Thursday, October 26, 2006

An Ode to Lakewood

When I taught public middle school art, I made my students listen to my favorite singer of all times, Frank Sinatra, all the time. I know they would have rather listened to other inspirational songs while creating masterpieces, but I was the teacher after all. On the day Frank died, so many of my students came running into the class asking if I was sad, was I okay, I even had one sweet teen give me a sympathy card! Okay, so we really did listen to his albums a lot.

Valerie have recently had this same experience with our customers with the passing of Lakewood. Customers coming in asking if we are okay, will we miss Lakewood, what will we do? Over the past three years of our business and friendship I bet we've missed only five fingers of Lakewood weekends. Even our children enjoy the place! Valerie and I have spent countless hours walking the grounds searching for that perfect display stand, item for our own homes, "Mailey's room", and of course items to sell to you our customer.

We had a routine, going on Wednesday am during set-up, hoping to get a sneak peek at the newest treasures. We'd pack up the truck or suburban with carts, cameras, cash and a check book ready to spend a day with our vendor friends and lots of money. We always started at the entrance searching the tents and the guy with the van he slept in. Then we'd walk up the hill turn right and hit the doughnut man . Powdered for Valerie, cinnamon for me. Then we'd go see Ben in the building next to the pavilion, Robert in the pavilion and the other guys and gals in the pavilion. Most of our junk, I mean treasures, came from under that lean-to! Then we'd run over to building 2 where our girl Past Times and Robert from N.Carolina always had beautiful finds. By then it was lunch time so we'd run get a corndog for Jenni and a steak sandwich for Valerie. Of course to wash down our fabulous fair food, we'd hit the Firehouse for a refreshing margarita. We never sat and ate, just kept on walking, for fear of missing that great find! When it was finally time to go, usually we were under the gun time-wise to get our children.