The Blue Grass Festival in Mineral, Virginia
The show was from Thursday to Saturday – because of Sunday being reserved for God. It was at a camp ground so people brought their campers and set up for the weekend. Some people came for just the day, but most were there for all three days.
I arrived Wednesday night with my husband to stake claim to a spot to set up my shop. We were directed to a spot uphill but directly in front of the stage. It was a very nice location. The stage was set up in a very shady area with lots of tall oak trees. The vendors were placed in a horseshoe around the outside perimeter of the stage with room for everyone’s fold up chairs in between. Sadly the shade ended where the chairs did. There were signs posted that you couldn’t put your fold out chair until 3pm on Wednesday. So I assume that people put their chairs out to save a place all weekend. By 7pm Wednesday when my husband and I arrived there was a sea of chairs already.
We set up the tent and ran a long orange extension cord from the tent to the electric outlets places around. The first outlet I found didn’t work, so I tried the second one on that pole and it still didn’t work. So I ended up walking five feet over and plugging it into the next box, which worked. And off we went back home.
I get up the next morning and take off for Mineral, Virginia which is about 45 minutes to an hour, depending upon who is driving in front of you on the small and winding road. Once I get there, I’m very excited to see that there is still a place for me to park my van behind my tent. So I back my van up to the rear of my tent and I start to unload and set up my shop.
About the time that I get my shelves out and am setting them up, this guy arrives. I will call him the Cherokee Rose Guy. Only because I am terrible with names and I can’t really remember what his name is. Now the first time that I met the Cherokee rose Guy….he was the soap and lotion guy. He was set up at the very first Blue Grass Festival that I attended. He had a ratty old pickup truck with a crazy tarp set up. He had soaps and lotions for sale that he made himself. He wasn’t having much luck because summer in Virginia is so hot and muggy that the thought of putting lotion on yourself is as appealing as trying to wash your hands with honey. He was traveling around from vendor to vendor whining about his hard luck. He came to my tent and said that he had been out on the road for the last 6 months and was heading back home after this show with only $300 in his pocket to show for the whole time away from his wife and kids. He explained that his wife was very upset with him and that he would have been better off financially if he had worked at McDonald’s instead of traveling around to the shows.
The second year that I do the show, he is there again. This time he pulls up in a substantial RV and sets up a big 10 x 20 tent and has a big sign that reads “The Cherokee Rose”. He is selling jewelry and has a woman with him. She is the Cherokee rose. All within a year he has left his family (or they threw him out) and has found this woman that likes to travel and owns her own RV and has a better product to sell. Life is good for the Cherokee Rose Guy.
I finished setting up my shop. The last thing that I did was plug two fans into my orange extension cord. It was one million degrees and I was pretty sure I was having a stroke. So I sat my fat ass down with a cold bottle of water and positioned my fans to shoot directly on my face. Ahhhhhhhh…nirvana.
I hear a rustling behind me and turn to see a blonde woman trying to squeeze her head under my banner bungee corded across the back of my tent. She sees me looking at her and says, “When exactly do you plan on moving your van?” “What the F?” I thought. It seems that you can’t cuss at a Blue Grass Festival. But you can spell cuss. So I intelligently ask her, “Huh?”
“We have a second camper coming tonight and it needs to go right where your van is.”, she complains. I’m very surprised with her attitude. This is the first time that I’ve spoken with this turd of a woman. So I try to nicely explain that I was told that I could park my van here every day and that I would be leaving every evening, so that she could not block me in with a second camper. She starts screaming about how they had reserved these two places a year in advance. So I told her to calm down and I will see if we can find a solution that makes everyone happy. I walked over to the road and saw a nice parking space that I could park in and not have to walk too far for my van. I told her that I would move my van over there and that everything would be okay. Silly me, I expected her to thank me or smile. Nope the little B..I…T..C…H. just walked away.
Okay, back to my tent and my fans. Stupid Blue Grass Animals…….mumble…mumble…grumble. I sit down and position my fans again and sip from my luke warm water bottle. Ahhhhhhhh…….Mineral, Virginia.
About then a large shadow falls over my entire tent. I look to my right and a giant RV is parking about 2 feet from the right side of my tent. I can look over into the driver’s fatigued eyes. Hummmmm…..this can’t be good. But I mind my own business and sip my water and let the warm breeze from my fans relax me.
Then it happens. My fans slow and then stop. Huh? I stand up and peer over my banner behind me. Gathered around the outlet are four guys, one is holding the plug end of my orange extension cord. I watch to see what they are doing. I figure they are just rearranging the cords and my fans will be restored soon. I see the fella holding my cord walk to the post that I know doesn’t work. So I shout to him, “Those outlets don’t work.” He stops and looks at me, then continues on with my cord. So I shout again. “Hey, I tried those outlets last night, and they both don’t work. That is why I plugged into the other one.” He stops and looks at me, and then he throws my cord down on the ground and hollers at me. “The RV’s need to get hooked up first, then we can worry about you!”
I would have like to have seen my face. It must have been something, because the group all took a quick breath in. And that’s when it happened. I did not spell cuss. I said very loudly, “Plug my F’ing cord in now!” I guess they haven’t dealt with an overheated 300 pound loud mouth woman before because the man quickly plugged my cord in and I didn’t hear a peep out of them for the whole weekend.
Now I sit back down and position my fans and take a sip of my hot bottle of water. Ahhhhhhh……………. ………….Blue Grass Hell.
The day goes on without incident until I notice some activity to my left. I woman dressed like a crazy leprechaun is setting up a table and some chairs beside me. She is wearing dark green shorts and a light green satin tank top. Her black curly hair is in an up do with a giant bright green silk flower pinned on. I am fascinated. I try to look away. But I can’t. Besides, there is nothing else going on. Business is slow. I watch her lay out some stuff on her table and set up a couple of clothing racks. She hangs white plastic hangers on the racks. Then she hangs necklaces off the hangers. Each hanger gets two necklaces hanging from the little white plastic curls that you use to keep your tops from sliding off. The necklaces are giant letters in pink, green, and blue. They hang from long chains. She probably feels my stare because she turns and looks at me. Whoops…..I can’t move fast enough. So I smile. She stops what she is doing and comes up to me. She smiles and introduces herself as Sky feather. This makes me laugh. She looks like a Jewish leprechaun, but her name is Sky feather? She misreads my laughter as a genuine appreciation for her name. “Yes, I’m from the original Woodstock in 69.” Like she was spawned there. Awesome. “Really?” I asked. “Sure”, she goes on and explains that she is here with Popeye; she motions to this man that looks like he is one hundred and one years old. He is wearing a purple shirt with SURVIVOR in large white letters across the back and a hat that proudly claims he is a World War II veteran. Popeye and she are here collected for cancer. It is a cause that is near and dear to her heart as she is a breast cancer survivor and Popeye is dealing with cancer now. She goes back to setting up and I watch her as if my life depends on it.