Lotus Seed Pods
My cell rings, “Hey Dave, how’s it going?”
He answers, “Not so good.”
“What happened?”, I asked.
“I’m in California. Going to a wedding. Travis and I stopped at an In-and-Out burger and when we came out, the rent-a-car had been broken into, a window smashed and Travis’ bag stolen.”
“Dad, can you get me my insurance information?”
“Sure, where are you?”
“Someplace north of San Francisco, we’re going to Napa for the wedding.”
“OK, I’ll call the insurance company and then call you back.”
“The police are here now, so text me. Bye.”
So, I got on the horn and called the insurance company. After wading through its automated call tree, [I can’t believe that I ever made those things.] I got a live human being. I explained the situation, including that Dave was no longer on my policy. They made him get his own policy, when he moved to Boston. I set it up for him, including opening a joint checking account with them to pay for the insurance and get a lower rate. The only thing is that there has never been any activity on this account. So, it was with some trepidation that I asked the operator, if everything was alright with the account. “Is it paid up?”, I asked, “I’m his dad, I’ve got to ask.” The operator giggled and said everything was in order. Account info in hand, I thanked her and texted it to Dave, who was now speaking with the rent-a-car company. I guess that he can take care of himself.
Garden Pin Oak
The remnants of Hurricane Gordon moved through last night and the rain started to taper off this morning. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but in its wake it has caused some disruptions. I think that it was at least partially at fault for the cancellation of Lou Fest, the outdoor rock-and-roll festival that’s been held in Forest Park for years. The venue was suffering some financial problems, but a rainy weekend forecast had to be the final nail in its coffin. The Bike MS ride was also cancelled and I don’t think that it was because we weren’t riding.
The Saint Louis Art Fair also suffered from the weather. We had to forgo our plans to attend this event on Friday, because the heavens opened up just as it was about to get underway. We did go today and stayed dry, but we did witness one more tragedy related to the storm. We were on North Meramec, where tall buildings were creating a wind tunnel effect. Artists were holding their tents, but the wind seemed to be freshening. Anne and I were one booth away, when one particularly strong gust flipped the next tent. Unfortunately, this artist’s medium was glass. Most of her inventory was left shattered on the ground. Hundreds, if not thousands of dollars of merchandise was lost in a blink of an eye. And it seemed that only this small section of the fair was being affected by the wind.
We toured the entire art fair, which with 500 artists, really isn’t all that big. It’s a juried art fair, so most of the work is very good and also very expensive. More rain is forecasted, so I hope that the rest of the artists survive, but tomorrow’s weather should be better. I hope that they can salvage some of the loss business.
Tropical Water Lily
Japanese Carp Kites
We braved heat, humidity and humanity to visit the gardens for their annual Japanese Festival. This is always the garden’s biggest event. The Japanese garden and its festival has been in Saint Louis, for longer than we have and has grown over the years to be so much more. But our most memorable festival occurred 31 years ago, when Anne was eight months pregnant with Dave. She was walking along one of the Japanese garden’s river carved stone walkways, when she was jostled by the crowd, slipped and turned her knee. For some years later, Dan fondly remembered our emergency Cushman cart ride beck to the car.
This year’s was as crowded as ever, but we managed to navigate it without any mishaps. In addition to the regular throng, recent festivals are populated by a host of people dressed for cosplay. Usually, their costumes are derived from anime characters, but are not limited to this Japanese art form. We saw the best costume while we were walking out. This man was perfectly festooned as the Mega-man video game character. The addition of Japanese pop culture themed roleplaying adds to the always entertaining pastime of crowd watching.
It really wasn’t all that hot today, but it was pretty humid. Two days of rain can do that. We bagged out regular Saturday bicycle ride and took the car, first to the gardens and then Forest Park. The genesis for this itinerary was jumpstarted when our new garden members cards arrived in the mail. I had gone there last week, by myself, to re-up, but it is always more fun with Anne. We took plenty of photos, ducking from sun to shade and back again. Anne got to see the newly reopened museum and before we had wilted too much we beat feet sort-of-speak for Forest Park, for the World’s Fare Festival.
On the way there, we were paced by a half-dozen electric scooters. These rentals are kiosk-less and most of them seem to be supplied by Lime Bike. They go 12 MPH for over an hour, before the battery is discharged. There is a nationwide cottage industry in wrangling these spent scooters, recharging them and then putting them back out on the street again. It’s like getting paid to play in a scavenger hunt. Although, I heard that being a scooter wrangler can get a little cutthroat at times. We went out to dinner last night in the Central West End and saw dozens of these vehicles ploughing up and down Euclid.
Back to the World’s Fare Festival. It was held at the World’s Fair Pavilion and covered all of Government Hill. We were a little underwhelmed with it. First, it was hot and humid by then. Definitely not their fault. With all of the rain that we have gotten this summer, the park service is having trouble keeping up with the mowing. Also, not their fault, but I got a few chigger bites. However, as a food festival, it was really lacking. All told, there might have been a dozen food trucks or food booths and with the temperature all of their fare seemed way too heavy. It was extremely disappointing, especially since next weekend hosts the Festival of Nations, with well over fifty different nation’s foods. You can bet that we will be going and getting there early. First to beat the heat and humidity, but second to also beat the humanity. It is way more popular as a festival. A beer was the only thing that we bought today at the World’s Fare Festival. How could I resist after the following astute marketing program.