Sunday, July 25, 2010

Another day in Portland!

We were late arriving to the event on Saturday, compounded by the fact that the drawbridge was up as we got onto the bridge to cross the river. The event is being held at the base of this bridge (on the other side, of course), so all we could do was wait. No problem by me - this drawbridge stuff never ceases to fascinate me. I took these shots through the windshield.



Nearly down.

Later in the day I happened to be on the other end of the park, nearly under the bridge, when I saw the drawbridg lowering once again. Boy, this bridge must be up and down lots of times every day!

The park where this event is being held has some of the hugest oak trees I've ever seen strung along the riverfront. They have to be 200 feet tall.

By the way, I saw a T-shirt the other day I really wanted to get a picture of, but didn't have a chance. It said, "Republicans for Voldemort." Portland is famously liberal so this sentiment isn't surprising. It was a hilarious T-shirt, though.

I apologize for the vulgarity of this shot, but I just couldn't believe anyone would come out in public dressed like this. She was no spring chicken either - I'm estimating she was in her 50's - which made her attire even more amazing.

This guy had the most amazing dreadlocks I'd ever seen. They came down past his butt, and he wasn't a short guy! I kept seeing him walking past in the crowd (he was hard to miss) and kept trying to get a shot from far away.

Finally he passed near the booth, so I ran out and asked if I could take a picture of his hair. He sounded puzzled when he replied, "You're the second person to ask!" I don't know why he sounded surprised, but there you go.

Another amazing hairdo. This guy had all kinds of people asking to take pictures, and he was happy to pose. In fact, he was astoundingly polite and friendly. You know how it is when you just instinctively like someone right off the bat? Well, I liked this guy. He was cheerful and obviously enjoyed the attention, and he seemed like a sincerely nice fellow. I wish him well in whatever line of work he's in. (I'm not being facitious - I honestly do.)

The one major thing that struck me six years ago when I first did this particular event was how many people have tattooes. No kidding, Portland has to be the most tattooed city I have EVER been in. I'm not exaggerating when I say that probably 75% of the people who come into the booth have tattooes, either large or small.

This guy's tattoo, of course, refers to the famous passage from Psalm 23: "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me." When I asked why he had this particular verse tattooed on his arm, he told me how he and his buddy (also in the booth) had served two tours in Iraq, and the verse gave him great comfort during scary moments. I gave both men a discount on their tankards in thanks for their military service. They were such nice fellows, soldiers through and through - polite, friendly, clean-cut. It was an honor to meet these warriors.

We sold 41 pieces on Saturday. Not as high as Friday but still much higher than I expected, so we were tickled pink. We kept removing shelves to make sure the remaining shelves looked full (a marketing trick - never have an nearly empty shelf because you'll never sell what's on it). Finally we removed an entire shelving unit and crowded the rest of the tankards on the remaining three units to make the shelves look full. Here's what the rearranged booth looked like.

This band was billed as "A Tribute to Stevie Wonder," and let me tell you they were fabulous. Sounded exactly like Stevie Wonder. They had people dancing all over - I even saw a few venders bopping about, which was quite an accomplishment because it was at the end of the day and we were all uniformly pooped.

Believe it or not, this fellow is one of our oldest customers. He was walking past the booth at this same event last year, did a comical double-take, walked up to me, pointed a finger and said, "Egil's Tourney 1994, right?" He was referring to an event we did outside Eugene, OR back in 1994 when we'd been in business only a year. When I answered "Yes," he said "I still have my tankard and I use it all the time!" I was thrilled to meet such a satisfied customer. He told me it needed a small amount of repair, and promised to bring it by this year. Which he did!

As you can see, the tankard is in terrific condition and just needs a touch of work. I had been telling customers about the durability of our pieces and this guy was living proof. I plan to enlarge these pictures and hang them in our booth next year to back up our claim.

Here are a couple of delightful folks, Jay and Lisa, who had read my articles in Countryside Magazine and came by to say hello. It was right at the end of the evening and Security was sweeping the park to make sure everyone left on time, so unfortunately we didn't have long to visit. But they were terrific to meet!


  1. Nothing like showing how individual you are by being tattooed just like everybody else!

  2. I dunno, Patrice, perhaps a tattoo booth would be far more lucrative. Or "Buy a tankard and get a free tattoo." Then you hand them a lick-and-stick temporary tattoo. Could be a marketing trick, er...I mean, tool???

    Giving the vets a discount on the tankards was a very generous and thoughtful thing to do - I salute you. We all should be eternally grateful to our vets.

    Anonymous Twit

  3. Lol! Glad ya had a good time.
    Pay attention and pretty soon you will start seeing Keep Portland Weird bumper stickers everywhere.
    I live twenty miles east of there and try to avoid it.
    I hate big cities, even though I used to live there.

  4. Glad you're enjoying the event and making sales.

    The first picture of the guy in dreadlocks struck me funny. There's a hand in the forefront. Where the thumb would be is the lady's head. Timing is everything. :-)

  5. Glad you posted the pics of Portland. Looks too weird for my tastes! Although we do have weird-os here in KY too! Getting to the point where we hate to take the family to outings/public places like this. We have 4 children at home, and 2 are impressionable young men ages 14 and 12 who we are trying to teach to respect young woman. Also, to teach them to control their "hormonal urges"-remember the idea of Purity? Half clad people don't make this task any easier. We aren't prudes here, (hey we have 6 children total), but nothing wrong with trying to raise young people that save themselves for their future spouse and keep their minds/thoughts pure. The public like this sure makes it harder, so we just try to avoid it. Noticed that the crowds are different at an amusement park than say a tractor show.

  6. Yet another thanks for the pictures! I've enjoyed the drawbridge pictures since the ones we saw in The Netherlands last week look exactly the same! And I took a couple of pictures, too!

    Funny you should take pics of the tatoos, but I understand the fascination. It seems that I may be the *only* untattoed person (save my husband) on this Army base! Even some of the women who I thought would not be tattoed sport one somewhere! I feel so


  7. Anonymous 3:18pm, that's hilarious. I didn't notice that until you pointed it out. It's almost as though Patrice poised it for a unique photo effect (she's so good she doesn't even need Photoshop). I'll be thinking about that unique "head shot" for hours now.

    Anonymous Twit

  8. As a kid (circa 1963) my dad was one of the few people around with a tattoo. Army vet from a different time. My friends would catch a glimpse of it from the t-shirt sleeve and always wanted to see it. As he rolled up his sleeve he always gave the same talk, it was a mistake, permanent, never do it. I have nothing against them but never got one. My oldest son (Army vet) has four, but both of my older brother's daugthers have them as well. My little sister's oldest son has one. Her Marine vet son does not. Different times.
    Lorenzo Poe

  9. Hang on Katie, and don't get a tattoo. I found this recently in the Bible: Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD.
    Leviticus 19:28
    It settled things for me. You can read more here.

  10. I find the fact that the draw bridge was an iron grid was interesting to me. I did not know that till I seen your picture patrice.

  11. Why shouldn't the mood be happy in Portland Patrice? They have everything that they ever hoped for. Total dominance of the US government. I would sum it up with eight words...Be still and know that I am God. I am being still!