Turning Archive 2006

Bad Day at Farmer's Market -- The Big Blow of '06

Brad Vietje
>After reading about Devon Palmer's great first show experence, I thought I'd relate a not-so-good time I had Tuesday evening. I really wish I had a camera with me, but a video clip would be needed to see the real humor in it.

Around here, farmer's markets usually include crafts, baked goods and such, so I decided to sell bowls at a nearby weekly market. The first 2 weeks went fine, and I sold enough the first day to pay for the booth fee for the whole season. We've been having a ton of rain, so I felt pretty good that it was partly sunny and a pretty nice day Tuesday -- the first in a few weeks -- but a little windy.

Inaddition to bowls, I try to display a few fancy pieces for future referrals for wedding gifts and such, so I had out a few vases, and hollow forms and delicate natural edge goblets.

As each gust came up, I'd lunge after the lighter and more delicate things, eventually boxing them up and protecting them in the car. Then as the wind seemed to calm down I went to a nearby booth to get some food, and up came the "Big Blow of '06"...

The 10 x 10 canopy was spiked, anchored and weighted, and even tied to the open hatch of my wagon. It pulled right up out of the ground, sending the 12" spikes and weights flying at least 30' over the car and across the lot, and the tent inverted, folded in on itself, and did a pirouette and a back-flip right down onto my Volvo wagon ! Good thing it didn't smash the windshield. A lady who's booth was next door tried to grab the canopy, but I knew it was a goner -- all I could see was the very thin, translucent, natural-edged spalted Birch vase take flight, narrowly miss being batted by the collapsing canopy, and tumble and bounce across the pavement...

Not only that, but I twisted my knee jerking around to try to see what was happening (and catch the vase...)

SO, lessons learned. Some items just can't be shown well in outdoor conditions, at least not without sidewalls and calm weather. Bowls and heavy objects seemed to fare pretty well. Lighter stuff needs to be saved for good weather, ot indoor shows. Whatever brand of canopy I have (had) is (was) not nearly strong enough to protect my work. I guess I have to spring for an EZ-UP or something like that.

The Birch piece was ruined, though I can repair it well enough to put it on my mantle -- I'd never sell it with a glued crack. The car was scratched, but not really damaged (hey, with 340,000 miles on her, she's seen worse than that !), and after the market I found a few little things about 200 yards away ! ... sure wish I had my camera with me ...

Still in good humor -- safe spinning,

Brad Vietje
Newbury, VT

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