My people

click picture to enlarge

Meet my new roommates. They're called "Stands Strong" and "Reaching Out" by Shelley Rapp Evans, an artist in Laguna Beach.

I bought these people (buying people — isn't that slave-trading?) in July at the Festival of the Arts in Laguna Beach while there to see the Pageant of the Masters. And therein lies the tale.

The Festival of the Arts is a very fine art show that runs the whole summer in conjunction with the Pageant of the Masters. Lots of different media are represented from oils, to prints, to sculpture, to furniture, to photography, and so on, and all of very high quality. Last year I bought a wonderful small print. Can you say "impulse buying"? After all, it's a good cause.

This year I was determined not to buy anything. After all, I had retired from HP, and although the paychecks had stopped, the bills hadn't. Money was draining from my accounts at a breathtaking rate. I had even begun negotiating a loan from a friend. My whole retirement plan depended on selling my San Jose condo, and that hadn't happened yet. In fact, there hadn't been even a single offer. Yikes!

As I walked around the festival there were several pieces that caught my eye, but when I came to Shelley's booth I absolutely knew I had to have these people. I listened to my inner voices debating: –"Buy them." –"No, you can't afford them now." –"But you will be able to." –"Will doesn't count: you have no cash, and your credit cards are maxing out."

Reason carried the day. I made some notes and took a business card so I could follow up later when I had some money.

A few minutes later, I was able to connect with my realtor by cell phone. He had tracked me down at the hotel the night before to say he had an offer, but no details. As it turned out, it was a good offer, one that took no thinking about. I quickly ran around the festival grounds to announce the sale to my friends, then took the shortest route back to the Spirit Keeper booth to make the purchase. All of this before going back to the hotel to complete the contract by fax exchange.

There was just one more obstacle to overcome. The people are quite tall, standing about 4½ feet, obviously not suitable for carry-on baggage, nor for checked baggage. The solution was that I would leave them at the festival (the artist had nothing else ready to replace them with anyway) until I had finished moving, at which point I would drive over and pick them up.

But wait, it gets better! At the time I called to arrange the pickup, the artist's sister was visiting her in Laguna and would be happy to bring them back with her to Rancho Mirage, thereby saving me a long trip. Amazingly, her sister actually delivered them to me yesterday, so I had no trip!

I love my people!