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May 23, 2010

Salt Spring Hat Tricks

Yesterdays Saturday Market in the park definitely lived up to expectations for the May 24th long weekend. The island was packed with tourists and soccer players, sailors and weekenders returning to "the cottage" to get it sorted for the summer ahead. And, even better, the weather gods seemed beyond happy.

I managed to get one of the last decent spots. I was squeezed in beside Tony the bread guy who surely spends his every waking moment in the kitchen in preparation for hawking gooey dough for green dough on Saturday mornings. Bake it and they will come! Visitors and locals alike have awoken by about 10:00 am and begin streaming stall to stall or making a bee-line for their favourites.

Tony transforms from baker to juggler to expert change maker.  I was mesmerized. He becomes a one-man Cirque du Soleil the way he must manage the crowds, follow the direction of their fingers, answer their questions (olive or fig?) hand off loaves while taking cash and giving change. Selling photographs does not elicit this type of feeding frenzy (go figure?). So, I watched and enjoyed the show. None of Tony's clients seemed to be on low carb diets.

He sold out by about 1:30 pm and looked like he'd just returned from an hour or two of intense boot camp training. His forehead was wet with sweat, his face ruddy. I hadn't met him before and at first he seemed a bit "Soup Nazi" (Seinfeld) formidable but that wore down and he was really nice. I liked him! To my left, Sherren, a watercolour artist whose house on Vesuvius Bay road I used to covet on my walks towards the Bay. She and her husband are returning to the Lower Mainland in the fall (somewhat reluctantly) to be closer to kids and grandkids. But first, a detour to France beckons to fuel new subject matter. She was very easy to talk to and be around. It was fun!

As for the photos, I was intrigued by the girl with the beautiful hat and the face-painting as she looked at me looking at her through my camera lense. I love the little silk rosebuds around the brim and the feather really makes it.

I wasn't clear on the fashion statement being made by the guy in the top right and why he was moved to wear - Dr. Seuss-style  - seven or eight hats. Perhaps he just couldn't pick a favourite.  The man with two straw hats doing double duty was being a dutiful husband.Where do I get one of those? A man whose willing to make a fool of himself for you? Shouldn't be too hard to find as I write that I laugh. (I meant in a good way). His wife had bought a new hat, wasn't about to ditch the old faithful white straw, handed it off to hubby who, I must say, was wearing it with good humour which is really all he needed to carry it off. Everyone seemed to be in great spirits yesterday and that's always contagious.

I sold photos to a woman from L.A. and cards to a young guy from Marseilles looking to send a couple of cards to his grandparents. There was a fabric artist who was thinking of using one of my photos for a new project. I talked Dave on his regularearly morning rounds into buying one of my favourite matted prints that no one has yet to buy. It's called "strength" and I think the light shining into the water on a chain is superb (even if it's a subject matter with limited appeal). It always amazes me how sometimes the photos I love, don't sell the way others might.  I'm sure  it will grow on him. Thanks Dave!

A woman from Washington D.C. bought a print of a wooden bench amongst the lavender taken at last year's Lavender Festival at Sacred Mountain Lavender.  I wondered if she was buying it for her mother or for herself. Women love lavener shots. As always, lots of positive feedback but this time backed up by enough people putting their money where there compliments were to make it a great day.

I felt like people were flocking from every direction, the flow of interaction was good and that helped the day to fly by.

When you make decent money, and have fun doing it, even the sun seems to shine more brightly. Hat's off to that.

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