Having said yes to some event every day this past week, and one day a couple – I tossed all the chips into the air and let them land where they might, checking the calendar before breakfast each day to have a clear idea where I was expected to show up and took one cancellation which erased the double booking and then proceeded to roll along with each day and thankful every evening when I pulled into the garage, having done what I was expected to do and returned home safely.
I looked forward to a restful Sunday but, standing next to Diane at 9:00 a.m. Saturday morning at the memorial Mass we were attending in honor of her friend Kay’s 22 year old grandson, who died suddenly a week and a half ago in a car accident, Diane reminded me that we were going to the annual Pooka Festival on Sunday. I had completely forgotten about it, so was glad for the reminder.
The charming city of Bedford, Ohio has a half dozen festivals each summer and this is one we’ve attended several times. It is in honor of the local artist, Richard Sedlon, 1900-1992, who thought up the fanciful gnome like character of the Pooka, which loved the arts and in that vein, the festival features local authors and artists selling their wares.
I stepped into a corner of the large arts tent to get a closer look at a Madonna like figure in a frame, asking the artist sitting there in front of a large portrait she was working on if it was in fact, a Madonna and she said it was and is copied from a statue at St. Basil’s Catholic church in Brecksville. As I was absorbing that, I leaned in to get a closer look at the portrait which was enclosed in a large pencil drawn circle, and I said it was quite lovely. She went on to explain that it was her mother-in-law and she chattered on about comments her husband made and about other pieces of work she had on display there, but my attention was fully on the fine drawing and I said her husband should be very pleased with the drawing. She thanked me saying that meant a lot to her. She then asked me, “What is your medium?” I answered “Acrylics. I am an abstract painter.” She nodded.
It was odd because this same question was posed to me by a lady whose work I had been admiring in a shop in Little Italy where my cousin and I were weaving through the art walk one summer about fifteen years earlier. Hmmmmm.
In the next aisle I found Claudia, a local author whom I’ve been acquainted with for about eighteen years. We met in a memoir writing class back when the Greater Cleveland League of Writers and Poets was thriving. We began talking and in time Diane pulled up a folding chair and sat down. Diane got up and said she was going on and I waved as she left the tent. Claudia hosts the Word Lovers Retreats that I’ve been attending once or twice a year up in Lakeside, Ohio.
By the time Claudia and I finished chatting about books and writing conferences, Diane had combed through the rest of the tents and found that there were only activities for children, none of the things we usually enjoyed seeing and worst of all, there were no food trucks offering any mouth-watering treats, so we left the grounds and went into a nearby fast food restaurant and rested and caught up on things we wanted to discuss.