You might also like

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


I read Hippo’s confusion of gas and diesel containers the other day, and remembered the containers crafts people use to transport their wares.  Sturdy containers, easy to handle, preferably free, stacked up beside each booth during set up and tear down.  Then neatly stacked and concealed behind outdoor tents, and behind all that pipe and drape at indoor events.

I think all potters use egg crates.  The outside box that contains those foam one dozen cartons.  All those lovely Rubbermaid and Sterlite containers weren’t on the market in the 1980’s, and we had to be creative.  I used trash cans on wheels, all the handwoven shirts, jackets and rugs neatly folded inside. 

Stuff from our trash cans
The tragic events of 9/11 occurred at the height of the show season.  Almost as one artists came to the decision to fulfill their commitment to their public and put up their booths those next, awful months.  It was so strange; everyone carrying on and carrying such a burden.  My first show after that day was in Saratoga Springs, very near to New York City.  As I approached town traffic stopped.  Apparently there had been a fresh threat and all cars were being searched.  I had no problem pulling the lids off the totes in my van.  My memory of that show is the hushed grounds with an overflow crowd of stunned people intent on doing what they would be doing in any event.  And the crystal blue sky with no contrails.

The very next week after that my show was in Madison, Indiana.  The police were visible everywhere and one told those of us in the check in line to be very aware of our surroundings and the people around us, and please report anything unusual.  When he left we laughed.  Would it be unusual if a potter switched from egg crates to banana boxes?  We knew we wouldn’t be finding anything to report.

When I arrived at my usual booth I was setting up next to the same metal smiths I was always by.  We chatted as we stacked our containers and started our set up.  Several hours later they were putting on the final touches and brought out the five gallon can of water to fill and start a metal fountain.  I laughed aloud and Margie said yes, they decided last week they needed to stop having two five gallon red gasoline containers full of water behind their booth, and had invested in regulation blue water containers.


  1. It is sad now that every time a large group of people get together we have to call in the security teams and investigate every little thing.

  2. There was so much weirdness in those weeks and months following 9/11. Future generations will never fully understand what a sock in the stomach it was to our entire country. There was a co-worker in my office who became obsessed with all the police and fire fighters who died. She worried constantly about more bombings of national landmarks. Thank heaven there hasn't been any follow-up to that horrible day!

  3. And sadly I have read recently that many of the rescue workers are developing cancer. So unfair.

  4. Life changing events. So aptly named. They really do change our lives. I remember those dark days after 9/11. I've never felt so vulnerable. And all I could do was think about the people who died. And their families.
    But I love that story about the two red gas cans. Probably a good move, considering the climate! I wonder how many times they had to open up for the investigators . . .

  5. I was at a campground associated with a craft show i did on 9/11 when the news came in on my 1 1/2 inch tv screen...i got a call from joanne, about 30 miles away asking if i had my rifle with me? I said , "yes". She said "You are civil air patrol. don't let anything invade our air space." I assured her that my 22 caliper would take care of any enemy aircraft. how silly, scared and isolated we felt to know that something so horrific has happened in the USA. Things would never be the same again...and that remains true..