Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tupelo, Mississippi

Gum Tree Arts Festival

Friday: Drove over to Tupelo, about an eight hour trip from the house. No way to avoid a trip through Memphis, TN. I hate driving through Memphis. We only saw two wrecks and one load of industrial scrap metal accidentally dump in the middle of the I-240 Loop on this trip through.

Got down to the Lee County Courthouse for setup around four o'clock. Setup for this show is difficult. The area surrounding the courthouse is raised, fenced and slopes toward the street. The only access to our booth location was via seven concrete steps. Using any type of platform dolly or two-wheeled hand truck was impossible. Everything had to be carried up the steps one piece at a time. Bummer!

Jo and I headed back to the motel around 8:30 PM. We got the canopies and fixtures set up and all the pottery and spoons into our booths but left the merchandise in boxes for the night.

The Salvation Army provided breakfast for us starving artists.

Saturday: Back down to the show by 7 AM to finish setting everything up and getting ready for the show to open.

Thunderstorms had be forecast to move through the area mid-afternoon, but the line of severe weather slowed down. That was a good news/bad news situation. It was great that good weather for the show held all day. However, the fellow in the booth next door showed us the mid-PM storm track on his Blackberry. North central Arkansas and southern Missouri were getting pounded.

Entertainment on the back stage included young ladies dancing.

Normally we just close up our booths and leave all the pots on the shelves overnight, but decided to repack all the merchandise because of the bad weather in the forecast. We were late to the Awards Presentation and supper held after the show. We missed all the self-congratulatory BS and arrived just in time to chow down. My heart was broken.

The line of severe weather finally moved into the Tupelo area around 10 PM when we were "safely" back at the motel. Tornado warning sirens blared a little later. The office called, saying we could come to the lobby for protection, but Jo and I decided we were better off in our ground-level room instead of the glass-enclosed lobby.

The storms passed though without any damage in our immediate area.

There was a fake rock wall to climb. I didn't.

Sunday: Back down to the show at 7 AM so we could set the pots back out. No damage to our booth. Some folks that didn't bother battening down the hatches Saturday evening did lose some work.

Sunday sales were slower that Saturday. (They almost always are.) Still, it pretty good show for Jo and I. Lots of last minute Mother's Day gifts sold.

The show closed at five o'clock. It was around 8:30 by the time we finished packing everything up and carrying it back down those seven steps.

A shot of the crowd on Sunday afternoon.

Monday: Made the trip back home. Only saw one wreck and dodged a couple of firetrucks in Memphis. Everything was okay at the house. The worst of Saturday's storms had hit to our north in Missouri.

The main food court late Sunday afternoon.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

Good to hear that all was well with your set up and you arrived home safely. I like the shot of the crowd. I hope those are your work of the built in frogs in the dishes. Looks like a great item to own. Who babysits the dogs while you are away?? I be they miss you and Jo when you are away.
I also bet you didn't miss all the BS at the awards dinner.

Dave @ Around Alaska said...

Glad the storms missed you and you missed the wrecks. Sounds like a good weekend.

smilnsigh said...

So, good trip all round.

Yeah, I'd really hate having to go through any big city. Yuckkkkkkk...

But then, it makes us more appreciative of whatever form of "the sticks" we are lucky enough to live in. :-)

Glad you're home safe and all is well.


Tom said...

I'm amazed at an 8 hour Drive... I'd have to sell everything I own just to pay the fuel bill.. and if we drove anywhere over 4 hours we would fall off this island of ours into the sea.
As always a great post Marvin and a good insight on how others go about their life.

dot said...

Great shot of the girl with all the hair!