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THE GREAT CHICAGO EXPERIENCE 2010,
Part III

 

Thursday Evening, April 15, 2010

Dana met me in the room, took pictures of the cottage, and we both took a nap. We ate in the restaurant, and then decided we were refreshed enough to go to the 3 Blind Mice Show. I was ambivalent about taking a taxi - knowing the shuttle was free the next day, but concerned about taking in two shows in one day and the Bishop Preview in the evening - so, as my late mil used to say, we backed our ears and did it.

For my purchases I took my canvas tote from the 2003 Quarter Connection Online Convention (sturdy and roomy but lightweight, and can be rolled up if needed) and we set off to take a cab ride to the Radisson Hotel.

Our cabbie, a guy in a plaid shirt and glasses and a plaid fisherman's hat, stated that his fee of $42.50 would be greater than the return trip, but for good reason, and as we pulled away from the hotel he started explaining, gesticulating and peering at me in the rearview mirror. Neither Dana nor I had thought about the fact that we were heading into 5 o'clock Chicago traffic; oh my. He pointed to the meter, and said, See, this is the fare; it will be $42.50, and explained how he was licensed, what he had to do to keep his cab in excellent running order, how the City of Chicago expected excellent service from its cabs, contrary to the gypsy cabs who were not responsible, nor dependable, on and on, ...

Cars were everywhere and he drove like my cousin Harvey on his bike when we were kids - no hands, gesturing and pointing with his finger, as my daughter and I rode breathlessly along, praying that we would live to tell about it later.

Frankly, it was a virtuoso performance, a kind of talking opera. Twenty-six years in this country, he said, talking of respect for La Familia, particularly in the South of Italy where he was from, not what you saw with people these days. "I'm easy to get along with," he said, "but don't say anything disrespectful about my mother; I will come after you like the Mafia."

We nodded mutely, praying that the car knew its way as he threw his arms around dramatically, and his feet and the steering wheel seemed to work with a mind of their own as we smoothly eased from one lane to another, zipped into place in one lane, then sidled into another. I kept looking away, thinking if I didn't return his gaze in the mirror he would stop talking, but it didn't work.

We arrived more quickly than expected at the Radisson, none the worse for wear, at least physically. He opened the door for me with a flourish, thanked us profusely when I paid him and hurried to see if someone else might be needing a ride.

Taking a deep breath, Dana and I looked at each other, smiled that we were still intact, and entered our first Chicago show of 2010, the 3 Blind Mice Show. Its owner welcomed us, saying she tried really hard to put on a good show. There were tickets for periodic drawings for some nice pieces, but unfortunately we didn't win anything.

I always manage to find something good and unexpected, even when I have a list, and this show was no exception.

I had my ID because of the workshop, including a badge I printed out for both my CAMP and SmallStuff groups; Dana won't be able to pick up her Bishop ID until Friday afternoon when she gets back from her jaunt. Sorry, but I don't recall who took this picture.

See those coffee pots with the openings in the side over my right shoulder and above my head? I can't believe it, but I didn't NOTICE those at the show somehow. I was probably talking to somebody.

I have observed some people waiting to go in a show always head for a certain row; perhaps they've studied the floor map and know who sells out right away, or who is a friend, or whatever.

In this case, it was the back rows, leaving the middle easy to maneuver. The lady on the left was quite striking; I liked the way she wore that scarf around her hair so stylishly. I could never carry off something like that.

After I first put these pages up, I had an email from Irene from NH, who wrote, "That lady sold me some adorable little children made of clay and just 1/2" high. These were so good I went back the next day and bought more. They will work beautifully in my 1/4" scale scenes. I bought so many she had me take my pick of another one as a gift!"

Well, darn! I overlooked them, somehow, like I overlooked those coffeepots mentioned above.  I was probably talking to somebody ....

Who was she? I wonder if she has a website?

I always set myself a certain amount for each show, saving the majority for the International; flexible, of course, depending on what I find. I do have a list of ongoing projects, and this year I was especially looking for smaller scales, particularly half inch.

Although not half scale, I found a pair of wee kitchen towels with pigs on them (got a pig-something in progress; been accumulating for a long time, but not yet sure if it's a shop or what),

(All the pictures of my purchases I took after we returned home.)

... a pottery jug for my medieval kitchen setting. It's not really as shiny as it appears here, but I think I will use a matte spray to dull it more, or perhaps paint it, depending on whether the setting needs it to be light or dark.

I found plain white Chrysnbon saucers and little bowls which I will make work in half scale and I plan to paint,

... a bust of Michaelangelo - I think that's who it is. He will look good in one of the bookcases with my Wanna Books,

... and in a bargain bin a Christmas ornament of a female mouse climbing the corporate ladder! Now is that a story in the making or what? Just need to remove that screw from her forehead and then contemplate how she might be used. I have a feeling she will wind up in one story and the ladder in another. lol

My "big" purchase for that show was a posable 1:24 scale doll, a OOAK sculpt from Celtic JuJu, shown seated here. Even though I make dolls, hers call to me. They have the spark of life in their eyes, whether they are animals or people. Frankly, if I hadn't been going to the other shows I would probably have bought more because every single one had a story; I could tell.

Well, our cabbie was right. According to the young man behind the desk there was a special deal between the show and the cab company for our return, a mere $27, gasp, to go back to the Marriott O'Hare. He made the call to the cab company for us.

This time our driver was a young Hispanic man, pleasant, with a beautifully tended cab that smelled great; not talkative at all, so we sat back and relaxed and chatted about what we had seen. Since he kept both hands on the wheel, neither of us paid particular attention to where we were going until we heard him ask, "What gate do you want?" We looked up and by golly we were at the airport. We explained quickly, "Oh no, we are sorry for the misunderstanding, but we are supposed to be going to the MARRIOTT O'Hare, not O'Hare AIRPORT."

He looked disconcerted, and called in to his dispatcher, but kept winding through the various lanes in front of the terminal, then pulled up and said, "Your hotel." We looked up and saw that he had brought us to the Airport Hilton. "No, no," we said, and Dana, who had paid attention when we were out before, explained again where we were supposed to go. He called in again to talk to someone and although he spoke Spanish I understood what he was saying, "You sure you don't want me to charge for the extra?" and fortunately was told, "No, a deal is a deal." So, somebody had to swallow the cost for those extra miles and thankfully it wasn't us.

Then he tried to take us to the Marriott SUITES!

Dana kept telling him, "No, it's on Higgins Road," and finally he got us to the door. Another big relief from another cab ride - first our gesticulating Italian, then the silent but confused Hispanic, but both quite nice. And the fee was cheaper, even though those cab rides cost me more than I've spent for cab fare in probably my entire life. Oh well; my DH had said Go; have fun, so we did. And we slept like the dead that night, grateful to be in our comfy beds in the Marriott O'Hare, knowing we only had two shows to do on Friday.

Stay tuned for the IMA Show ...

NEXT: >>

 

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