In the previous two years I’ve done this show, it generally starts out on the wrong foot but invariably turns out to be wonderful. This time was definitely no exception!
Thursday afternoon was set-up. Thursday afternoon was also the time that Mother Nature herself purchased a brand new wind machine and joyfully tested it out on Edmond and the greater Oklahoma City area. “Oh, just look at all those little booths down Broadway! I just want to knock them down like dominoes, they’re so cute!!”
Considering that each tent was using similar fabric as (and shaped similarly to) wings from a small aircraft, keeping the entire show from being violently wrapped around the southern side of every building in Guthrie over the next few seconds was no easy task. Thankfully, the city fought her efforts by offering at least one 55-gallon barrel of water to each booth! That worked out to about 440 pounds of weight, which seemed heavy enough to keep an entire small Kansas town from being whisked away by an EF1 tornado.
It worked! On the first day of the show, not a single tent went missing! The first day also gave me:
The Strangest Sale Ever
It was my only sale of the day. I hardly sell anything on the first day of a multi-day show, so this shouldn’t have happened in the first place, but I’ll take what I can get.
Two young women walk into the booth and become awestruck by my image “Monument Valley Sunset”. The 24″ framed piece is either too big or costs too much, so they search all through the print bin for a smaller one. The 12″ matted print being the size that it is doesn’t have the same ‘gravity’ as the larger print, so they almost leave empty-handed. I tell them that I have an 18″ framed copy and can create an 18″ matted copy as well. One of the women opts to buy the matted one and hands me her credit card. I ring up her purchase (with my fancy-schmancy iPhone app, of course), and tell her that it will take me 3-5 days to print it and mail it to her.
This is where it gets weird.. She points at the 18″ framed piece I still have sitting on the podium, “I thought you were going to take that one apart?”
I had never taken one of these apart, mainly because I don’t put them together. I didn’t think I even had the tools to take one apart — oh wait, it takes a flat-head screwdriver. “Uh, okay.. I guess I’ll give it a shot.” Knowing it will take me a few minutes, the two women head to the food court and tell me that they’ll be back to pick it up in a few minutes.
I get cracking. There’s little screws and springy bits going every which way. There’s a big sheet of glass, and there’s the print, but it’s got tape all around it. After 20 minutes or so, I finally extract the matted image from the frame and find homes for the glass, screws, and miscellaneous frame bits. I fill out the corresponding COA and bag up the print just in time for the women to return.
They’re overjoyed! I got it done, and they didn’t have to wait a week to pick up the image! I hand the one girl the image, and (I guess to make up for my trouble, and to free up a hand to carry the print) she gives me her half-eaten funnel cake.
Hey! Free food! (..but I’ve had a cold ever since then, hrm.)