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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Country Living Show preparations

It seems hard to believe that the 8th Country Living Fair is only a month away. The show is the most intense three days that I have during the whole year, nonstop people, buying customers that make other shows seem quiet and tranquil. I have learned that there are several of my things that are in great demand and I make every effort to maximize and have plenty on hand. Trellises, bunches of corkscrew willow, bittersweet, and small stools are always popular. This amounts to a great number of transactions and I would not be able to do it without the help of my lovely wife.

I also will venture out to spend four or five days after the first of September driving the back roads of eastern Indiana gathering bittersweet, and annual tradition with me since the early seventies. I will make the bittersweet into bunches to sell at the show. These bunches are always a nostalgic hit at the show.

During the show I demonstrate making rustic furniture. I will concentrate upon trellises and stars as they are the most popular. Large furniture pieces do not sell at this show. During the last week I have been making trellises and next week I will be gathering willows from several of my places in order to make some more and to have seven bundles of raw willows to take with me on top of the van to be used to make trellises there. It is somewhat stressful to have to make them as fast as I can at the show, so the more I take the better, but it is also easier to haul them before they are made. I will have a trailer that I will borrow from my buddies Kevin and Bill Huff.
We look quite comical when leaving fully loaded. After three days of show, with one day for setup, we will be worn out and ready to get back home. I will be eager for quiet days in Lapel.

In spite of the difficulties and stresses and hard work, meeting the challenge of having a successful show among other vendors of national status makes me quite proud. It is not as easy as it was when I was younger, but I still am able to hang in there.

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