It was a chance to buy treasured art pieces from vendors who you hadn't seen since the past year. If you got there early enough, you could even snag a loaf of yummy "Ulmer" bread at the booth in front of the Methodist Church. Again, if you were prompt, you could buy one of Madeline's orchids. She'd hold it for you while you enjoyed the rest of the festival! You could get a shrimp salad sandwich from the ladies at the Church of the Cross. You could appreciate the music by local bands, whether you parked yourself in a chair in front of them, or just listened as you browsed the booths lining the street. There were games for the kids, too. And of course, the toy seller, with squirt guns and marshmallow pop guns was always set up at the far end of the street, under the oak (which sadly met its demise a few years ago.) And, there was the Ugly Dog Contest sponsored by a local realtor, where dogs could win the highly coveted trophy made by a local potter. Our dog won 2nd place one year. He was too cute to win first place, and there wasn't much competition that year. It was too darned hot. Most people left their dogs home in the air conditioning!
This is our Zebrador, Monty.
Don't you think he was too cute to be ugly?!
Monty passed away four years ago
and I still miss his gentle ways.
This is Monty's trophy:
The boys would take their crumpled dollar bills and scour the festival for the perfect Mother's Day gift. One year it was a pair of earrings. Another year, a carved wooden rose. Perfume bottles were a favorite. And, a Bottle Brush plant. It hurt me to move from South Carolina and leave that gift behind. Every Mother's Day since we have moved, I realize how much I miss this part of our lowcountry life.
Our neighbors gave us this limited edition print by a local artist, Lynda Potter. Dr. Mik is the fellow in the khaki shorts and green shirt! Our neighbors figured this was a great going-away gift. They were right. It brings me right back to Bluffton on a hot, spring day! (Those memories are especially nice today, as frozen rain is falling, and an accumulation of snow is expected! What crazy weather!)
Just one look at the picture brings back a plethora of memories!
Happy Mother's Day y'all!