I do love to attend church festivals, it’s a left-over tradition from my youth (which was a very long time ago). So on this rare rainy cool Saturday I was off. First, a stop at my sometimes church to pick up a box of tree-ripened peaches from the western part of the state. Imagine if you will, peaches that smell like peaches, and are soft and yielding to the touch. And they taste like a peach should, rather than what passes for a peach at the local market. I might give a few to my friends and then eat peaches until I tire of them (if that’s possible).
So the nearby Greek Orthodox church was having their annual fund-raiser festival that day as well. Who can resist such an event? Well certainly not me.
Any church festival is greatly improved by the selling of booze, so “step up ” was a good invitation. They featured Ouzo, local beer and regular Greek wines (no Retsina, that stuff is vile).
They always have these tents set up to eat in, usually it’s to protect one from too much heat and sun. Today it was protecting against a light sprinkling of rain. I was enjoying a freshly made gyros (quite delicious!).
There is typically folk dancing going on, but there was that bit of rain which discouraged this for now. The other necessity for a festival is something to buy, (I did mention that this is a fund-raiser for the tiny church). There were t-shirts, souvenirs, icons, belly dancing scarves (the scarves don’t dance, they are to wear while one belly dances) and Greek food items for sale. So I picked up an expensive jar of olives and called it a day. And next year I shall do it again exactly the same (ain’t tradition wonderful?).
So it was “Stationary Store Day”, a holiday which I had read about in M’s blog “Paperblogging.com”. I looked at the link, saw that there was a place in town that was participating, and decided I must go check it out to celebrate this holiday (I do love celebrating).
And here it is, located in what passes for a downtown locally. As I recall, this space was home to a seller of sheet music (and possibly instruments) for years. At some point demand for such items disappeared, and these nice ladies moved in a year or so ago. And are they a simple stationary store? No of course not, they run a full service printing operation.
What do they use for printing? Why they have a number of large vintage machines that use ink and brute force to print up whatever one desires. This clanking behemoth can print up to 5000 pages an hour (really this should be sufficient for most needs).
The machine pictured in the back is from the 1880’s and does weigh a ton. It is not tremendously useful, so it is currently a speaker stand, but it is in working order.
In the foreground is the machine I got to use on this special day. It’s relatively modern, being from 1948. So to use it one steps on the foot pedal to release the clamps at the very top to be able insert the item to be printed. Then one turns the giant crank and the piece rolls over a freshly inked plate to print the item and then releases the item with a thunk at the end of the track.
And here is what I ended up with. The cardstock had previously been run through the machine to print the red hearts, then they set up the machine to print the blue (all in all it’s pretty labor intensive compared to using some sort of digital printing). But each card has a quality that can’t be replicated with mere digital technology. Each card is the product of human hands, these lovingly maintained machines and the women who love keeping this art alive.
It was time for my participation in the annual juried art show, so I found myself in the town to the south. After delivering the piece I was driving around and admiring the ambience of the city. It’s a much more working class sort of place, and this reminds me of the place I grew up in.
I love the outside of this local bar, but I wonder, what sort of beer might they serve? My friend who lived in town assures me that they make a fabulous green chile covered hamburgers, and perhaps someday I shall stop and try this.
This brick wall is dedicated to the delights of chile (yes spellcheck, this is in fact how it is spelled!). I must admit this is my favorite vegetable, and I can eat it in all three meals a day.
There are a lot of untouched and shabby old buildings in town, so it’s perfect to spiff the walls up with murals, art one doesn’t have to get out of the car to appreciate.
I always pop ’round to a fabric shop while I’m there, and this has just been added on one side of the block. This courtyard is for the overflow from a bar for young persons (not the kind of people that drink Coors).
Hidden (sort of, it is newly painted in bright colors) in an alley nearby is this mural that celebrates the logos of various schools in town.
Here’s more of the same theme, your school rules (or not). And why is it important that this art can be admired from the air-conditioned comfort of ones car? This town is at a lower elevation and is always much hotter than my town (great in Winter, not so much in the Summer).