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As The Market Turns

Just because my workplace is unconventional does not mean that it is free from drama. On the contrary, there is drama and gossip aplenty. I wish I could take the credit for today's title, however, I cannot. Instead it goes to my sister Maureen who, upon hearing one of my stories, pulled that out of her hat.

Sunday morning, as I was driving to the market, my thoughts went to my Mother who died ten years ago on December 1st. I'm not the first person to say that "time flies," and I know I won't be the last. With that mindset, after parking the car, I walked to my space where Bruce was busily hanging the canvases. Before long he told me that the "soap girl" next to me would be sad today as only recently her Mom died. He heard it first from Cole.

Because her space fills a hole that vendors use to get to their spaces, generally she sets up around 10. Arriving as scheduled, while she was setting up she told me the sad details. The morning was chilly, the perfect opportunity for her to be wearing one of her Mom's jackets, all the better to keep her close. Sadly, after her Mom did not come to work for some days, her employer, the University of Georgia, called her daughter wondering if something was wrong. Indeed, it was. Calling relatives who live in the area, it wasn't long before she received the news that her Mom died alone, five days prior, in her apartment. And I thought I had it bad!

Soon thereafter,  Kathy joined our conversation, and wouldn't you know it, she was wearing one her late Mom's Christmas sweaters! Together we had a bit of a pity party.
She told me she was glad to be back to the market, doing something normal, and hoped the above sign would bring results. Indeed.

The present intruded next as Dina brought me a two page "essay" hand written by her son who is experiencing his own grief. With tears in her eyes, she asked my advice and she'd come to the right place. Not that I have all the answers, but in this case, our experiences were not to dissimilar. Turns out her 16 year old son pretty much wants to die over a romantic break up.  Have you ever considered how many songs are written about lost love? I don't know the percentages, but what I do know is a bunch, and there's a reason for that, "love hurts." Counseling her to take his suicidal thoughts seriously, she wiped her eyes, and went back to selling popcorn. I'm praying he pulls out of it, sooner, rather than later.
What do puppies have to do with anything? Not one darn thing except this post needed some lightening up!!

Recently another big drama occurred with lasting effects for the market. Christine, the coffee vendor, has been a market vendor through thick and thin, moving from under I-4, to the History Center location, and finally enjoying the best location at Lake Eola, due to her longevity, and rightly so. Except, after all these years she'd finally decided to call it quits, selling her equipment to a friend. He set up in her normal space hoping to carry on her legacy. Well, not so fast! Dana had a fit! He may have purchased the equipment, but he had another thing coming if he thought he could have her spot!
I'm sure you never thought the spaces were so valuable! He's now been moved to this little walkway, which if he is able to produce a good product, should work out just fine.

And then there is the matter of Cole, Dana's son, pictured below with the policeman I mentioned in an earlier post.
I told you he was a big boy! Anyway, for the last year or more, Cole has been our manager while Dana attends to other things. Great, everyone loves Cole. In fact, Bruce and I think of him as a son, offering both affection and advice. Sadly, she has pretty much fired her son, not for bad behavior, but more so in an effort to get him to do more with his life. Obviously we were not happy with this decision and had been dreading his final day which was this past Sunday. Kathy, affectionately known as, "funnel cake Kathy," brought around a giant card and a bag for those who wanted to donate something as a gift. Her helper got on the mike to present Cole our best wishes.
I heard it happening, and excusing myself from the two ladies in my tent, I took a few photos. He is such a good kid, expect me to be fussing and fuming when he is gone.
Returning to my tent, with tears in my eyes, I explained our sadness to be losing the best traffic control guy we'll ever have! :(

I'm unaware of any love affairs between vendors, but it wouldn't surprise me. I am aware of the competition factor, such as how in the world do you sell soap to a limited audience when there are four vendors of soap? Jewelry is another big one. Add space infringement to the list. The traffic control I mentioned above? You should see the cars line up in the afternoon, ready to pack up and go home; the the jockeying for space in said line can get a little ugly!

All in all, it's a wild and crazy way to make a living, but it surely has good points, although it is not merely "fun," as so many people seem to think that walk into my booth. If I've heard it once, I've heard it a hundred times, "this must be so fun!"
I wonder how the "market will turn" this Sunday?

This has been a super busy week for me with the next few weeks continuing that trend. As a result my blogging time has suffered which I hope is merely temporary. After having breakfast and drying my hair, I'm off to AAA for the lobby show, followed by FAVO tonight. Wish me luck!
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