In this crazy biz of art fairs, we are always trading stories. Each person trying to top the other with outlandish tales of what was said in your booth, the horrible weather experienced during shows, or any variety of art calamities. Since I am pretty new to this game I seldom have much to say.
The best one I have heard so far was from Joe Orr, a story he shared when we were all hanging out drinking (at Laumeier) on a cold wet evening when there were no customers to speak of. He is a low key yet funny guy and I have run into he and his wife Rita at a number of shows. They are an inspirational couple; truly lovely people.
Anyway, Joe told the story of a show where he hadn't been selling much. It was near the end of the show and he was frustrated. There was a guy who had been in the booth a couple times so Joe knew he was interested in the art. Finally a conversation ensued and the guy complimented Joe's work saying, "would you consider a trade?" Joe, being desperate at that point allowed that maybe he would. The guy explained that he was in the Tire Business and Joe thought to himself, this isn't great but might be ok, I could use a new set of tires for the van, so he sort of hmmm around until the man said, "well, I would trade you a set of retreads for that painting."
No joke. Joe declined of course, but it is a great story, still funny years later.
And now I have a story of my own.
Because on Sunday, at CWE, a dog peed on one of my tent legs. I saw it happen; the dog's owner was oblivious of course and kept walking. Thankfully it was a smallish dog who had apparently not been drinking a lot of liquid in that it wasn't a lot pee. Since the dog was short, it hit pretty low on the tent leg and missed the wall. But it was still.....well......dog piss. I mean what can I say!?!?
Probably the worst part was that all the other dogs who approached my tent made a beeline to that exact spot, starting to lift their legs only to be pulled away by their attentive owners. I became fearful that every dog at the show would eventually try to pee on my tent so I took to standing next to the tent leg, guarding it. There was one little Yorkie who I swear would have peed on my foot had his owner not grabbed him in time.
John (of course!) came to my rescue with a soapy concoction to wash it down. He took one of our empty water bottles into the St. Louis Bread Company and filled it with hand soap and warm water. It wasn't disinfectant, but certainly the best we could do under the circumstances and I do think it helped.
But yeesh, can you believe!?!?