Sunday, August 30, 2009
Thanks to a new member of our tatting group, I entered a local fair. I didn’t have high expectations, particularly because it took me until several days past the deadline to actually reach the fair registrar. Actually getting my application in required an early-Sunday-morning rendezvous at a gas station several miles from my house, and a hand-off of descriptions and payment worthy of secret agent’s meet-up. Then, that evening, I drove my stuff to the fair, hoping for the best.
I intended to actually get to the fair and find out how I did - and see the other entries - but I couldn’t, in part because I’m working on the article that ate my life. It’s about Underground Railroad stations in my area of Upstate NY. Many are rumored, but few are verified. Well, duh! It was somewhat dangerous to advertise, kind of like selling tickets for your own funeral. Wherever you went, north or south, there were folks on both sides of the issue, and it was sometimes difficult to predict which side they’d favor. Of course, after the Civil War (or the War of Northern Aggression, if you ‘re a Southerner) there were many, many claims of Underground RR stops. Dare we say this could, in times of depressed real estate values, up the ante on property value? On the other hand, connect the dots between known stations and a lot of the disputed ones fall neatly in the middle. The editor is cheering me on, saying this could be an award-winning two-part or three-part or four part series, or simply a one-part one (depending, I suppose on the rest of the news). It could even be a book, the trouble being that two books on the topic (at least) have already been written. I like winning awards as much as the next person, so it’s a useful carrot to dangle in front of me. But there’s actually a lot of wiggle room between “could be” and is.
Which brings me back to the Trumansburg Fair. I went there after work this evening. It was a slightly subdued day at the winery. I suppose many people are saving the Labor Day weekend as their main chance to howl. Quite a lot of people came through, but only one noisy group – some very young people accompanying a youthful about-to-be-married pair. It would have been counterproductive to jump onto the counter and shout, “Don’t do it! You’re too young to make this sort of decision!” And besides, maybe I would be wrong (though I don’t think so). They came early in the day and were clearly accomplished party-ers, so the walls seemed to ring with silence after they left – despite a steady flow of other customers.
So I got to the fair to pick up my things and found SEVEN blue ribbons. I was flabbergasted! Here they are. Clockwise, starting with the left side of the back row: the tatted mystery doily, handspun novelty yarn, a crocheted hat, a felted knitted bag with knitted and crocheted leaves, also felted and appliquéd; a hand sewn mini bear, handspun and hand-dyed mohair yarn, hand-dyed and hand-knitted socks, and all those ribbons!
It should be noted that if the finer points of entering had been elucidated sooner, other people would also have entered and won ribbons instead of me. But for the moment, I’m going to gloat just a little, until I’m bored enough with gloating to go to sleep.