Monday, October 19, 2009
Wet and wild Wellfleet
The people who plan the popular and tasty Wellfleet OysterFest every October roll the weather dice, wish for luck and live with what the gods give them. The past three years it's been brilliant sun and a bit of cold. This past weekend the dice came up cold and breezy on Saturday and really freaking miserable Sunday. Winds up to 50 miles per hour, leafy trees bending over, and rain, rain, rain.
Late in the day Saturday, craft show organizer Deirdre Oringer was going from booth to booth, saying something like, "If I were you, I'd pack up tonight and relax on Sunday. The weather forecast does not look good." And indeed it did not.
Saturday was not a bad day for selling, with pretty good crowds of bundled visitors, and a number of buyer/friends that I only see at this show. Bowls, plates and teabowls were popular among my buyers. None of the new teapots sold, but these side-handle teapots are strange to most U.S. buyers and I spend a lot of time explaing that "no, it's not a bong." But I made my expenses and bit more. (And friends Milene Chioatto and Paul Lefebvre showed up with a bottle of Aberlour single malt ... which is a nice thing to have toward the end of a cold day.) A good Sunday would have made for a good show, which is usually the case with Wellfleet. Not this year, though.
At the end of the day, I packed all the pots back in their boxes, folded up the tables and took down the tent. Falmouth potter Tessa Morgan, who was two tents up from me, helped me pack the tent in its bag and I helped her pack hers.
I had a free room that night in Wellfleet, so I stayed at the Inn at Duck Creek and had dinner and a few Bloody Marys with Falmouth friends Chris Bromfield and Denise Marcoux. (Note to Paul Jessop: Chris and Denise will be in Somerset next month.) We toddled from the bar back to the inn with no major damage, Denise insisting on me walking on the sidewalk because, she said, "Dee would kill me if you got hit by a car." I didn't.
The next morning all the storm predictions came true, as you can see by the image of the car throwing up torrents of water on Route 6A, somwhere near Dennis on my ride home. What New Englanders call a "nor'easter" blew in in full force. The next thing I will do today is unload from the truck all the soaked wooden boxes and paper-wrapped pots.
Better luck next year.
Photos: Splashing along the soaked road home; teapot and teabowls; the crowd of buyers; one mittened woman handling a bowl in my booth.