Friday, May 14, 2010

Mary was probably the best woman I knew, or had known for some time. Even though she was a shyster defense lawyer, she had some good qualities. She loved Dog for one thing. I had a standing offer to leave Dog with her any time I needed to leave town. It was a good thing, because I still wanted to do the festival and reenactment weekends. I doubt that Dog would have taken kindly to a kennel. I had originally thought that the kids next door would feed dog while I was gone, but Mary insisted so I agreed.

The first test of the arrangement came around the first of December . I had read about a monster arts and crafts show in Richmond Virginia. I found the information on the Internet. At the time I was checking out festivals trying to get a feel for the spring festival circuit. I had no idea that I would be doing one so quickly.

The Christmas show was being held on an island in the James river inside the city limits of Richmond Virginia. The building was some kind of armory from the civil war or something of the kind. According to all the information I could get the show was a big deal in the arts community. I decided to give it a try and began making plans.

Mary agreed to take care of Dog for me. Agreed hell she insisted. By that time dog was big enough to take for short walks. My walks tended to wear him out for the day but that was a good thing. I had no idea what Mary's walks would do, or even if she would walk with him. She had a less than strict exercise routine. Mine was only slightly better than hers, but it was some better.

The show's promoter was providing tables and chairs, so all I needed was a table cover and something to sell. I had previously spent weeks making product, so I had more than enough. Actually it was my guess that one of everything would be more than enough. I didn't expect to even cover expenses on the trip. I was doing it solely for the experience.

I made the final decision to do the show in early November just after the weather changed. The promoter sent the names of three motels in Richmond which had agreed to a special rate for the show. He also sent a map to the city campgrounds. It would be open all winter, but he assured me the weather not be suitable for tent camping.

I didn't commit to anything at the time. I did increase my efforts to find a small lightweight camper. The winter gave me the prefect chance to buy one cheap and then spend time getting it ready for the spring festivals. I searched the newspaper, I checked out the RV sales lots, finally I found the ideal camper on a small country grocery store's bulletin board. I stopped for a bottle of milk on my way to serve a paper. I saw the picture of the trailer as I walked by. It was a knock off of a very old airstream. You know the one that looks like a thermos bottle.

The man who owned it had done the very minimal amount of work to make it useable. I knew that I would probably do more, but it would do for the time being. The thing was about six feet wide and maybe 14 feet long. It had a sofa/bed on the tongue end. A sink and cabinets at the rear. there was no heat and no bathroom. It did have a hotplate, and a dorm sized refrigerator.

"I redid the wiring when I got it. There is a circuit breaker in one of the cabinets," the man just a little older than me said. "Wife and I took it to the coast a couple of times a year. Now that she is gone, it ain't no fun. Just kind of reminds me of her." His eyes misted over.

I paid him a deposit, then went to have a trailer hitch and lighting system installed on the ford. Even though the trailer was small, it had electric brakes. A wire had to be run for those as well, I got the trailer back to my house two days after I paid the deposit. I doubted that I would ever save enough to repay myself for the purchase, but I really didn't care.

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