I just got home from attending my very first farmers market in beautiful downtown Cedar Rapids and now feel sufficiently indoctrinated to have formed a few observations. They are as follows:
- There must have been a dozen or more “IOWA wineries” booths, sampling all sorts of their wines. I’m not a wine drinker, but wow…look at all of those bootleggers gone legit.
- The local pop/rock radio station was there doing live remotes. I asked ‘em if they could play a little Toby Keith or George Strait. They’re kind of a snooty bunch of young punks, acting like they didn’t know who those guys were, only having close to sixty number one hits between the two of them. What are they teaching kids in school these days?
- My wife and youngest daughter drove separately from me. My wife gave me very specific directions “don’t buy any pie” knowing full well my weakness for baked goods. What she didn’t tell me was “don’t buy three jars of assorted homemade jams (blackberry, red raspberry, and strawberry) or banana bread (it was okay) or peach kolach (a Czech jelly roll) or apple kolach (both consumed within minutes).” Even if she had told me I doubt that I could’ve refrained from those goodies. If I can attend it more regularly I surely will.
- The booth that had the “locally produced honey” made me think that there might be trouble a brewin’ with the “outsider bees and their mutant honey.” Which makes me wonder “do killer bees make honey and if so…who harvests it? The most unlucky guy in the world, that’s who!” (HA!)
- They had a stage set up with some young kid doing Karate, breaking boards and whatnot to loud rap music. That’s all good and fine but show me the kid breakin’ boards to the toe-tappin’ beat of “Foggy Mountain Breakdown” and I’ll show you a kid that will get a standing ovation.
Foggy Mountain Breakdown www.youtube.com/watch?v=icMTVV5Lwaw
- “Bricks make great gifts!” A sign I read at a gift booth selling personalized “gift bricks”. If I threw one through your window would you be ticked off if it read “Friends Are Life’s Coffee Break”? Jussst wonderin’.
- The Amish made an appearance this morning. A rather subdued lot I’ll say, especially since they were making homemade ice cream. Here’s a little marketing tip for ‘em…crack a smile would ya? Nobody likes to buy stuff from a grumpy Gus.
- Here’s another tip…when walking through the civic, non-profit and city staffed booths that do nothing but hand out fliers and try to get you to volunteer, don’t get caught behind slow moving people. That very thing happened to me when “Ma & Pa Kettle” decided to stop in the middle of the sidewalk leaving me directly in front of the “Free Women’s Health Clinic” booth. I glanced over just in time to see the gal eye me and start to reach for a Sexually Transmitted Disease brochure when I decisively zigzagged my way through the bottlenecked pathway. A close call, good thing that I had already eaten my two Kolach s for energy.
- I saw a couplea hippies with a “soup booth”. I can only imagine what was in that soup. I shouldn’t judge, they’re probably very nice people.
- I saw a tuba player strategically positioned right outside of a Port-O-John, and thought that it was funny. Am I wrong?
- I saw a ventriloquist outside of the Lions International Booth; she freaked me out with her talking, almost life-sized doll with yarn hair. The human’s lips didn’t move while the dummy spoke. Spooky.
Well…Connie just got home from the farmers market with two Raspberry Rhubarb pies (made by a little old Norwegian lady who has a sign on her booth that reads “I use LARD”). God bless her. We live in a great country. Pie anyone?