Thursday, December 2, 2010

two choppers too much

As we walked out of the party, we overheard the man behind us say to his wife, “I just can’t talk Dave out of buying that second helicopter”.
Every avenue taken in life leads to something new and different. When I retired from truck driving I knew I would need to work at least part time to supplement my income. I thought I would probably end up with a nice cushy job, maybe computer work from home, maybe I would look good in one of those handsome red vests at Lowes. I figured on a part time job, less than 20 hours a week, ten minutes from my house.
Emmy altered my plans by producing high quality bead embroidered jewelry. Instead of a nice cushy job, close to home, I assist her in selling her wares. We travel the country in our truck camper from one arts and crafts festival to another. The traveling is sometimes nice, sometimes a drag, a two-day show usually includes three consecutive-twelve hour days of hectic activity. It has brought us in contact with a very diverse group of people.
Not long ago we participated in the “Fall for the Arts” show at Lake Gaston near Littleton, NC. The show takes place at four or five beautiful homes near the lake.
It isn’t your average art festival. The Gaston Lake area includes two states and five counties. Because of the diverse geography and multiple municipalities, many residents feel overlooked by local agencies for financial support. This was only the 3rd year for the show. The group producing the show is called O’Sail, (the Organization to Support the Arts, Infrastructure and Learning).
O’Sail aspires to raise money for local causes, support artists, and among other things produce high quality arts’ shows. Money raised at previous events has been given as grants to local fire departments for computer and life saving equipment and training to perform rescue and recovery operations. Other organizations in need received grants from O’Sail for safety and education programs.
Emmy and I have never dined as well as we did for this show. The group provided a great chicken barbecue after “set-up” on Friday night, with an open bar beforehand. There were hors d’oeuvres served during the show for artists and patrons alike and a wonderful (typically southern) boxed lunch including sweet tea served in a Mason jar. The weather was beautiful. Our space location was on the front porch of a guest house, a few hundred well-manicured feet from a beautiful mini-mansion main house.
The home owners at our location were not only gracious and welcoming, but hunting enthusiasts as well. We shared our porch with a small stuffed bear who became Emmy’s assistant, holding a few necklaces displayed in his outstretched front paws.
Most of the shows we attend are either free for customers or have a small entrance fee, from five to eight dollars. The Gaston Lake show had a $35 dollar fee for those wishing to view the artworks. I think the high fee produced patrons who were serious art enthusiasts and/or supporters of the O’Sail cause.
Monetarily, for us it was an average show, but a typical show would have up to several thousand people a day pass by our booth. At Lake Gaston there were around two or three hundred. It was a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
At the home of our Friday night reception, where we heard the “helicopter” remark, I had just said to Emmy that the basement room with the bar we were in probably cost more than our whole house in Cattaraugus County.
I hate to admit it, but I sometimes lament that we are not as financially secure now as I had hoped to be. We are very fortunate though; we have a roof over our heads and always have food on the table.
However, just once I would like to overhear someone worried about my dilemma- “Boy, that Terry really shouldn’t be buying another helicopter.”

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