I know you all are waiting to find out the results of the Guessing Game but I’m going to take a little detour to tell you all about what I did last weekend.
I don’t know what exactly it is about that place but, honestly, there is magic afoot – at least there is in September during Harvest Fest. I suspect that it’s like that all the time.
If you remember, last year was my first foray there and I had a doozy of a time. This time, Glittermoon and I were not alone; I brought my intrepid friend Phylliss along for the ride.
It was not a given that I would be returning. This year, Harvest Fest was scheduled for a different weekend which caused a big conflict for me and I had to choose between going there and an event in Richmond that had been a good moneymaker for me.
I chose Sharon Springs.
Why? Because of the people.
Last year, as a total stranger, I was taken under the wings of so many lovely folks and made so many new friends that I just had to go back. I’m glad I did.
My main regret is that I still did not get the chance to see Josh and Brent’s place, Beekman Farm. As a gardener and animal lover, I’m dying to visit . So far, I have had to be content with driving by on my way to and from Cobleskill (where I stay) and with looking at everybody else’s pictures. Maybe some day….sigh.
I packed the car, squeezed Phylliss in, and we took off last Thursday. It took us about 10 hours to get to Cobleskill but we did pause for a leisurely lunch in Greencastle, PA on the way up.
Here’s the scene as we rolled into Sharon Springs Friday morning. It was pretty quiet.
I went looking for Joe Todd Campbell, first. Joe Todd is a sweetheart and is in charge of the vendors, a fearsome task, if you ask me. As I walked into the American Emporium where his shop, The Finishing Touch, is located I could spy him and his friend Harry through the glass door. I knocked and hear “Is that Cackie?” coming from within somewhere. It was Michael Pappa, a pine cone artist (MP Pine Cone Designs) from Wheeling, West Virginia. We met last year and have stayed in touch since; I had asked to have my tent placed near him. After hugs all around, Joe Todd said I could get started setting up that afternoon.
That done, we set off down the street to see some old friends. First stop was the brand new Beekman 1802 Mercantile and it is beautiful. Unfortunately, neither Brent nor Josh were there at the moment. After nosing around and deciding what we might want to purchase, Phylliss and I set off to have lunch at The Black Cat and catch up with Tony, the owner. We sat outside on the deck, had a superb lunch, and immediately were engrossed in conversation with the folks at neighboring tables. The magic was happening already.
After lunch, we headed down some steps to this wonderful shop (you know I have a hard time passing by any antique shop). I had heard that Beth, whom I met last year and who owned a lovely shop named Garden Creations, might be there.
Beth wasn’t there but Holly was and we hit it off right away. She is pure delight and I am so glad that I met her. We made plans to get together Saturday evening with Beth for a drink at the American Hotel across the street.
As we were walking back on Main Street, I bumped into a customer from last year who became another internet friend, Sue and her hubby Angelo. They had just left the Mercantile and let me know that Brent was in. So Phylliss and I headed back to say hi. Brent, as always, was ready with a hug and some conversation. After we caught up a bit, Phylliss and I went to the car to unload and set up.
Later, we made our way over to the old Roseboro for some more vintage hunting among the thrift shops that are now tenants. As luck would have it, we scored a couple of bargains.
After that, I wanted to drive Phylliss around town to show her what the village was like. We headed up the side street next to the Roseboro. As I drove by, I noticed a gentleman setting out all sorts of goodies in his yard. A yard sale!! I braked, rolled down the window, and inquired if he was open for business. Indeed he was.
Out of the car we hopped. We were greeted by said gentleman; a tall thin man with Teutonic blue eyes. He was dressed rather peculiarly. Intriguingly actually. He wore a nicely pressed tuxedo shirt under a silk dressing gown; his feet were shod in Crocs and a pair of old socks. The only thing missing was a pair of pants. Yup – pants. Interesting.
This gentleman, “R,” was quick to point out that he had rooms available to rent for the weekend. After we told him that we were already staying at the Best Western in Cobleskill, he let on that they call him when they have an overflow and send folks there to stay. Really?
His house is about as eccentric looking as he was. Did we want to see the guest rooms? Well, thanks, but actually what I’m looking for is some vintage Christmas. Did he have any? You know, says he, I think I have some in the attic. Want to come up and see? Ummm, well, maybe not to the attic. Well, he says, come on in and see the rooms that are available and I’ll go on up to the attic and see what I have.
So we went in. Now, this is an old 19th century house and it rambles on. The front room was decorated with hats. Hats, hats, and more hats (fedoras) hanging on the walls. Directly behind the hat room was what appeared to be an office. The walls in there were covered with a collection of old brass chargers, you know, the embossed ones with scenes on them. The house had dark woodwork and looked as though it had been frozen in time. And maybe not painted in about 90 years. It was crammed to the gills with stuff.
Two words came to mind. Alfred Hitchcock. Followed by: Anthony Perkins. And finally, Martin Balsam. Get the idea?
So, what did I do?
I followed him up the stairs to the foot of the attic steps, naturally.
I only went about halfway up. I kept thinking about hatchets.
Sadly, “R” did not have quite what I was looking for. Phylliss and I made our way back to the car.
We were greeted by another gentleman. The next-door neighbor. Who also has rooms for rent. Lots of them apparently. Thank you for the offer. So sorry we can’t stay. Bye, bye.
See, I said to Phylliss, how friendly everybody here is? We are going to have an adventure this weekend.
That evening, we had a wonderful dinner at Justine’s in Cobleskill. Everything was fantastic – from the adorable waitress to the delicious food and wine. The portions were meant for cavemen; we took doggie bags back to the room.
Saturday came. Time for Harvest Fest!
We had fantastic vendors all around us. That’s Michael’s booth on the left. And Twin Hills Farm on the right.
Pretty soon, a bunch of my customers from last year had made their way by the tent. It was like old home week. So much fun to reconnect and catch up on things. I was humbled by the number of folks who made a point to come by and see me; several from Sharon Springs as well as folks from all over.
This is what is so great about the Harvest Fest. It’s as if the Pied Piper has been reincarnated. And he has, in the form of Brent and Josh. They, and the magic of Sharon Springs, draw thousands of folks back to revisit, catch up with friends they made the year before, and just have a marvelous time for a brief couple of days in September.
I’m so glad I came.
Here are some pictures of Harvest Fest. Since Phylliss was with me this year, I could sneak off and check out what was going on. Please click on the pictures to see them full size.
I got to meet Pam and Gary Kurst from The Dancing Bear Farm. Their tent was in the row behind ours. Pam and I had an instant connection; I liked her immediately. We are already Facebook friends. They raise Angora rabbits.
Brent and Josh came by Sunday morning for hugs and a chat. Here they are hamming it up in front of the Glittermoon tent.
And here I am with them.
Monday morning, we packed up and made our way home to Richmond. We tried a new route home, one that someone we met suggested. It was much nicer. We got off I-81 near Harrisburg, PA and made our way down Route 15 until we got to Warrenton. Along the way, we pulled into a diner in Dillsburg, PA.
If you are ever near there be sure to check out Wolfe’s Diner. It’s the real deal, a nice silver diner that has been in continuous operation since 1955. They even have a Betty Boop statue holding up the Specials menu. A tunafish sandwich is $1.75. I kid you not. And I had the best milkshake I think I have ever had.
As we rolled into Virginia, I was suffering from antiques lust. So what if we had been on the road forever…I needed a fix. We pulled into this place called Really Good Finds.
Almost eleven hours after we left Sharon Springs, we made it home. It was a heck of a long drive.
But, boy, was it worth it.
Maybe I’ll hear the siren song of Sharon Springs again next year. Who knows?