The trouble was we believed the full-page ad in the Go section of The News Tribune. We read about the Art Fest on Proctor on Friday morning and hustled over there late Friday morning only to discover that the ad was kinda right and mostly wrong. Some shops in the Proctor District had displays set up on the sidewalk give special offers to go along with the big event, but the majority of shops didn't seem to even realize there was something going on in their neighborhood. You have to choose your battles and glory in your successes. In other words, we easily found a parking place. When we returned the next day to find most shops participating, we couldn't find a parking place anywhere near the heart of the event.
The best thing about the art fest was the art. There were some great pieces available for greatly reduced prices. In both originals and prints, wall art was available for bargain figures. If I had any wall space, I would have been really interested. Even as it was, I looked, but all the time knowing I wouldn't be buying.
I frequent Radio Shack quite a bit for electronic, computer, and video items, and almost every time when I leave their store I wander a few doors down to the hobby and train shop. They had a few items stacked outside for viewing. The French Artillery figures caught my eye.
As a young boy I had a collection of lead soldiers (Canadian Mounties, West Point Cadets, Beefeaters, and English Redcoats), but those figures were not quite as detailed as those available today. The French Artillery figures take more interaction. My lead soldiers were already painted when I received then as presents from my parents. I wouldn't even have time to digitally paint them in my computer, now.
The days of life for my lead soldiers were numbered once I opened my Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas at the age of 12. A few years back a small set of lead soldiers caught my eye on eBay. They were Japanese soldiers from the Second World War era. The set contains an infantry patrol with four officers on horseback and eleven men with rifles. Going back home I checked on eBay to see if there were any similar items for sale and found my soldiers (two officers on horseback and four soldiers with rifles) for $130. I paid about sixty for my set. That would make my Japanese soldiers a better investment than almost any of our 401k purchases over the same time period. Banzai!
From the hobby store I looked across the street and saw an offer I couldn't refuse: a hot dog, chips, and can of soda for $2.50. It didn't take too much persuasion on my part to talk Peg into joining me at the ice cream/espresso shop.
The place is kind of funky with a big screen TV, a studio piano, and Mariner Bobble heads, but comforting. Since the store is less than a hundred yards from an elementary school and only two blocks from a junior high school it was not to see a full counter of colorful candies and chips. I of course had to look over all of the selections before talking myself out of empty-calorie candy purchases.
The hot dogs are cooked on a rolling grill like many movie theaters have at the snack bar. Condiments of mustard, ketchup and relish were set out for us. The dogs were good and well worth the $2.50 charge. For dessert we both had an ice cream cone for a buck. How can you resist that?
We returned on Saturday, but left after not finding a parking space within an easy stroll. We did want to return and look at the educational toys on the next corner. Peg did go back the following week to the Proctor Farmers Market and purchase gifts for a nephew and a grandson.
We'll come back next year and hopefully the dates in the newspaper will be correct. Proctor is always a good place to both visit and shop, so we actually won't be waiting for a year . . .