• Junk Bonanza 2008 Part 2. Keepin' it real.

    Yes, the Bonanza was amazing. Like a fashion show, the attendees see a virtually flawless production that speaks beauty, style, and junk perfection. I will share a few behind the scenes, not so perfect stories...In honor of someone who commented a few weeks ago, "Thanks for keeping it real!" I only wish I had photos of the problematic moments, but I wasn't thinking that far ahead. Next year I will know better. (They really should make camera implants for us bloggers, so we never are without one.)

    Preset-up day began very early Tuesday morning with a call from the tent company explaining that they were short cathedral window side panels for the tent that houses 1/2 of the vendor booths and asked if it would be alright if they substituted with solid (no window) sides. As you can guess, sufficient lighting is an issue should customers actually want to see what they are buying...I politely said "No it was not ok." and reminded them that I placed my order for the tent including window side panels over 8 months ago. They dug a little deeper and found windows. One point for the Bonanza!

    Fall in Minnesota can be hot, cold, windy, sunny, rainy, or all of the above. We managed to hold the Bonanza on a week that was all of the above. Midday Thursday, the first day of the event, we experienced quite the downpour. The ballroom vendors were happy they chose indoors, the outside vendors were incredibly supportive considering there was a river flowing right through the tent. Oddly enough, the customers continued to shop in the puddles, streams and mud. Dealers all had theories of how to reroute the river but were too busy selling to complain.

    Cathy Clatworthy from S.D. and Cammie Metheny from Nebraska were sharing a booth with a river rushing through the center of their space. They stood on either side of the water and jokingly announced they felt right at home. It did rain again on Saturday and a young gal single handed dug a trench with a croquet mallet to divert the water. I never got a chance to thank her. Next year we will be prepared, we will have a large supply of croquet mallets handy. (Just kidding.) My husband's socks are still soaking in the laundry tub. One point for the anonymous girl with the mallet.

    Straw Bales meant for display were spread across the tent floor to cover the larger areas of mud.

    Tis the season!

    We didn't think about blowing the tent dry...

    Despite the weather, shopping continued.

    The beautifully displayed booths were the main attraction!

    This little lady was in charge of the weather complaint department.

    I must admit I was running on empty (no sleep) most of the week, but re-energized by all the wonderful people I hugged. (Hugging compares to recharging your drill. When you start to slow down just recharge with a hug.)

    I met new blogging friends.

    I visited with old friends.

    It was difficult not to shop...I was trying my hardest to concentrate on the event and curtail my shopping urge.

    Christine, Junk Corral producer extraordinaire, made several incredible chandeliers that flew out...I regret not snatching one up!

    Friday brought the sun and then, the black-out.

    Overwhelmed with Bonanza duties I hadn't had a chance to visit with Matthew Mead and his wife, Jenny. I asked them to join my husband and I for lunch in the restaurant downstairs. Finally, a chance to catch up and express my thanks. Robert's was a quiet get-a-way from the hustle and bustle of the Bonanza upstairs. We just finished ordering our meals and wham! The restaurant went dark. My heart fell through my stomach.

    What most didn't know was we had arranged for the Medina Entertainment Center to supply the electricity to the tent this year, rather than the Bonanza crew filling generators with gasoline every few hours. My first thought was we blew the electrical panel or fuse or was all my fault! Folks rushed around with flashlights and I heard it was dark in the ballroom, as well. As some one zoomed by, I sheepishly asked what had caused the outage and he said the whole side of town was out. I said, "Thank God!"

    Knowing my Bonanza posse could handle the emergency we sat close to a window, ordered chips and salsa and doled out leftover desserts (stored in the restaurant fridge from the prior evening) to remaining hungry patrons. The ballroom was evacuated and shoppers headed to the tent that fortunately had plenty of light. (with window side panels) One of the vendors pulled me aside and asked what they would have to pay me to pull the switch the next day at about the same time. One point for the deserving tent vendors.

    I applaud the vendors for making the Junk Bonanza the best junk round-up in the Midwest and being so supportive during my keepin' it real moments!

    Matthew is my hero! He is the real deal. Matthew has got it all! (Can you tell I adore him?) He is talented and genuine. Along with his obvious creative abilities, he beautifully photographs much of his own work and is an amazing cook! I struggle to make toast.

    He signed books for hours on end while his wife Jenny kept things in order. His 2 brand spankin' new books, Halloween Tricks & Treats and Entertaining Simple, are now available and you must check them out!

    I guess I owe Jenny and Matthew one...chips and salsa aren't a proper payback! My deepest thanks to them for traveling cross country to hang out with their fans at the Bonanza. One point for Matthew's fans.

    To be continued....There is so much to tell you!

    I suspect this customer is calling for a bigger truck to bring her goodies home!

    Here's to keepin' it real!

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