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Friday Night on the Square… and a Stormy Festival

August 19, 2012

It’s time again to do a little catching up.  It’s been a busy few weeks!

After our visit to Canal Fulton, we returned to the Columbus area.  Our youngest son and his family were in the middle of a move from Wichita, Kansas to Columbus, Ohio.  While living in temporary quarters, waiting for their belongings to be delivered to their new home, son and daughter-in-law took a few days to go see the Yankees play at New York.  Nell and I parked the motorhome at Alton RV Park on the edge of Columbus, and stayed with the three grandkids.  Alton RV Park is just a decent place to park.  We had full hookups, but many of the sites are too close together to put out an awning.  It’s really just a good parking spot while one does things in and around Columbus.  The moving van arrived the day after the kids returned from New York, and the next day, Nell and I helped out with a little painting in part of the living area.

At Rustic Knolls Campground, Mount Vernon, Ohio

As the kids started settling in to their new home, we moved the motorhome to Mount Vernon and settled into Rustic Knolls Campground.  Before our excursion into Pennsylvania, we had parked the motorhome next to Nell’s sister’s barn, about a half mile from Rustic Knolls Campground.  The owners at Rustic Knolls allowed us to come over once a week to dump the RV’s holding tanks for a small fee.  Because we only had 15 amp service at the barn, we opted to stay at Rustic Knolls for the first week back in Mount Vernon, so we could use the air conditioner along with all the other electrical applicances in the RV.  It was, after all, the beginning of August.

The fishing pond above Rustic Knolls

Rustic Knolls has a large seasonal population, but the way it’s laid out and maintained, it’s not objectionable at all.  The temporary sites are centrally located close to the office and store.  Some of the temporary sites have water and electric, some have sewer as well.  They get a large weekend influx of people, most of whom have RVs parked here, and others who come to swim in the main lake and enjoy other recreational amenities.  One can also cross the adjoining creek over a little covered bridge, and walk up the hill behind the park to a very picturesque and quiet fishing pond.  The weekend we were here, an antique VW camper club held a gathering at the back of the park.  We diddn’t really see much of the weekend activity, because we had a booth at the Dan Emmett Music & Arts Festival in downtown Mount Vernon.

First Friday, on the square, Mount Vernon, Ohio

Vintage VW Camper

We made the easy 1 1/2 hour drive from west side of Columbus to Mount Vernon on Friday morning.  Once we settled in at Rustic Knolls, we ran some errands and discovered that it was First Friday on the Square.  We joined Nell’s sister Rinda and borther-in-law Ralph, and some of their friends down on the square.  This is car show country, and First Friday included classic cars and street rods ringing the square.  There was music by a band performing on a flatbed trailer, games for the kids, and some pretty good food.  Ralph has a classic Falcon that was part of the car show.  We also were intrigued by this vintage Vokswagen camper that had been completely restored.

Our outdoor work area at Rustic Knolls

The folks at Rustic Knolls gave us a site with an oversized concrete patio, which gave us plenty of room to spread out while we worked.  For several days, we made preparations for the Dan Emmett Music & Art Festival, varnishing some of the newer small paintings, and framing and packaging the work.

Our booth, as we originally set it up

I’ll post a more complete recap of the Dan Emmett festival on my art blog.  The short version is that we set up on Thursday.  when we shut down Thursday evening, we reboxed all of the small artwork in tubs, which is our normal SOP.  We stacked the larger paintings on the tables, which had been shoved to the middle of the booth, with the tubs stored below.  We covered all that with a heavy vinyl tarp, zipped up the canopy and left for the night.  We did anticipate some rain, but this was our standard procedure.

We were home at the RV for about a half hour, when the phone rang, and I heard the words every festival artist lives in fear of:  “Mr. Parker, this is ___ at the Dan Emmett Festival.  Your canopy has blown over, and your booth has collapsed.  We’ve tried to protect it as best we can from the rain.”  We raced downtown, and with the help of brother-in-law Ralph White, we gathered everything up and transported it to his garage for the night.  Only one of the larger paintings had some damage.  I’ll see if it can be fixed later.

Our booth after being rebuilt on Friday

The canopy was beyond repair, and we were unable to find a sutiable replacement on Friday morning in Mount Vernon, so we drove downtown, prepared to call it off.  Joe Bell, the show coordinator, found us a “loaner” canopy, and we set back up.  We were able to make some sales over the next couple of days and ended up with a profitable show after all.

We had rented a cargo van on Thursday to transport the booth equipment and artwork from the RV to the festival venue.  On Sunday evening, one of our nephews and one of our nieces helped us tear down, and with the use of the nephew’s truck, we got everything back to the motorhome and stored.

One of the positive moments of the festival was when, a couple of days after we lost our canopy to the storm, a couple walked in with a much better constructed canopy for sale.  We made arrangements to see it the following week, bought it, and it is now stored in the motorhome.

We normally have taken a day off after a show, just to recuperate from the hustle and bustle and physical labor.  Not this time.  On Monday morning, we disconnected from the site at Rustic Knolls, moved the motorhome down the road and parked it next to the Bridges’ barn again, and left the electrical hooked up to keep the fridge running.  We then packed our bags and drove into Nell’s other sister’s house in town.  The same day, along with that sister and her husband, and one of our daughters and her family (who had flown into town from Austin, Texas the day before), we headed north in two cars for a trip we’ve anticipated for over a year.

Coming up:   Water… LOTS of water…

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. sally sweeney bryenton permalink
    August 20, 2012 12:16 pm

    when you do the art shows …have you previously signed up for them or do you just show up and hope they have an open space???

    • August 20, 2012 12:41 pm

      Sally, we sign up for them. We did stumble onto one in Bedford, PA a few days before, and they had space, but I would never just show up. Loading the equipment and artwork and transporting it is too much work to take the chance of being turned away. In the case of the Dan Emmett Festival, we signed up a couple of months earlier. But even if the deadline has passed, I would have no problem emailing the show to see if they have room. Most small shows have room.

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