read 400 guests,) party in the mountains in a few weeks. Made me miss Granddaddy. 'Cause for my money, there's very little that's as much fun as hanging out with a country guy over the age of 60 or so. (Of course my Granddaddy still has 'em beat, but in his absence I couldn't have found any finer company.
Lynn Salsi's booth was beside me and may I tell you that woman can work a room!? I'm more the "Please ask me any questions you have but I'll be over here not hovering too awful much while you look at my work" kinda' girl, but Lynn? Not so much. And she sold some books, too. It didn't hurt, of course, that a pretty significant percentage of the kind of people who come to Roy's Folks Craft Fair are into their regional history and Lynn has written more than one book that would fall under that category.
Among those attending, I also got to see friends, former co-workers, and strangers who seemed like friends. I sold more than enough pieces to make the whole thing worth my time, gave out business cards to scads of people including a few who may be calling to talk to me about selling my jewelry in their shops, and even took a little time once or twice for some pretty excellent flirting.
Not a bad way to spend a Friday, eh?
Photos courtesy B. Salsi.
Although I've sadly had to back out of participating in the 2008 Roy's Folks Craft Fair, I wanted to make sure everyone who's looking gets this link. Click here to get all the information about that day's event!