The Annual Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair draws both artisans and visitors from throughout the southeast (and further) because of its superior artists and the goods they display. Held twice a year, summer and fall, it’s an event that is well worth the price of admission ($6 a day; $8 for two days). The biggest problem fairgoers have is wondering where they could possibly put everything they want to buy.
Artists who work with wood, creating decorative pieces and furniture, are well represented, as are quilters and stained glass masters. There are knitters and people who work with fabrics in all sorts of interesting ways—quilts, wall hangings, doll clothes, baby clothes, artistic jackets, and so much more. One creative exhibitor displayed a crib set—bumper, pillows, skirt, diaper stacker, and anything else a nursery might require—in a green toile that was so delightful that I wished someone I knew was having a baby (it would take a whole lot more than that to make me wish I was having a baby).
Speaking of babies…The Hat Lady (aka The Hat Lady of Maine—she’s relocated to South Carolina, but she doesn’t want to annoy her webmaster, so she’s keeping “Maine” in the name—aka Jan Weaver) was there. For those of you who are unfamiliar, The Hat Lady sells knitted hats and headbands. They start in baby sizes and I thought they only went up to seven-year-old, but I was mistaken. Her hats are pull-on caps, with or without ear-flaps and braided ties. A watermelon hat caught my eye, and I told FCEtier (my traveling companion and generous husband) that I’d buy one if they came in adult sizes. Well, what do you know? They do! Now, The Hat Lady has lots of other patterned hats (including American Girl-sized), and mail order and internet customers can have theirs custom made in the color combinations of their choice, as well as their choice of sports teams—yes, even local schools.
Perhaps everyone in the world would not be excited—though I can’t imagine why not—to get a watermelon hat. It’s much more of a statement than a red hat (nothing against Red Hat Societies, but the idea of wearing a red hat and purple dress to express myself among a group of ladies in red hats and purple dresses doesn’t work for me), and it is definitely more Miss Bob. FCEtier bought the hat for me and I couldn’t have been happier. It was too warm to wear the hat in and around Gatlinburg, but not in the hotel. When we returned to our room, I happily put on my hat and kept it on for the rest of the day (and night!). I removed it to go out in the blistering heat to supper, and then again at bedtime.
There is no doubt in my mind that when fall comes, I’ll be in the hat for the long run. Yippee, I say. Why is it important to have a watermelon hat? Simply because when you have a watermelon hat nothing can bother you. You know how bugs have a way of bugging you? Well, after I got my hat, that’s exactly what happened—a bug tried really hard to bug me. But I thought about it and said, “I have a watermelon hat—nothing can ruin my day now.” And nothing did. I am now on a watermelon hat high, and bugs are going to have to die trying to bug me.
I realize that some people (especially over the age of, say, 20) would not be caught dead in a watermelon hat. That’s okay (because…I have a watermelon hat), they can get a strawberry hat, instead. Or maybe one with fluffy angora bunnies or kittens. The choices and color combinations are endless.
As for the Gatlinburg Craftsmen’s Fair, in addition to the items already mentioned, there are always great foods and loads of jewelry artists. FCEtier bought me three letter charms, two b’s and an o, made of pewter. No, they don’t spell Obb, silly. The array of jewelry is a died-and-gone-to-heaven experience for jewelry collectors. Pieces for every budget and taste are offered, and the variety of materials used and styles represented is tremendous. I did have to restrain myself and forgo the sterling silver basenji and four sterling silver cats, but there’s always the fall fair!
Show dates are July 16 through 24, and October 7 through 23. In addition to the beautiful works offered for sale, and the wonderful food, there are Country, Bluegrass, and Gospel music shows every day.
My wife resigned from both Mensa and Intertel because she wasn’t comfortable in the midst of highly intelligent, unemployed alcoholics (at least at the chapter where she was a member in New Jersey). When she moved to Louisiana to marry me, I teased her that by moving, she had increased the IQ of both states. She’s much better than most with words, both written and spoken. She has earned the right to choose when and how to act her age — and not.Like the kid who says, “I like turtles,” when she responds with something like, “I have a watermelon hat,” it becomes an irrelevant, irreverent, sarcastic coup de grâce! How do you respond to that? Those who don’t know her may scratch their heads and wonder. I just look at her, smile, and say, “There’s a pickle in red square.”