McBride’s Christmas Fair was yesterday. As usual, I was there hawking my calendars, and was fortunate to sell most of them, (at times worrying that I would run out) but as I sat there, behind my table watching the exchanges of money and merchandise, I was struck by how much of a social gathering the fair was. People were visiting and having conversations with their neighbors and acquaintances, catching up on news and remarking about the lack of snow for this time of year.
I did a lot of catching up on news too. I found out that the slender and pretty daughter of a friend who went up for a job in the Alberta oil patch to do first aid, is instead, now driving a hundred ton truck and a D-6 Caterpillar tractor. I talked to another friend’s son who I hadn’t seen since he was a kid, stood with his young daughter and told me about his job working as a park ranger up in the Yukon. I learned a lot at the Christmas Fair.
I am always touched by the generous compliments given to me, “How do you come up with all these ideas?” and “My son called the other day and told me to make sure I bought him a calendar,” and “I had to come to the fair just to get one of your calendars.” One woman told me my calendars were popular in Finland. Her brother got one for Christmas last year and insisted on receiving another. All these comments made me feel good. I even enjoyed seeing people who didn’t buy one, leaf through them and laugh at the contents.
It also makes me feel good just to watch the friendly interaction of the community as they make laps around the high school gym, looking at all the impressive hand-made goods and stopping to visit with friends and vendors.
My paintings can be seen at: www.davidmarchant.ca