Monday, August 15, 2016

Paoli and Washington School - EV Melotte

Friday we headed to Paoli to set up our canopy early for the Art Fair in Mill Park.   While the art fair in Paoli is in a idyllic setting the place where our canopy is stationed is one of the hardest to get to when there are 50 other artists also setting up - it can be a gridlock.

We get there about 3:30 and drive the car with trailer to the spot, unload and start to set up. We get the Trimline all set and I start to put images on the walls when we notice a few drops of rain on the cardboard boxes outside the tent.

A quick look at the radar and there is a tiny speck of rain so we switch duties. DJ starts to bring the boxes into the canopy as I start to put up that last wall that we had left open for breeze.

Long story short - by the time we were finish both of us were soaked to the bone and there was a monsoon.  All art work was safe and dry.

We get home and an email that night says that "do to the monsoon no vehicles will be allowed onto the grounds Saturday morning and everything will need to be walked in"  . . from a LONG LONG way away.

The fair itself was good.  Not great, but good.  This was the 6th time I had done Paoli and it was literally average for Paoli which is good for a smaller show.   Sadly my buddy Cassius Callender was a no show for the 2nd straight art fair as I think he is intimated by my presence  . . . . . . or maybe he made such an amazing amount of money (truly amazing) in Art Fair on the Square because he sold everything so he was forced to cancel Lake Mills and setting up in mud Saturday in Paoli was just a deal breaker.

It was a normal long day - On the road by 7:30 AM and finally home at 9:00PM  Art fairs are long days.

I do want to tell people about a woman who had outstanding photography and is new to the circuit, Lindsay Snow.  The funny thing was that her wife purchased my cow image . . I felt guilty  LOL  

So that was my weekend. As always I was surprised what sold.  The image of the Washington DC Metro sold.
And a couple that just got back from their last trip to Door County because moving south purchased Fish Creek purchased my Fish Creek image.


  ANYWAY - that is my weekend.  Sunday we relaxed and drank a lot of water.  Art Fairs are notorious for not drinking enough liquid.

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More from the writings of EV Melotte

Snapshots from the Past - the upcoming (but don't hold your breath) companion book for Snapshots Along the Way  (now all the way up to #284477 in Books > Literature & Fiction > United States on Amazon).

Washington School.

It was two and a quarter miles from home, mostly on a narrow dirt road that ran between heavy woods and past two dilapidated farms. One of the farms was abandoned, the other was the home of of a bad tempered dog and the three roughest, dirtiest, meanest, worst kids in school, maybe in the whole world. The dog didn't scare me, the kids did. They liked to get to school early, (that gave them more time to trip and pinch and punch the weaker kids,) so I usually got to school a few minutes late.

The school was one room, eight grades, thirty-odd pupils, one teacher. I think Mr. Viergutz must have been an exceptionally good teacher. I know I thought he was wonderful, and I got a very good basic education in the five years I went there. Mr. Viergutz had to teach us reading, arithmetic, penmanship, spelling, history, geography, and social studies. He also had to help the little first-graders who sometimes started school without a word of English. (Almost all families in the area spoke German at home.)

Then there were the sixteen-year-old boys who only came to school under duress, when there was no work for them on the farm. Every once in a while Mr.Viergutz had to take off his suit coat, loosen his tie, and take one of them outside to teach him respect.

There was a water pump in the front yard, two outhouses in the back. Along the front of the yard was a line of six pine trees of a kind I've never seen since. They were mature trees with two-foot diameter trunks, not more than twenty-five feet high, and easily as wide. Thick and sturdy branches started two feet from the ground and grew out level.

They were evenly spaced around the tree. You could climb that tree to the height of the school as easily as climbing a circular staircase. Of course we weren't allowed to climb them at all, but almost all of us did, and came back into classes with black pitch on our hands and clothes, which Mr. Viergutz carefully didn't notice.

Inside the building were eight rows of desks, with pews along the front of them.. For classes, each
Wayne and my mom - EV  1934
grade went up to sit in the pews for answering questions, reciting, or working at the blackboards. Mr. Viergutz had his desk on a low platform at the front. In the left front was a wood stove and wood box. At the left back was the water pail, washbowl, communal dipper, soap and the first paper towels I'd ever seen. They felt like construction paper and dried about as well, but I was impressed by them.

We had a one-hour lunch period and two twenty-minute recesses. During these the boys often played a game like softball, except that it only had two bases, with the pitcher half­ way between. It was played with soft rubber balls, because that's all anybody had. If Willie Eckert had brought his bat they used that but if he hadn't any sturdy stick of stovewood sized for gripping would do. The girls skipped rope or played jacks on the cement steps or just gathered in giggling groups, as girls always have and always will.

Sometimes boys and girls joined for games. We played Hide and Seek, Tag, Red Rover, Fox and Geese, Andy-Andy-Over. We played King of the Mountain on a big rockpile in the back corner until Vivian (the middle one of the three terrible kids,) found she could stay King indefinitely by throwing ten-pound rocks down on us. After that the game was forbidden.

I seldom joined in the games. I was non-athletic and timid. I would sit up in my seat in the pine tree (third tree from the right, third branch up,) and watch.

Wayne was "skipped" from the beginning of second grade to fourth grade. He finished eighth grade at age eleven and High School at fifteen. Mr. Viergutz wanted to do the same with me but Pa wouldn't let him. Pa felt that any education beyond reading and basic arithmetic was a handicap for females. "Girls should just be cheerful and obedient. That's what a husband wants."

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