The Mess of Packing

8 September 2009

Bristol Renaissance Faire is over for another season, and the goodbyes are in full swing. Because this faire overlaps so many other faires around the country, the faire folk tend to pack up and scatter rather quickly after closing weekend. Already, as I worked to pack down our Pendragon Costumes product today, the parking lot got emptier, and the trailers and RVs started disappearing.

I had a great crew working with me today—Kat, Sean, Nick and for part of the day, Maron—all worked hard and efficiently, and we met my self-imposed deadline of seven p.m.  I had it figured that to get to the airport in plenty of time for the airline to have no excuse for not getting our stuff on the right flight, that was my time frame.  At that point, all the product was in sealed boxes and tubs, labeled and loaded in the trailer and ready for transport. So, we loaded ourselves in my truck and headed toward O’Hare. Because the Northern California show starts this coming weekend, and our closing weekend included Labor Day Monday, there is no time to ship the numerous boxes by ground. Second or even Third Day Air is cost prohibitive, so instead, we book passage for Air Freight and drive it to the airport. On the other end, Jim will drive to LAX to retrieve it. A trio of boxes went via FedEx to Ian in Michigan, and my trailer goes home to Texas a whole lot lighter than it was on the way up here!

I usually end up taking a photo of some aspect of my packing process. Last year, I think I shot a similar scene, only from the catwalk above. This year, the photo was an afterthought, but I rather like the result. It is a busy photo that tells pretty much the complete story.  You cannot see the nearly twenty boxes we spent the day packing for shipping, but you can see some of the ones that will travel home with me.  You can see bunches of empty hangers, and all the remaining rolls of packing tape.  An open tool box, naked mannequins, the morning’s coffee cup and the afternoon’s beer bottle tell more of the story.  And, in the far background, outside the front door to the shop, you can see my red truck—vehicles onsite being a clear sign the faire is closed.

Nick and Sean and Amber rode with me to the airport, and the boys unloaded the boxes onto the freight elevator.  A little bit of paperwork and a security check later, and we were back on the road with a very empty, very bouncy trailer!  Done. 

We encountered some awful construction-related traffic on the way back, and I stopped in Gurnee to feed the gang.  I had breakfast on my brain, and they all opted for Denny’s over Cracker Barrel.  Go figure.  I’ll never understand that one. 

We were headed home when I got the text telling me to “bring my damn glass” and show up at the glass studio to share a bottle of wine.  Okay, three bottles.  But, there were four of us!  It was a lovely way to wind down and relax after a crazy, deadline-driven day.  

My booth still looks a mess, but that’s for tomorrow.