I went to an outdoor art show the other day. It was on Beach Street in Daytona Beach. The street was closed to vehicle traffic and well over a hundred artists and craftspeople showed off their wares in tented enclosures. Now, just for the record, Beach Street isn’t along the beach like you might think; you have to cross the Halifax River and walk several long blocks to get to the actual beach. I will bet that a marketing executive conjured up the name. Anyway, I strolled up and down the street admiring art along with hundreds of my own kind, “ELDERS.” Oh sure, many regular people joined the mix, but my crowd dominated the landscape.
We walk funny for one thing: a trick knee wobble, a new hip limp, a herky-jerky zigzag stride, a funny foot stumble gait. Most of the crowd was made up of couples, husbands and wives. The men strolled past the booths at warp speed, the women at a turtle pace. “She” was shopping and in a buying mode; “he” was getting it over with, in a cheapskate mode; I heard a lot of, “We don’t need that!” statements; some coming out of my own mouth.
The outfits people wore were as entertaining as the displays, a virtual walk back in time to the fashions of the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s and 90’s. I was in my high-school preppy costume, topped with a straw hat. A sight to behold I’m sure. Many of the “outfits” were accessorized with knee braces, arm slings, wrist wraps, walking sticks, canes and the like. I noticed a lot of guys standing off to the side, staring into space. You could read their faces. “Where is my wife?” It’s the look of a five-year old kid who has lost his mother in a department store. I know the feeling. I became “lost” twice myself, and had no cell phone to tell my wife where I was. It was sitting on the counter at home, where I carefully placed it so I wouldn’t forget to bring it. Duh!
Several people were pushing baby strollers, some with babies on board, most with dogs. I’m not sure I could do that; push a dog around in a stroller. It would hurt my image. I’d be more comfortable doing it the old-fashioned way, with the dog on a leash, but who knows, I’m doing a lot of things I swore I’d never do. I did buy something, two pictures. One with a 1940’s woody station wagon parked in front of a Gulf Gas Station and another with a VW pulling out of a Texaco one. I always end up trying to buy my past, when I go to an art show. But, it was fun! I can’t wait until next year. But, I’m going to make sure I bring my cell phone. I don’t want to get lost again.
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