I first met Pat Johnson at StampFest Orlando in June 1997 – it was the first show I ever did and she is one of the few who actually saw my “deer in the headlights” expression that first day on the show circuit. We still laugh about it.
Pat was working in a booth across the aisle from ours in Clearwater over the weekend – when she arrived on Saturday, she brought me a handful of pictures she found in a box recently. They were taken at StampFest Orlando in 1998 – seventeen years ago – and this is the best one . . .
Wow – were we ever really that young? This was the first show where we ever used a demo person – Sue Rothamel from USArtQuest introduced us to Anna Ely, who has worked with us at Florida shows ever since (and in the early days even traveled with us for a while). Those shirts were only a few months old at that point. Karen and I wore ours out within a few years . . .
. . . but Anna wore hers to the show last weekend! I wish I had done a better job of getting this picture in focus, but we were in a hurry to get out after the show (more on that below) and at the last minute I remembered that I needed a shot of Anna and the shirt for the blog.
This is part of why we were in a hurry to get out – Matheos Hall where the Clearwater convention is held is the fellowship hall of the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, and they are connected by an outdoor covered walkway. About 40 minutes after the show ended, the fire alarm went off in the fellowship hall. You know how we all are with alarms these days – we ignored it and just kept on tearing down our booths. That is, until someone opened the side door and we saw smoke pouring out of the church sanctuary.
We were fortunate – the firemen allowed us to continue while they fought the fire. Lots of equipment – even a crane – and it was quite a commotion. I found an article online the next day and there was a lot of damage to the sanctuary – but services were held in Matheos Hall. I was very impressed with the Clearwater Fire Department.
Here are two other unrelated images from the show . . .
This is Daisy – she belongs to Linda Malcom from Lost Coast Designs, and travels with her to shows. Cute little thing, just as friendly as can be – and incredibly well-behaved. And Melinda Sutton was demoing Chameleon Pens in our booth, so I set up one of those Tim Holtz Stella Edge Lamps that we waited so long for to light her work space. You can make it incredibly bright – our booth has bright lights all through it and the booth looks dark by comparison.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
It is entirely possible that I may have to retract my rant from yesterday – late in the day, Gary called Ranger again and discovered that a big shipment of Cracked Pistachio goodies is headed our way – may even get here by tomorrow. If so, we will be back in the saddle again . . .