Monday, September 27, 2010

Boot Day

Yesterday in Anderson, South Carolina was the first all-day gulley washer I have been around in months – we haven’t had a decent rain here in Southwestern Ohio since June (at least until I got home today).  It was pouring when I got up, then it took a break and became gentle rain, and then it broke loose again.  I could hear the rain pounding the metal roof in the Anderson Civic Center off and on all afternoon.

Didn’t make the connection when I saw a little boy walking down the aisle wearing blue and fluorescent green T-Rex boots.  But I thought they were cute so I watched him in the booth across the aisle.  Then I saw a second pair of boots . . . and a third . . .


. . . and discovered it wasn’t a coincidence.  These three decided to dress for the weather.


I took a couple of shots when they came into our booth – but I missed the T-Rex graphics!  Left to right: Cindy Radford, Warren Whitfield, and Wendy Whitfield

And we appreciate them wading out to see us at the show!

Friday, September 24, 2010

What We Do While Visions of Sugarplums Dance in Your Heads . . .

Let’s face it.  For many of you, the night before the convention comes to town is like Christmas Eve.  You know who you are – you’re so excited that you can’t sleep, and you can’t wait to get the convention center on Saturday morning.  We spent all day Friday putting up the Christmas tree and loading up on the presents underneath (yeah, you have to pay for them, but work with me here). 

So what do we do after a long day of setup?  You’d be surprised.  Some vendors make plans to go out to dinner.  Others make trips to the local stamp store.  Still others go back to their rooms and work on their demos and make it/take its for Saturday.

We’re in Anderson, South Carolina this weekend.  And this time . . . some of us went bowling.

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This is Ron Justison from The Paper Cut showing off his form.  Forgive the blurred photos – I was never very good at catching someone in motion, and the lighting in a bowling alley isn’t very good.


Here’s Melinda Doster – this weekend she’s demoing for Impression Obsession.  This outing was her idea.


And we had a cheering section, though some of them are a little camera-shy.  Left to right, Cindy & K.K. from Impression Obsession, and Duane Steines from Designs Unlimited.

But no pictures of me, as usual.  I was taking them.  If you look at the pictures and videos of my son when he was little, most of the time it looks like he had no father – because I was always behind the lens.  But you do get one shot that I’ll claim, along with the story behind it, which Melinda and Ron had me share with the peanut gallery.


This is one of my bowling shoes.  Pretty nondescript, though the stitching has worn through on the sole and it’s beginning to separate.  What makes these shoes worth mentioning is this – in two weeks they will be 35 years old.  For my 17th birthday in 1975, my parents gave me an orange bowling ball (my high school colors were orange and black), a bag, and a pair of shoes.  The ball lasted about five years before I replaced it.  The bag made it until two years ago when it finally wore out.  But the shoes live on, season after season . . .

And they come in handy every now and then in the community league I bowl in during the winter.  We have quite a few twenty- and thirty-somethings, and some of them have to gripe occasionally about how rough their day was or how tired they are or how sore they are or some such thing.  I have an easy response – Oh, knock it off  . . . my bowling shoes are older than you are.”

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Just Another Saturday at Marco’s . . .

I will be on the road again this weekend. Actually, I will be on the road the next three weekends – and each of the three shows will be in new venues. This weekend (September 25-26), the show is in Anderson, South Carolina (just down the road from the old location in Greenville) at the Civic Center. Next weekend (October 2-3), we’ll be in Fort Wayne, Indiana at the Allen County Fairgrounds – and that’s close enough that I can come home and work the football game after setup on Friday. And the final stop (October 9-10) is in York, Pennsylvania – still at the fairgrounds, but this time in Memorial Hall East. All shows are 10:00-5:00 Saturday and 11:00-4:00 Sunday. And our gala giveaways are always an hour before the show ends each day. So come out and see us!

For me, being on the road isn’t unusual – but it does feel a little strange when I have been home for the past seven weeks . . .

Experiences like I had this past Saturday are quite common in the fall when I’m in town. After a busy Friday evening announcing the local high school football game, I go to the mail center in the morning to catch up on whatever project needs catching up on. And since I’m the only one here, I bring a certain four-legged canine along for the ride. At lunchtime, we usually head for the store so I can take some pictures – and Zoe can hold court!

Zoe is far more popular – and she knows it – than I could ever hope to be (of course, she’s also cuter). I was busy taking pictures of class projects and this week’s make & takes, so it took a little while before I noticed the crowd she was drawing. I finally sat down and started snapping pictures, and these are just a few of the 15-20 people who made her day over the 20 minutes we were there . . .

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Little kids are always Zoe’s favorites, and both of these came in with their grandmothers. Sydney (in pink) was with Becky Evanoff, and Jenna came in with Donna Sheetz.

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But my dog will beg for a scratch from anyone of any generation – and from any distance. Zoe thinks everyone she meets is her new best friend.


And Barry Claus has forgotten to bring the promised treats for weeks – but not this time. And yes, Zoe’s affections can be bought – she thinks Barry is wonderful . . .

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

I Love Modern Technology . . .

Technology has changed so much in my lifetime.  The first black and white TV we had when I was a kid didn’t even have UHF (and didn’t need it, since there were no UHF stations in our area).  I can remember going to my grandparents’ house on Sunday nights in the early 60s so we could watch Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color – in color. 

But oh how times had changed by the mid 70s – we got our first color television in 1975 and could pick up lots of channels with the rotor antenna on our roof.  At my high school’s alumni banquet 25 years later, I read a series of numbers (2, 5, 7, 9, 12, 16, 19, 22, 48) and got a laugh when I identified the series as everything we could get on our televisions when we graduated.  By then, with the advent of cable, it didn’t seem like much.

Then came the internet, with live streaming, and now it seems like everything is available instantly at the click of a mouse.  But it’s a sign of my advancing years that sometimes I forget . . .

I got an e-mail from Harriet Swindell last week after I posted the note about her Reincarnations and the craft fair she and her friends are doing this weekend.  It seems the local Fox affiliate in St. Louis had heard about the craft fair, looked at the vendor list, and invited Harriet and Peggy to be on their morning show.  When I got to work this morning, I found out that today was the day and they were going to be on in less than an hour.  And my first reaction – again – was “I really wish I could see it.”

It was at least five minutes before my brain engaged and I realized that Fox 2 in St. Louis probably streams their local news shows.  Sure enough . . .


That’s Harriet on the right, Peggy in the middle, and several of their little friends in the foreground.  And I got to see the whole interview live.  As I said, I love modern technology.

But my wheels of change turn slowly.  I found out last week that my brother and his wife gather around the web cam every Sunday and have a face-to-face conversation with their son (live from his college dorm) on Skype.  Not sure if I’m ready for that one yet . . .

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hitchhiker with Sticky Little Feet . . .


Stopped at a traffic light yesterday morning, and this little critter decided to take a rest stop on my windshield.  Little did he know that it would be nearly a mile before I would stop again – and at 50 mph he was hanging on for dear life.  I pulled over on the street next to the mail center and shot this photo, figuring he would fly away immediately.

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But those sticky little feet still weren’t moving when I parked, so I got a couple of closer shots, figuring my son would enjoy them.  You probably won’t . . .