Things I Learned At The Street Fair   12 comments

Here's the Graham Street Fair, circa 1958. I don't know the kid on the bicycle. I'm the one relaxing on the counter of the booth. Don't you love my cowboy shirt with the pearl buttons? When I went to the Street Fair, I was styling. The lady to my left is my Grandmother, Juanita Boring Mowry.

Here’s the Graham Street Fair, circa 1958. I’m the one relaxing on the counter of the booth. Relaxing is something I did at the Street Fair. Don’t you love my cowboy shirt? When I went to the Street Fair, I was styling. The three ladies were running a game booth … a ball toss … as a fund raiser for the Good Luck Club. They are, from left, my Grandmother, Juanita Boring Mowry, Blanche Holaday Miller, and finally Thelma Wade Rowlett – now over 100 years old – who lives today in Savannah, MO. The little lady on the right is my sister, Mary Elizabeth Mowry. The boy on the bike is unidentified.

The past weekend was Mrs. M’s Handmade’s first retail event … a parking lot pop-up in Santa Clarita called the Street Fair.

I grew up in rural northwestern Missouri, near Graham, MO. Graham had an annual event called the Street Fair, and I thought that was the height of entertainment in the early 60’s. There was a parade with the high school marching band (the best band EVER). There were contests for the best quilt. A greased pig contest. A cake walk.

The Graham Street Fair didn’t take over a parking lot … it took over Main Street.

When I was a baby, I won for being the kid with the reddest hair. Well, actually, I would say that Mom won (HA). But she gave me the ribbon.

The Street Fair was a wonderful thing.

Flash forward, uh, 50ish years, and I went to a whole different kind of Street Fair last weekend.

This time, I didn’t win any prizes. And I definitely didn’t have the reddest hair at this Fair. It was the inaugural retail event for Mrs. Mr’s Handmade, though, and I did learn a few things:

1. In Santa Clarita, there are no marching bands at the Street Fair.

2. Food is not served by the nice ladies that are your neighbors. Rather, it’s served from gourmet food trucks.

3. In LA, “gourmet food truck” is not considered an oxymoron. The trucks have websites. They have fans. They have Truffle Mac & Cheese (yum).

4. You won’t see all of your neighbors at the Santa Clarita Street Fair. We only saw two people from our neighborhood. It’s a big world out there.

5. People don’t dress up to go to the Santa Clarita Street Fair. I didn’t see one cowboy shirt, and I didn’t see one kid laying down on a counter. Come to think of it, I didn’t see a counter, either.

6. No bicycles. I did see 3 skate boards … Penny boards, actually.

Logo-300x7. Mrs. M’s wasn’t the only store there offering handmade products, but we were on the more uncommon side. The sweet young ladies running the booth next to us sold unique handmade jewelry that they make for ankles & feet. They were good neighbors, and Little Girl even approves. Check out their website, here.

8. The lady across the way started her business because she was tired of buying cat clothing for her dogs. Doggie Custom Couture was born. I’m pretty sure that back in Graham, I never heard a complaint about not having suitable clothing available for dogs. Or cats, for that matter. Maybe that’s a Missouri benefit that I never knew: pets are properly (un)clothed in Missouri. Always. It’s only in California that there’s a problem (insert rim shot or snappy comeback of your choice, here).

9. Is this a good thing to hear when someone tries a lotion? “I might want to gnaw off my arm that smells so good.” When people start talking about eating body parts, I’m not on board. Self-cannibalism was never an issue at the Graham Street Fair.

10. The Santa Clarita Street Fair required each shade canopy to be weighted down with 100 pounds. Note the Graham booth in the picture, above: all wood construction, and no extra weights on board. (On board. HA. I kill me.) The result of our new fangled shade structures in Santa Clarita: an unweighted shade structure took flight. It was pretty, in the wind. I didn’t see it land; that would not have been pretty.

11. Our south side neighbor was a little odd on Sunday. Best dialogue we heard: “Are these dresses for little girls?” “No, they’re towels.” Remember, we’re in Southern California, 5 years ahead of fashion in the midwest. Just sayin’.

12. Heard from a vendor: “We’ve been doing this Fair for so long together, she’s going on vacation next month and I’m going to man her booth.” Now, that’s neighborly, and that’s a kind thing … in Santa Clarita.

13. Almost everyone walked by my cheese boards, and said “Ooo, pretty!” They touched them … and then they walked away. And so I learned, it’s not fun being the prettiest one at the dance if no one wants to take you for a spin.

At the end of the day, we had patrons ask if some people had gone home early. They expected more, you see. I guess this Street Fair was not the height of entertainment for them.

Mrs. M and Mrs. M, before they opened on their first day. Smiles on faces, and that is a very good thing!

Mrs. M and Mrs. M, before they opened on their first day. Smiles on faces, and that is a very good thing!

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Posted March 25, 2014 by henrymowry in California, Living Life

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12 responses to “Things I Learned At The Street Fair

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  1. Betcha more fun is had at the Graham Street Fair than the Santa Clarita Street Fair – just sayin’ – but then they’d all be “amused” by all of us small-towners, i’m sure!! grins g

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  11. Thelma is 105 now, this weekend is the street fair and life was better in the country! #messnerclan

  12. Pingback: The Board Chronicles: Simi Valley Street Fair 2018 | MowryJournal.com

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