Thursday, May 19, 2011

Apocalypse Now: The Brimfield Sequel

Scratch Vortex, make that a black hole. This trip to Brimfield is the trip from hell (and I totaled a van here once) but little salvage slave who could is a verb remember? Yeah, the van needs a computer part and the shop takes their sweet time telling me. It's 1:00pm Monday, still 3 1/2 hours to Brimfield, hot and I have to unload and reload a U-haul truck. Do you think I could pay one of those mechanics who are soooo busy? Not so much, well maybe after we watch you sweat it out and get all but the 2-ton cabinet and the 10' windmill....WTF!

I get to the show at 7:00pm and it opens at daybreak. My neighbors take one look at me and the back of this truck and unload everything. This my friends is what keeps me going, dealer camaraderie. No time to fuss, well just a little..I'm eating pizza at 10:00 pm and drinking smuggled beer with my New York pals Adam and Andrea.

It's complete mayhem at dawn and the deals are fast…good thing, I feel like I've been dragged through the mud. I'm stressed about the car repair and U-haul rental add-ons. The U-haul guy, my hero, took pity on me and gave me extra days and mileage. I have a few days before I have to think about driving back to Utica and returning in my van. Oh joy. The part should be in tomorrow, the mechanic says it's a quick job...

My neighbors at the show are like characters out of the movie Big Fish. Harry is the showman, a Greek Kramer who roams the field and talks in a shout. Then there's Mark and Mark, "We're from Kent, Ohio, you know where we shot the students." The Marks are sportin' camo, and Sr. talks like this is war and we're gonna see action. He's talks through teeth clinched on a short cigar (that isn't actually a cigar). Keith is our musician and d.j., a cool customer with jazzy selections I love and a sly sense of humor. He's got the back story on everybody, like the time Harry slept through an entire show day after a little self-medicating…I laugh till it hurts. Last but not least, Skeeter,the kid with the sweet disposition and ready to help. He watches my booth when I run off shopping and sells my stuff left and right…He's hired.

Yeah the van…promises promises until there's no returning of my phone calls. It's now 5 days on that quick repair. I'm overtime on the U-haul and freaking out…Except there's this little wrinkle. You see I was towed off a state toll road and only their licensed facilities can tow. My genius husband, who used to sell used car parts and knows all the sleazy mechanics' tricks, gets wise and calls the New York Transit Authority. Within the hour the mechanic is calling me having miraculously just fixed my van! Only now it's Friday at 5pm, too late to pick up the van until Monday am. Good thing I got Skeeter on the payroll (I keep him fueled with sugar) and the U-haul prince working every angle for me.

Time for a cocktail. I take one of Harry's bikes down to find my pals Matthew and Richard who have set up a full cocktail and hors d'ouevres bar at their deluxe truck encampment. I'm talking a portable bar, full-size grill, gourmet foodstuffs. Chef Richard has whipped up some delightful guacamole and Matthew is slicing artisanal cheeses, charcuterie, breads and crackers. I'm bumming cigarettes and pouring myself a stiff black russian and finally exhaling after the van drama...that is until the rain comes. It's the mad dash to haul all that light weight oak furniture under cover.

Of course it's the biblical kinda rain. It's now pack-out day and I'm standing in a pond. So much for last day business. Nothin' to do but tarp what you can and wait it out. What's this? The diehards are trickling in, taking cover and frantically trying to find something to buy before it gets packed up. Hooray! I count my blessings and take my time packing out. It's only 3 1/2 hours back to the scary hotel. I'm starved and tired, I'm not eating road food now. I invite Eddie from Brooklyn. The guy has 1000 stories and that accent, it's like he's reading lines. He accepts the invitation, "shoo-err, yor-uh not the soar-t of broh-awd ya walk away from (you're not the sort of broad you walk away spell it). Thanks for the compliment Eddie and the memories, right, well it makes a good story now that it's over.

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