Great Way To Pick Up Stories
Since that weekend, I’ve done chair massages at motorcycle rallies, art shows, a fiber arts fair, a (very cold) hot air balloon festival, a multiple sclerosis fundraiser, and a triathlon. Oh, and an Amish Quilt Show and a Firemen’s Memorial. It’s a great way of picking up stories for any future books or a storytelling venue; not the most productive way of making a living. I’ve never been able to make more than about $150 over expenses, even when I had a week to do it at a country fair. And I’ve lost my shirt more than one time. Not to mention, it takes a couple of days to recover from these things, not including catching up with the laundry, the dishes and my email. And yet, most of them are a lot of fun.
Some places just seemed to have a magical way about them; where people, like in Mesick, went out of their way to befriend me. The Gold Wing motorcycle rally was like that; they invited me to their bonfires, told all their friends to come see me, and keep me well fed! I even won the “Motorcycle Ken Doll” they were raffling off. Ken is still in his original package, and I’m hoping he’ll be able to pay off my student loans in about twenty years, or at least buy me my cute little retirement trailer, complete with required bulldog.
I’ve learned to always get to the grounds early, so that I’ll have time to help people carry things from their trucks and put their tents up. That’s when the interesting friendships and trades and invitations start happening. It takes me a whole twenty minutes to get set-up, including getting the tent up or down, but many vendors have a huge inventory, (and the tent to go with it) and it takes them several hours to set-up and take-down, so they really appreciate any volunteered help. Usually, I end up with the mundane job of carrying things back and forth, but once, I got the delightful job of walking a puppy for two hours. Why they thought it was a good idea to sell a puppy at a fair, I don’t know, but somebody did take her home.