This past weekend I was at the Art in the Park in Boulder City, NV – the fair is a fundraiser for the local hospital. As usual, I know a bunch of the artists there. John Conroy was next to me, Bob Marble was across from me, Dominique Blanchard was catty corner from him two spaces in front of me and behind John was Mario Cespedes. On the row behind Mario were Bob and Nancy Lynn. Perhaps they figure it’s a good idea to put all the Californians together.
On the Sunday morning it rained and the crowds were a little thin to start off, but I guess everyone decided it was worth coming out for and the crowds picked up in the afternoon. In a quiet moment I stepped into John’s booth to ask him something – a lady came in the booth from the other direction clutching a couple of Mario’s works. She asked us – are either of you the artists for this booth? No – but we’ll look for him, we know what he looks like.
Mario is nowhere near.
This lady’s friends are anxious to get going – Mario doesn’t have any business cards in his booth to call him to come back, and although he has a credit card machine, it’s not one I know how to work. Nancy and Bob start looking for Mario also. The lady’s friends agree to let her catch up with them. I looked in my cell phone and I surprise, have a number for Mario – it’s a San Francisco number, but he wouldn’t be the only person I know whith a cell# that doesn’t match their current location – so I called him. “Hey, you have a client in your booth, where are you?” “I’ll be right back.” and he hangs up. I find a receipt book and start writing up the receipt for her. Then Mario calls.
At this point I realize it’s Mario the photographer who lives in San Francisco. Somewhere out there, he’s at another art fair, and was away from his booth when I called. Unable to explain in great detail in front of the increasingly anxious client, she manages to find enough cash to do the deal, I give her the receipt and off she goes.
Another lady who was sitting on a bench across from Mario’s booth, waiting for her husband has been watching this whole thing unfold. She offers to sit in Mario’s booth and direct potential clients to me so I don’t have to abandon my own store, or to Nancy. What an angel! Half an hour later we still haven’t found Mario, no one has a number for him. Went over to the organizers who agreed to call him, but at that point he turned up. Seems like when he went to get in line to buy some popcorn, half the people at the show decided to get in line in front of him.
Oh well, at least he didn’t lose the sale.