2013 Edmond Arts Festival (review) – “Look For It In The Freezer Aisle”

Does 74 degrees, sunny, and no wind sound pleasant? NOT TO US! We festival artists are a different breed and we can’t stand that boring crap. It’s just so nice it’s sickening. We want the thrills and excitement of being outside! So, this weekend was perfect — 37 to 52 degrees, 35mph wind, and a little bit of sleet during setup. This is the winter we didn’t get in January! WOO BOY!

I take all these portraits
of mother nature, and THIS is
how she thanks me?!

I kid. The weather was total crap.

We set up on Thursday. I kept checking the Weather Channel every few minutes, and they kept rearranging the hourly forecast — they predicted snow several days ahead of time! (I appreciate that they were wrong!) After a day, they downgraded it to rain, which would run until midnight. The night before, they said the rain would stop at 3pm. Later they updated it to 9pm. Then refined it to a 40% chance at 5pm, but then the wind would stay at 30mph until about midnight. So instead of arriving at 2:pm (which I ordinarily do), I showed up at 6:pm, and brought extra help. Both the rain and wind stopped, but the cold remained to infiltrate every nook and cranny of every layer of clothing.

Friday, first day of the show — I went from wearing my heavy winter coat, to having to use sunscreen at noon, to having to climb back in the coat by 3pm. If you saw an Eskimo Joe look-a-like with a disgruntled look in his eye (but normal-sized teeth), that was me.

Saturday was relentless. Oklahoma wind is the crappiest customer ever — he comes by every year, tries to knock over our booths and never buys anything.

One of my 70lb weights. The cupcake makes it look less-threatening.

Edmond remained unfazed!

It may have been the freakiest weather we’ve had in over a decade, but the city still came out to see us! There were times when I wondered whether the cold was preventing people from removing their wallet from their pockets, but it was still a good show!

Another story about Edmond’s “Twisted House that used to be at 122nd and Broadway”

It’s Edmond, so of course I had to deal with the continuous stream of questions whether my “Tired” house was that old twisted house that used to be on 122nd and Broadway, and find a non-confrontational way for me to say how extraordinarily difficult it would have been for me to take a digital photograph of it before it fell down in 1983 — when I was 7 years old and lived in Kansas.

This ain’t it. (but you can buy it and pretend it is!)

How did the structure finally go down? Nobody seems to have a definite answer, but here are the most popular:

  1. It was torn down for urban development.
  2. It finally went down because of wind.
  3. Punk kids burned it down in the night.

I just heard a new one from a man who visited my booth! First, let’s establish the size of the “grain of salt” by which you should take this story — My only source for this story is a guy who stopped by my booth:

He and a friend Randy, a photographer for a news agency in OKC, planned to photograph the house one evening in 1983. They pulled up on the road next to it, got out to look at it, but there was another man in the distance. He owned the property for the house, and was doing his part to protect it.

He yelled at them to go away, “y’all ain’t got no business being here! Get on out!”

They tried to say they were harmless, “We’re just here to take a couple photos, and we’ll be on our way.” They didn’t cross the fence, so they weren’t trespassing.

The owner was having nothing of it, “I said get the hell out!” He then started shooting at the ground in front of the two guys to show that he meant business.

Bullets were ricocheting, and the two photographers were convinced they had to pack up. Now get ready for the clincher — Before the two got in the car, the news photographer Randy turned to the man telling me the story and said, “I’ll come back later in the night, get one more shot of it, and burn that sucker to the ground.”

The structure was found burning the next morning.

…Welp, there we go!

Bob came back!

Bob’s a good guy. When he visited me at OCCCCC last year, he offered a new name for my “Tired” house — “Her name is Eileen.”

So, yeah! We chatted up a bit, and he offered me a photo opportunity, “The Oklahoma City Union Bus Station is set for demolition soon, so you’ll have to be quick on this…” One day, he was driving by the bus station, looked up and found that the “Bus Station” sign lines up perfectly with the newly-constructed Devon Tower in the background. He thought it was a clever arrangement, and if I had the time, I should head down and photograph that.

“That’s interesting.” I got my iPad out of my pocket. “Let me find something for you…” I started up the LogMeIn app and remoted into my home computer. “Just.. One.. Second.” I’m pecking away, loading up Lightroom and looking for the photos I took at the OKC Festival in 2010, or was it 2011… Let’s see… Ah! There it is!

Devon Bus Station

I already took it! “You know what they say about great minds…” He decided that if I offer that photo at OCCC later in the year, he’ll buy a copy.

Five minutes before the end of the day, he came back anyway to purchase another print. He asked me to sign the back, so naturally:

Bob,
Thanks for Eileen!

– Jason

Quotes From The Show

  • “Did he really say that?” Another visitor overheard someone ask me, “Did you go to all these places?” I couldn’t help but show her my blog post of quotes I’ve heard over the years.
  • “How are you?” … “High.” … “That’s good to hear!” (I dunno, it made me chuckle.)
  • “Did you get pictures of it, or actual fruit?” I have no idea what they were talking about.

Anyway, I’m skipping the opportunity to lose $500 at Lawton next week, and instead I’m off to finish my photoshoot for Cabins in Broken Bow. Then next week is Tulsa Mayfest! See you there!

This entry was posted in Art Festival Reviews.