Sunday, May 3, 2015

Saturday morning at the Ithaca Farmers Market - 1974!

A break in the saga of the production of a set of Rolls Royces.  So many story lines in this picture!  Yes, I am selling out of a VW Bug!  Not visible in the picture is the car top carrier that sometimes seemed to be larger than the car itself.  No actual booth here - just a simple plywood table with a blanket over it!  Elizabeth later made some very nice fabric table covers, that made it very handy to store our inventory hidden under the table. When we needed a booth, there was a big pile of 2x4's on top, plus wood shelves, and sometimes even an adult sized rocking horse at the top of the pyramid!  In those days, there were none of the very handy white metal frame tents that we all see at shows now. We actually constructed a full wooden frame, with shelves, tables, etc. all bolted in place, with a blue tarp for a roof.  Bad light with a blue roof, but we were all in the same situation, so it worked out. Yes, I'm wearing my well worn engineer's cap again.  Not sure about the Buffalo State t-shirt, except that I had a very large collection of t-shirts, all purchased out of the seconds bin at the Champion factory for 25 cents each!

Looking over the table, you can see some of the toys already mentioned.  There is a climbing bear, and a flying butterfly hanging in the back corner of the table.  Front and center are a couple of the helicopters I mentioned earlier.  At the back of the circle of cars is the Rolls Royce I have been talking about.  I'll fill you in on the other cars later.  The 4-car train is there, along with what we called a cement mixer.  I have been recently informed that it is actually a concrete mixer!  Beside the cash box is one of my very earliest designs - the bee pull toy, complete with spinning wings.  The basket is full of little wooden cars.  More about wheels later, but the wheels on the little wooden cars in the basket are ones we made ourselves.

We were all just lined up along the sides of a dirt parking lot down near the inlet at the foot of Cayuga Lake in Ithaca, NY - most folks were selling produce, plants, etc, but there were quite a few crafts people.  Potters, woodworkers, a toy maker (us), etc.  Side note - I still use a cutting board purchased from friends Chris and Ginny Gartlein at the Ithaca Farmer's Market.

I'll go back to Rolls Royce making in the next post, but I wanted you to see that we actually made and sold wooden toys!

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