Thursday, October 13, 2011

Adventures at the Spring Fling Festival

As you that follow my blogs know, I am a vendor at live events that I go to over the late Spring and throughout the summer months.

I went to an event called THE SPRING FLING, held in Molalla Oregon. The town this was held in is about 140 miles from us. A gal that I've been friends with for the better part of 25 years, lives there so we stayed with her. She also happens to be the lady that organized the vendors in the park where our booth was to be.

She was responsible for where the booths would be placed so basically we were able to pick out our own spot.

So we left here on Thursday, got to her place, unloaded the bags with our clothes in them, and then went in a relaxed for a bit.

My friend (Sue) suggested we go down to the park and look it over and pick out the place we wanted to set up. We got to the park, nice one to, and looked it over. Picked out our spot and then decided to eat. Did that and then went back to her place, changed into pajamas, chatted for a while and then went to bed.

Got up and went down and set up. Lee and I discovered the booth we got has to have at LEAST 4 people to set it up, and luckily some folks that sell beads and stones for jewelry making, that we got to know from the shows LAST year were there and helped set ours up, then we went and helped them do theirs.

After we had gotten theirs up, we went back to start setting our merchandise up and getting the booth ready. We actually started getting customers coming in while we were still setting up and had the plastic totes setting everywhere with my hats and stuff in them.

But hey, I'll take a sale and don't care how I get it or if it's in the middle of my set up mess :).

So, we finally got set up, and the gal that makes the Indian fry bread and Indian tacos got there and got set up right next to us. He name is Kat. She's the one that was organizing the ones I went to last year.

Actually she, her daughter and niece were supposed to stay at my friend Sue's place as well, but Kat ended up with a bunch of extra people so they went over to one of THEIR friends places that also lived in the town (Molalla).

Saturday morning we all got to the park, and opened up. My open up takes a bit longer cause I hang hats out along the edge of my booth and then I have to take them all down every night to get the sides on that closes it for the night, so every morning I have to rehang all those hats.

Saturday went pretty well. The weather was supposed to be horrible there all weekend and actually wasn't to bad. Friday was sunny, Saturday started out fairly nice and just got cloudy in the late afternoon with a few light showers.

We closed down about 7:30-8pm and went back to Sue's apartment. This time Kat and her niece came and stayed. We were all dead tired and sore ( bunch of old farts you know) I had Kats Niece go up and shower, then Kat went to shower. After she was done, we all decided to go to bed and get some extra rest for the next day.

We had all just barely got settled in when we thought we heard someone knocking on the front door. Sue was in the shower at that point or had just gotten out. Kat apparently answered the door, and within about a minute, I heard her calling upstairs for Sue.

I THINK Sue was actually still in the bathroom cause the next thing I know, Kats Niece Alex ( probably Alexis or Alexandra) was knocking on our door saying that there was someone there for Sue.

About that time Sue poked her head out of either the bathroom or her room and the next thing we heard was "police need to be called, the park is being vandalized"

So everyone went nuts and started running all over the apartment like keystone cops trying to figure out ion their own heads to get dresses or just tear down there in the pajamas.

I tell you Coriene, it was hysterical. Lee was trying to jerk his pants on and was still groggy from leaping out of bed so here he was, one leg in his pants, hopping towards the door without even being fully dressed. I'd already jerked my pajama top off and before I knew what I was doing ( my head was just spinning) I was headed out the bedroom door with my bra on, no top or jacket or robe, with my PJ bottoms and big fluffy pink slippers on.

I was totally panicked thinking they'd gotten into my booth and had taken my stuff and thrown it all over the park, or taken the stuff that a couple of sellers from bonanza had sent me to sell. I was having visions of my jewelry and the other stuff hanging in trees. Or just gone or destroyed.

Thankfully I realized I had no top on, and stopped before I got down stairs and out the door. Would have scared the crap out of anyone there.

The people that came to tell us what was going on down at the park were the folks that sell the beads and jewelry making stuff. Their names are Richard and Lola. They were staying at the park in a parking lot next to it, in their van.

My fellow, Lee, had brought Lola over to Sue's place just that morning, to take a shower and clean up, so she'd only been to Sue's place once. Thankfully after a bit of her and Richard driving around, they found Sue's apartment.

