The Trials of Unpaid Help

[singlepic id=434 w=460 h=360 float=] So that's it for Sun Valley. As always it was beautiful, fun and a bit sleepy.

Luckily it was a bit better for me than last year, when I bought a double booth space and seriously regretted it. This year I decided to minimize costs and make the most of a single space by going up. I extended the tent, and finally put to use the extension walls I bought from another artist at this very show.

Problem was, I bought the walls so long ago I didn't remember exactly what came with them. More to the point, I forgot. I quickly realized as I went to put up the first extension that a crucial piece of hardware was missing. We looked in the box, and found a single item rolling around the bottom---a steel pin with a ridge around the middle. Unfortunately, I needed eight. At that moment I could picture them, in their little case on a shelf in our basement, ten hours northwest.

There was NO WAY I was going to have gone to all the trouble to raise the tent and not use those walls, so we set off to find a replacement in a town without a hardware store. My husband Paul was less than thrilled about this. It turned out to be with good reason.

After a frustrating time looking through densely crowded aisles, he finally spotted some turnbuckles at the local drug/hardware/variety store that appeared to be about the circumference of our pin, except with a hexagonal profile. Thinking the ridges might make the turnbuckles a bit too big, he picked up a file to take off any extra material. I thought they would fit just fine as-is but bought the file, just in case. TWO HOURS of "just in case" later Paul finally finished filing the ridges off of seven, much-tougher-than-they-looked aluminum tubes. The walls went up.

And after that very long, hot and trying setup, Paul had the grace to tell me the booth looked "awesome." Thank you, Paul. Your patience is epic.

p.s.

Later that day we learned that as much as our setup sucked, it could have been worse. Our friend Jody, a jeweler, realized halfway through setup that she had forgotten a crucial part of her display. She actually drove home to get it before the show opened the next morning---four hours each direction. What a life.