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Tucson, Arizona, United States
I work as Panther Peak Bindery and am a bookbinder, conservator and instructor working outside Tucson, Arizona for individual and institutional clients across the country. I am a two term President of the Guild of Book Workers, was a Fulbright Scholar, taught at North Bennet Street School for over nine years and was the fastest in my middle school class at running up and down a flight of stairs (really!).



Sunday, March 11, 2012

Book festival aftermath

Led Zeppelin.  I survived because of Led Zeppelin.

In 1977 I saw Zeppelin at the Kingdome.  Back in those days all concerts were "festival seating" meaning no assigned seats.  Clearly this was before The Who and Cincinnati.  The Kingdome was a huge concrete dome and the sound was going to horrible, the only hope was to be down front.  So I got there in the morning of the show and waited all day for them to let us in.

The point here is that when I got there everyone was having a great time.  I got my spot in line and sat down. When the line moved I went with them and sat down. When they let us in I ran down on the field and as close to the front as I could, and sat down.  By the time the concert started I was probably 30 yards from the stage.  And folks were dropping like flies from having been standing for over 12 hours.  A few songs in I was ten yards from the stage.

This scan shows the stub, just to prove I'm not lying here:

I should mention that it was so loud that I couldn't discern what songs they were playing until half an hour in when I think my ears got so numb that I could figure out what they were.  Still it was fun and I have great memories of that show.

The point is that I learned success is dependent on sitting as much as you can, I think in every aspect of life.  Unless you're a marathoner, then that might be difficult.  Maybe I need to revise the lesson.  Anyway, I did sit as much as I could this weekend and it was a good thing.

Here is a shot of the festival from the Arizona Daily Star:

They estimate that over 100,000 people attended.  I had the same booth I had last year and had a great time.  I pushed classes and repairs, and got a good response to both of them.  The strange thing is that I really won't know how successful it was until a few months.

I also had some stuff I made around Christmas when I got curious about how many jigs I could use and how I could organize the work more effectively.  More an exercise than anything else.  Still I sold several things, which was a bonus.

Here is a shot of the booth.  The weather was mid-70s each day.  Perfect.

In this picture are our friends Jim and Lynne Owens, owners of Thorn Books. They're pretending to be customers.  I'm pretending to help them.  Hopefully a casting director will read this blog and hire me for blockbuster movie role.  Notice how into character I am here, my "essence" is just pouring out of my pores, but not in an artificial or contrived way.  Just like Lawrence Olivier, John Gielgud or the guy who played Greg Brady on the television show.

Diane came by to bring me lunch, which was a nice improvement over last year.  I think you can see the difference between Diane and myself, she's playing a role where I fully inhabit a character. Can you see it?

A few folks brought damaged books by, which is always pretty fun.  But mainly it was a chance to talk about to people about books, which is always fun.

It was pretty smashed on Saturday, but slower on Sunday - especially Sunday morning.  Still, even though there were less people on Sunday, I ended up talking to about the same amount of people both days.  Gave out lots of brochures, cards and class schedules.  Really had a nice time.

It did occur to me that I should keep records during this, like count how many of each thing I handed out just to gauge interest from year to year.  I do think I gave out many more than last year, but have no statistical proof of that.  Doesn't matter on some level, but I'm kind of curious.  And I like statistics.  But the only stat that matters is how many people follow up.  

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