Anyway, after we all managed to get what ever clothing on, we got out the door. Sue, Lee and I all jumped in her car. I had grabbed my purse and tossed it on the backseat next to me.

On the way down to the park, Sue was on the phone with the police, they were trying to tell her to not go to the park ,and she was telling them that she should have brought a gun with her.

I heard the dispatcher getting frantic trying to get in touch with the police to tell THEM that there was a group of vendors headed to the park with guns to get the crooks.

Well we got to the park, actually 3 rigs full of all of use came sliding in and parked and all of us jumped out and went running into the park from all directions. We scared the heck out of some people that were just sitting around at the picnic tables they have there, and started demanding if they'd seen anything.

One older gentleman was sitting at one of the tables and said he'd not seen anything going on. Another group was over under the park gazebo and actually one of them was the son to a friend of my friend Sue. He said that there was a group of kids that left as soon as they'd gotten there.

At that point we all spread out again, and went looking into the various booths to see if there was any damage that we could see.

We found some cookies that the lady that mad the tropical juices, had in her booth, tossed around like Frisbees.

They were the giant sugar cookies, and the vandals had taken the whole box out of her booth, set them on the table, and used them like Frisbees. Lee and I found 2 on the roof of our booth, and I found a couple laying around on the grass in the park.

My friend Kat, the native lady that does the Indian fry bread, had some of her stuff taken, soda and a couple of other things.

We are pretty sure it was just young punk kids.

Anyway, about that time the police (1) showed up and came towards us, kind of slowly. ( I'm sure he thought we were all armed with guns)

Sue told him no one had a gun, and then what happened. We spotted some kids way at the back of the park, the cop took off to go question them. He came back and said that he'd searched their bags and such and they didn't have anything and of course they didn't know anything either.

We all stood around talking a bit more. Richard said he'd keep a closer eye on the park. They were anyway, that how we found out what happened was because the kids that did this had walked back and forth a few times, right by their van they were sleeping in.

Richard was the one that found the box with what was left of the cookies.

After that was all over with, we headed back to Sues place. Kat drives a mini van and she was parked right across from where Sue had parked.

Sue had beat us to her car and had gotten in. Lee and I were literally reaching for the door handles when she split away from the curb and took off, leaving Lee and I just standing there with our mouths hanging open and looking at each other.

We're all like "WTH"??

Kat was standing in front of her van and asked us what was going on. We said we didn't have a clue but maybe she'd seen some kids and went to chase them down.

We all stood there in the street looking in the direction she'd went. We commented that maybe we'd have to ride with her back to the apartment.

Within about 3 minutes, here comes Sue around the corner she'd turned down the street when she took off.

Lee and I were getting in and asked her what the hell that was all about.

She busted out laughing so hard I thought she was gonna puke, and finally managed to say,
"I forgot I brought you"
I said "WHAT!!,
You forgot you brought  us"??

Then everyone just cracked up so hard. Kat was laying over her steering wheel in her car just dying, Sue was on her steering wheel laughing with tears rolling out her eyes, Lees hacking up a lung cause he was laughing so hard he stared to cough, I'm laying across the back seat trying to breathe from laughing so hard.

We finally got ourselves under control (no easy task) and headed back to the apartment. Before all this took place, I had called my Daughter to just check in, and to tell her I was turning my phone off and I'd talk to her in the morning. We WERE going to bed.

Well I went to get my phone to call her and tell her what had happened and that I was leaving my phone on so Richard and Lola, the bead sellers could call in case anything ELSE went wrong.

I couldn't find my phone :(

We all ended up getting BACK out of bed and looking for my damn phone. I finally went out to Sues car and there is was on the back seat. When I threw my purse in to charge down to the park, it had fallen out and in all the excitement, I didn't notice it.

Well, we had all started out going to bed about 7:30-8:00 that night, and by now it was close to 11:00.

We got back to sleep finally, and didn't have any more emergency calls about vandals.

Got to the park Sunday morning, and found that the weather had FINALLY started doing what it was SUPPOSED to be that weekend, and was rainy, over cast and down right nasty. It had started raining in the night at some time, and everything was wet wet wet.

