When I was a child, my Mom would usually take me to at least one craft show every fall. I was given a larger berth of freedom than I was normally allowed, which expanded as I got older. This contributed to the sense of exhilaration that I associated with these festivals. I loved looking at what people had made and trying to figure out exactly how they made it. These events were inspiring; they were proof that crafts could lead to more than just a rainy day activity. They also gave me a new dimension in which to view adults – that they desired and could have hobbies and play. The social and psychological aspects were fascinating.
Our favorite event was the Hummelstown craft fair. After attending this event for many years, I began to notice certain patterns about the event. Certain vendors came every year, certain booths tended to have more customers; I would note the purchases that attendees would carry. The crowd would peak a few hours before the end of the show. Many of these patterns were mirrored in other shows we attended. The other draw at the Hummelstown fair was the town’s historical society. The museum was open during the show and at the very end, they would pull the winners of the fundraising raffle. I and other children were allowed to pull the names from the raffle drum. Before the drawing, I would explore the museum. The building was filled with papier-mache mannequins wearing historical clothing. Music from the Symphonion in the basement could be heard on the third floor. Originally a church, there was a balcony that overlooked the pulpit and pews. It was these arrangements that gave the building a mysterious atmosphere and me hope for the glimpse of a ghost or other fantastic possibilities.