Originally written 10/09: If any event can be termed "thought provoking," yesterday's Arts Festival for "Let Hope Live," a foundation for the care of children with cancer might get such a fitting title. The setting was pastoral, a family owned produce farm set on a ridge overlooking New England hills donned in fall apparel and fields of pumpkins in all directions.
I arrived before 10 a.m. with one jewelry case and one crate of nothing great, but more than anything, I just wanted a chance to hand out cards, promote my business and make a few bucks.
The women who were running the festival were beautiful Vikings. Their long blonde hair flowed around faces hardened with the work of running a small business and they were stocky and strong from physical labor. They ran large tractors as well as any male with the swiftness and surety that comes with growing up in the business. And one of them had lost a child to cancer, which is why they had established the foundation.
At 11, nobody had driven up the hill to attend the festival. There were about fifteen vendors besides me, set up and waiting patiently. After 12:00, the wind grew more bitter as the dark clouds whipped by. The tent behind me was picked up and stuffed animals flew everywhere. Thankfully, having such a small set up allowed me to fly from the scene as quickly as the wind had kicked up. I was extremely grateful for my gas guzzling beast when I was able to kick it in to four wheel drive and high tail it out of the mushy cornfield the organizers had asked me to park in after unloading.
I left the beautiful Viking women behind and considered the thirty dollars I spent a worthy cause for an all too real tragedy in many families that occurs all too commonly. Let hope live.