Well yesterday I had an extremely unnerving experience: I was on television.
On Thursday the craft/slash/publicity coordinator for the event asked me if I wanted to be featured during a morning live news feed with a brief interview; she also asked if my booth could be used as a backdrop for an interview with another vendor. With trepidation, I agreed.
I gather much of the media attention for this event occurs on Friday, so I was asked to show up before dawn and get my booth set up (since I break it down every night).
By the time I arrived (5:30 am or so) the news trucks were already set up. There were at least three different stations.
They all had tall antennas set up.
I peeked into one of the news vans at the dazzling space-center-type console.
The interview was with a Matt Johnson with KATU Channel 2 in Portland (he's in the middle). I also photographed the cameraman (left) and the craft coordinator and events publicity person, Chris (right). Matt and the camera man were very very friendly and put me very much at my ease. Poor Chris (who is an angel on earth) had lost her voice and couldn't do much more than whisper, not a good thing if you're the event's publicity person.
After about a half-hour delay, the booth was used as a backdrop to interview another vendor. The woman is Alicia Somebody-or-other and she was extraordinary. Tall, blond, thin, gorgeous, smart... then to top it off, she was one of the nicest people I'd ever met.
You'd think someone blessed with so many gifts would be lofty or snobby, but she wasn't. She was friendly and a hoot, a Tennessean gal who said she had to take French lessons to lose her southern accent in order to anchor.
Here's Alicia's cameraman, filming the interview.
It was fascinating seeing how things happen from the "other side," and it was nice to know that the news people I met were just plain NICE.
I went back to my friend's house for a couple of hours until it was time to open the booth for the day's sales.
Back at the site but before opening, this floating paddleboat museum went down the river...
...toward a raised drawbridge.
What's the old song? "Big wheels keep on turning'..."
Quite an impressive sight.
I also met the fellow who operated that small drone I saw the other day. Turns out the drone has a video camera, and the operator had been hired by the event to video the activities over the five-day run of the show.
Here are the controls. Before the gates opened and the event became crowded, the operator asked permission to swoop the drone low over my booth and photograph the interior.
For obvious reasons the drone can't be brought low when thousands of people are around.
In talking with the operator, I mentioned the large drove that had flown over our house last summer, and he was startled -- very startled -- at hearing it. Despite his little gizmo and what it could (potentially) do, he doesn't like the idea of spying on private citizens. I liked this fellow's attitude.
Anyway, this all happened even before the event opened for the day. Once the crowds started coming through, I was busy! Quite a number of people said they'd seen me on TV, which was kind of freaky.
...(including a customer hamming it up)
Really impressive tattoo. I guess.
Here's a young visitor testing one of our miniature "shot glass" tankards (I took it home and washed it afterward).
This woman had such beautiful hairdo that I asked permission to photograph it.
The Portland Police had a visible presence but didn't appear to have much to do except answer questions and be helpful. This is a remarkably well-controlled event with lots of internal security. Over the years I've seen very very few problems.
This reggae/rhythm band had a dancer who had an astounding amount of energy -- she danced on stage to the drums and never stopped.
The band inspired a conga line. No kidding.
It was a very long, long day (especially since I'd been up since 4 am) and I went home exhausted, but I also sold 43 pieces -- so no complaints from me!