Do YOU know how to pronounce “Scituate”??
Neither did we. We had to ask when we were there today. For the record, it’s pronounced somewhat like “situate,” except the “ate” part is actually “it.” So sort of like “SIT-choo-it.”
Exactly why we were in the complete opposite side of the state today, anyhow? In case you were wondering, it takes approximately 45 minutes to get from our end of Rhode Island to the complete other end. I keep giggling about how small this state is. If states were dogs, places like Texas and Alaska would be snickering behind their hands and boasting that they eat states like Rhode Island for a snack!
We were drawn so far afield from our home by the Scituate Art Festival, thanks to KarmaCat. She, as a resident Rhode Islander, pointed out to me a while ago that I would probably enjoy it. And so I went. And so I did enjoy it.
Forty years ago, the people of Scituate were wondering how to raise money to restore their church dating from the 1830s. Someone got the bright idea of holding an arts festival, and it’s been going strong ever since.
My only objection to the festival is the on-street parking. With the sometimes less-than-kind attitude of New Englanders, I felt my life was in peril the entire time I was walking to and from my car. Once we were even yelled at by a driver to get off the road. Seeing as there were no sidewalks, and we were hugging the cars parked on the shoulder as closely as possible, I’m not sure where exactly he expected us to go.
We made it up to the corner where we thought the festival was being held and finished with all the booths in probably 10 minutes. Kurt muttered under his breath, “I hope that’s not all there is!” and I was disappointed a bit because there were so many commercial-enterprise booths at that corner. The website had made such a big deal about how every booth owner has to supply examples of their work before being accepted to exhibit at the festival, yet here were companies trying to sell me Gutter Guards.
Then we rounded the corner, and saw the rest of the festival.
We thought we saw the rest of the festival. In reality, we saw probably 25% of it at that moment. And that was still enough to blow us away.
There were a ton of food vendors. There were booths crowded cheek by jowl all along the street in neat, orderly rows. There were people everywhere.
And dammit, it was hot! Where is this famed New England fall you people brag about? It was probably at least 90º with a humidity level of 95% today, and very little shade was to be found. In fact, I got chastised by a vendor because Grace was so red in the face. She assumed that I hadn’t put any sunscreen on her, when in fact, Grace was soaking in sunscreen. It’s just that Grace gets awfully red in the face whenever she’s hot. She can be racing around the house and get red. She also gets very sweaty. I think she gets that from Kurt. We made sure she had her water bottle at all times, and I reapplied sunscreen as necessary. Once we did sit down in the shade, Grace’s redness went away a bit.
I still should have brought a hat for her. Bad Mommy.
I wish I could have taken photos of the artwork these people were displaying. But it wasn’t my place to photograph their work. Some of the painters were amazing. This one guy did watercolors that were so true to life that Kurt initially thought they were photographs! He had painted a scene of a barn in winter with tire marks leading to the barn through the snow. I don’t know how he did the tire marks, but they were perfect, like the car had just driven through the snow five minutes before he painted them. He had another painting of the interior of a barn, and every bit of hay was painted just so. It was really amazing. I loved his work, but unfortunately I couldn’t afford any of it. I think his prices were absolutely reasonable and worth every penny — they’re just out of my price range.
Some of the photographers there would take a photo, then manipulate it in different ways. One lady shot on black and white film, then used oil paints on the prints, then scanned the enhanced prints into a scanner and played with them in Photoshop. Her results were really very cool!! She would frame some of things as a triptych — one panel of the original black-and-white print, one panel of the enhanced print, and one panel of the Photoshopped print. It was so neat seeing the evolution of her work.
Other folks would photograph the world around them and then print the images on canvas. This one guy goes to Italy a lot and took a photo of St Peter’s Basilica, the same photo that nearly everyone who goes there ends up bringing home. Kurt pointed that print out to me, and I said, probably too loudly, that I already have that shot.
The artist looked a bit taken aback when he heard me say that, but he didn’t say anything to me. But it’s true! I went to Italy as my high school graduation present (it was a school trip), and I took this photo:
(24 March 1997)
Now this man’s photo at the art fest was just the top half of the photo I took, but it’s still basically the same thing. Of course, his photo is far better, as he knows much more about the technical end of photography than I do.
There were also a ton of antique dealers there. I ended up bringing home some ruby glass, a creamer and sugar set to go with my ruby tea cups. I also found an antique doll for Grace for $10, and the complete 7th season of America’s Test Kitchen on DVD for $8. It’s not something I would buy normally, but four DVDs of an awesome cooking show for just $8? It had to be done.
I also tried my very first Del’s frozen lemonade on the recommendation of KarmaCat. There is a franchise just up the block from me, but today was the perfect day for an icy cold treat. Grace got her very own cup and loved it. It is good stuff, people — not too sweet and not too tart. Perfection on a hot summer day.
We also wandered around the cemetery of the church. I love cemeteries; I don’t know why. But they’re nifty places to be.
Here’s the stone of a woman who died in 1874 at the age of 91!
Imagine the changes the world had undergone in her lifetime! She was born before the Revolutionary War was over, yet had also witnessed the devastation that was the Civil War. She was born when the nation was still mostly agricultural, yet by the time she died we were moving quickly into the Industrial Age. And 91 years is a very respectable age to achieve nowadays, let alone 130 years ago.
May I live as long!
(Photos, as always, on the right or at my Flickr page.)