Sunday, July 6, 2008

At the Mountain State Arts and Crafts Fair

We started the day with breakfast at Bob Evans Farm Restaurant. Not our first choice--our usual Saturday morning breakfast place, the Downtowner in Ripley, was closed! Big disappointment. So was Rachel's Antique Shop, and Julie had been looking forward to shopping at Rachel's for months.

But we managed. Bob Evans' gravy isn't very good, yall--sausage gravy is supposed to be white, not brown, and pepper-spicy, not bouillon-cube flavored. But fried corn meal mush, something I hadn't had in years, made up for the disappointing gravy. (All completely off my diet, of course.)

At the Arts and Crafts Fair, I found the storytelling stage and did my first set to a very small audience. Wet, sloppy ground from the heavy rains the day before and no announcement of the event were probably to blame. Even the hay bales provided for people to sit on were soaking wet. But I had fun, sang a couple ballads and told a couple stories.
The rest of our family group caught up with me in time to witness the creation of a bee beard in the WV Agriculture Department's display area. Amazing process to watch. And the guy is completely calm throughout.

At David Houser's stained glass booth, Haley learned to make a stained glass ornament the shape of West Virginia while my sister Julie (in background) and I shopped. What a great opportunity for people to learn about a craft! There were several other such mini-workshops, like marbled papermaking and basketry.

Many of the state's best musicians were on hand to play. Here Sally Hawley plays her hammered dulcimer. We also heard Jake Krack on fiddle, Robin Kessinger playing flatpick guitar, fiddler Bobby Taylor, and Willard Reynolds and the Kidd Brothers.

It was warm, humid, and muddy--but the crafts and the artisans were masterful, and all of us came home with beautiful handmade crafts that are one-of-a-kind, and filled with memories of a very good day at the fair.


City Mouse said...

Oh, how I wish I could have heard that hammered dulcimer! I just downloaded an album of dulcimer music for my trip. Looks like a pretty awesome Fair - sorry the weather had made it so wet for you. Looks like the event itself was pretty cool though!

Tipper said...

Looks like you all had a good time despite the weather. Love the bee beard.

StitchinByTheLake said...

Ok the bee bearded guy is scary. Really scary. Small children should not see that. Large women should not see that. But I sure would like to have been there listening to the dulcimer - one of my favorite things. BTW, I tagged you on my blog tonight. Enjoy...marlene

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