Monday, May 25, 2009

Territory Days!

Well, Territory Days have come and gone, and, boy, were they wet! It rained every day, but it didn't seem to "dampen" [heh] the enthusiasm of the crowds. They'd find shelter while it was raining, then, when it quit, they were back out on the street. 

Territory Days is a street festival sponsored by the Merchant's Association of Old Colorado City, the touristy section of Colorado Springs. It was once it's own entity before Colorado Springs grew enough to gobble it up. Every Memorial Day weekend for the last 34 years they have blocked off the main street for 7 blocks, and set up a double row of vendors tents down the center of the street. There are a couple of stages for musicians, jugglers, and enough food stalls that if you wanted to eat at all of them, you'd have to have 9 meals a day each of the three days!

I was set up outside a store called Handmade Santas & More. This store sells all the Santas I can make. The lady that owns the store, Melanie De Shon, makes very ornate Santa dolls some of which stand 18" tall and sell for $400! My stuff goes for pocket change, comparably.

Someone from the Merchant's Association was going around encouraging people who dressed the part. The guy gave me a lump of peanut butter fudge for having the best "costume" he'd seen all day. Trouble was, I wasn't wearing a costume! That's how I dress when I'm not at work. Oh well, the fudge was good.

Those pictures are to prove that I didn't just sit around looking pretty! I was working! Unfortunately when I work I go into a sort of zen state wherein about the only things that move are my hands. I can do that for hours! Given the fact that I was sitting in a chair that was probably made around the turn of the (20th!) century, that wasn't such a good idea. By the time I finally got up to move around, I was so stiff that I felt as old as I look!

But it was fun. Several of the tourists asked to take my picture. One little boy, looked about two years old, must have been absolutely convinced I was Santa himself, though strangely dressed. He must have stood there for a good five minutes just staring at me while his parents ate funnel cakes. 

In addition, I learned a few things. I found that carving away from home base, and in public, opens you up to new ways of doing things. Since I didn't want to have to keep up with my tool box with all the people around, I "only" brought four knives and a strop in a canvas bag along with the wood. The second day I accidentally left my detail knife at home. That forced me to discover that I can do everything with my 2-1/2" Harley that I can do with my 1" Flexcut, just not quite as quickly. At least as far as Santas go. I did have to modify the way I do my faces, but I like the new method better!

It was a terrific weekend, and I plan to do it again several times this summer.

So, have fun, and, until next time, let the chips fly!


  1. I was about to make a santa joke, But you beat me to the punch! lol! Ah well, it's fun carving infront of a crowd sometimes, but I some time I got a little nervious with people watching. Hope you sold a ton of santas and enjoyed the fudge ( you did win, right?)

  2. So, in case you decide to quit engineering, you could always fall back on playing Santa at kids' parties? ; )

    Glad you had a fun time--it looks like you were enjoying yourself!

  3. You're looking really good Bob and just exactly what I'd expect to see if there was a woodcarver on the street! :) Territiory Days looks just like the kind of event that I like to visit or like you, actually participate in. Thanks for posting the update and glad that you had some fun.