Thank GOD I put all my hats in plastic bags to protect them from dust and people handling them. I have most of my other things in plastic bags as well and the two sellers that sent me stuff to sell also put their items in plastic bags to, so except for a few of my things that got wet, nothing else was damaged, and the things of mine that got wet, aren't damaged and will just need to be dried out.

We had a few folks ( mostly the other vendors) come into my booth, as we had a propane heater and actually had our booth front open and sides off so they could get in.

I was walking around them getting things shaken off and trying to set up for the day. The rain just kept coming and actually picked up speed and the amount coming down.

All of us did some talking and then went around and talked to some of the other vendors that were there and we decided to just hang it up. It was raining pretty hard by then, and between that and the vandalism of the night before we just decided to call it quits.

Lee and I had an almost 143 mile drive to make, a lot of the other vendors had their stuff soaked or their booths were about ready to fall down due to the rain collecting in the tops of the booths.

We waited till Sue showed up and then we started asking permission to close down and pack up. We had to do that cause we actually all had signed contracts with the organization that puts this festival on, to stay open till 5 that evening. Without someone "official" to give permission to leave early, the contract says that if anyone leaves early, they will not be permitted to come back as a vendor ever.

So everyone asked Sue for permission to tear down and leave and after what had happened and with it basically pouring rain at that point she said anyone that wanted to leave could.

So we started tearing our booth down, had to have help with it cause it's a pretty big one, 10 X 20.

Took us about 3 hours to get everything packed up and loaded.

We said our goodbyes to everyone. We will be seeing most of them again at the next event.

Lee and I went back to Sues apartment to get our bags with our clothes, chatted for a while and then took off to head back here.

But wait, the "fun" wasn't over with yet. We hit some pretty hard rain and Lee turned his windshield wipers on. We were going down the road, making good time when the wiper on his side went all the way around to the side of the truck and about went flying off.

We got off the road, he got out and looked at it. Apparently the arm is broken in some way. He get it back on, but barely. And we got going again but he could only turn them on and off every now and again, and that wasn't fun as we got into some pretty hard showers.

And we kept having to stop so he could b ang on the arm and get it back on again.

What should have been only about a 3 hour trip, took us the better part of 5 hours.

I was never so happy to see my front door as I was yesterday.

But I'm ready and set to go to the next event. The weather should not be anywhere CLOSE to as nasty as it was yesterday. The next event I have (unless another one comes up) is at the end of June. This one is in OUR area, in a town about 20 miles or so, east of us.

The weather will have gotten nice by then, plus we don't have all that far to drive and can be back here in our own beds every night. It will be a bit of a drive but no big deal.

Oh Oh OH, and one more thing :(

Sunday morning after we got to the park, I went looking for the cash apron I wear. Looked and looked and looked and couldn't find it anywhere. I freaked out as there was a good deal of money in it. When I'm at one of these events, when the night is done, I take it, fold the top over the pockets and kind of roll it into a square tube shape and stuff it in my purse.

What I finally decided had happened, is that it had fallen out at Sues place when I was looking for my cell phone the night before.

When we got back to the apartment after tearing down, we looked all over the apartment, got all pizzed off about it, and then decided that someone must have taken it from my purse down at the booth. I did NOT want to think that as the only people that had been IN my booth that morning was my fellow vendors and I didn't want to think that one of them would do something like that.

Sue, Lee and I all went looking and looking. We were all mad, disgusted and just in a foul mood after everything that had happened and decided to just leave and come back here. Decided that either it had been taken or had some how fallen out into the tote I put my purse in when I'm in the booth. I put it in a big grey plastic tote that I call my "office" tote, put the lid on and shove it under one of the table covers.

Lee and I were in the truck literally getting ready to pull out, when I had a memory flash back to the night before when we were running around half naked with our brains in hyperdrive trying to get decide to run out the door with pajamas or take the time to dress.

I finally remembered dumping my purse out when I was looking for my cell phone. In my panic and thinking I was going to be going to the park to tackle thieves and maybe fighting and rolling around on the ground with one of them, I didn't want my money apron with me. I grabbed it off the floor from beside the bed, and stuffed it under the mattress.

Sue was standing at the door to wave goodbye to us as we pulled out. Lee jumped out of the truck and told her what I'd done. She started laughing and sure enough, Lee got it out from under the mattress.
We are still thinking about going back next year :)

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