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April 04, 2011

Saturday Market Memories: Day One

The Salt Spring Saturday Market kicked off for another season this weekend and it's hard to believe that all three of us are going into our third year as vendors. That's Lorne, salesman extraordinaire, moi, and Tom. It was freezing as you can see by the look of Linda, below, but at least it wasn't raining.
The very best thing about the kick off of the market, (other than the fact that Lorne was finally shamed into purchasing a new handmade felted Funk hat) is meeting new people and talking to all the people you already know who drop by for a quick chat. It's as if someone opened the doors on the cabins like they were letting the cows out of the barn while screaming, "Don't let the door bump your bums on the way out."

They ramble down to Centennial Park and the festivities begin. The tents go up. Rob, Market Coordinator, gets the group organized. The jockeying for points-based positions begins. The wind kicks up. Displays are knocked over.  Things break. Sizing up takes place. Good are perused. Wallets are cracked open. Conversations ensue. Let the socializing and the networking (and in some instances), the bickering, begin.
It's a microcosm of the planet really. War and peace. Politics and religion. Beauty and bullshit. Creativity and connection. Friendship and revelry.

Here's a whirlwind summary of what I vaguely recall. I asked asked a few people how their winters had been. How is it possible that I never saw them for 6 months. Noticed who had tans which explained their invisibility. One word: Mexico.

Met a New Westminster city councillor named McEvoy. Told him my family had lived there for seven decades up until 1979. His wife bought three cards.

Sold a Telus Networking expert a card for his 90-year-old mother in Surrey. Got followed by Judith, a Salt Springer with a Twitter account who bought some of my cards and whipped out her Iphone to "follow me".  Met a lady named Mary Lou (?) who says she always looks at my photos because she's in the middle of renovating her house and she loves my photos and wants to buy some when she's done. Hey, that works for me.
Met a woman who had grown up on Salt Spring and was in the Canadian Military. "You must have been raised by two hippies," I said. She laughed and nodded with surprise that I'd pegged it. She's a logistics officer who has been in the military for 16 years and has gone to Afghanistan on three tours of duty. She bought a card.
Was descended upon by a woman who told me all about her beautiful white German Shepherd named Ivar who lived to be ten and how she originally came to be diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I listened to her compassionately. She was all worn out from a couple of hours at the market.

I amused myself between customers taking photos of everything and nothing.

Ran into my friend Deborah who had to put her beautiful Boxer, Maggie, to sleep on Friday but seemed to be holding up relatively well after drowning her sorrows in the wine the night before, and the company of a friend from Victoria

George and Gordon dropped by the table. Gordon bought three cards, one for his soon to be arriving grandchild. Said Hi to Karma. Talked to Rachel about why I decided to move on from my day job. Said Hi to a few clients from my now former day job.

Got zeroed in on by a person well known to the community with a major drinking problem. How's that for diplomacy in description? He proceeded to belly up to my table and ooh and aahh in a drunken manner over my photographs. He wanted me to take his photo. I did. Thought that might get rid of him. Stupid idea. He was drinking red wine straight out of the bottle. It was dribbling down his face. I wondered where a) Market Coordinator was b) how long he was going to bother me and c) if the RCMP ever wandered by. I suggested that he might like to sit down in the sunshine in the park. He finally took the hint. 

About 15 minutes later, I walked to the other end of the market and saw him lying on his back, on the pavement, in the middle of the main strip, in the sunshine. Oh my. We might all know who he is but the tourists don't.

Got given, on a silver platter no less, a cupcake from Elizabeth who is selling cupcakes. Got handed $20 from Lorne who sold my matted photo of the Japanese floats while I was in search of something to eat for lunch. 

Talked to Christopher and Jon. Met their respective cute little sons. Talked to Jim and his dad. Look at that family resemblance (below). John is 90 now and still sells his book about his WWII experience of being shot down in a plane, being the only one to survive by parachuting out, and shortly thereafter enduring a long stint at a POW camp. When the son of one of the crew members caught up with him a few years back, I wrote the story of an unlikely reunion, especially since the son had never met his father (another crew member who had died in the crash) and been killed prior to this son's birth. 

Spotted one of my favorite toddlers (from all the toddlers who used to accompany their parents at the employment centre). She was all decked out in a new Tu Tu that her dad bought her carrying a bread stick in one hand and a rainbow coloured flute in the other.
Packed up my table around 3:00 pm with more than enough money to buy some groceries.
Headed to Thriftys.

Turned my head just in time to see previously mentioned well-known person with a drinking problem in the back seat of an RCMP truck.

De ja vu!


Helene said...

I love this post! Thanks for sharing your thoughts and photos. I'll be linking to it a.s.a.p. from saltspringmarket.com -- cheers,H.

Gayle Mavor said...

Thanks Helene, appreciate the feedback!