It’s been a big Spring around here. My darling baby boy, Pete Pritchard, turned 18 AND graduated from high school. How is that even possible? There are those of you out there that remember Sweetie Petie as a baby from the trade shows. I’m going way back….to the dark ages... when we barely had the world wide web and long before GOOGLE became a verb. And we all packed up and went to market ALL THE TIME...and Sweetie Petie liked to nurse ALL THE TIME so he was always right there with us in our booth. I’m pretty sure that in his first year of life he made the rounds of the 3 majors (NYIGF, Atlanta Gift, and High Point) 2 times.
Crazy. Carnie. Life.
I will never, ever forget High Point in the Spring of '99 in our first adorable showroom in the OLD Market Squarebuilding...again, I am taking you way way back... before they tacked those suites on to the front of that fabulous, creaky old building. Some of you remember, right? We were on what was then the second floor in this long, skinny, sort of pie shaped space right across from the stunningly beautiful and ever tempting Togar Rug showroom. The dashing Turks from Togar were wonderful show neighbors.....and we all know how key a good neighbor is. Pete was about 11 months old that April (as I type this I am sitting here thinking how completely insane it is that we had a child that age with us....what on earth??!!) and our charming neighbors would come grab him whenever they had a lull or they saw that we were way busy. So sweet...there were just the two of us and Togar was always heavily staffed….it takes lots of manpower to flip those delicious rugs all day. So, one afternoon Billy and I were both writing orders and Pete had gone to play with his friends across the way when we heard the Togar showroom just erupt with cheers and whoops and whistles. My heart stopped. We knew exactly what happened. Our baby boy had taken his first steps (on piles and piles of gorgeous old persian rugs)... and we missed it!
Crazy. Carnie. Life.
It’s just astounding to think how much our world and our industry has changed in these last 18 years or so. Look at us now. Sweetie Petie went from walking to graduating in a blink of an eye... and his sisters are right behind him. SO FAST! As for crazy carnie life…..POOF, it’s gone... we haven’t exhibited at a show in almost 2 years. It’s all about that internet, now. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, blogs, Twitter and Snapchat….those are the new "shows", the sole marketing tools for a good portion of our industry (and many others, for that matter). SO FAST. That’s progress, I realize, but, I have to say, it freaks me out a bit. If we can conduct all of our lives and businesses thru our devices, will we still have lovely neighbors who will teach our children to walk when our heads are turned? I sure hope so.
Sometimes I think we are living thru some sort of weird neo/insta/Renaissance age...amazing technological advances accompanied by wretched grammar, lesser art, declining social skills, and dissappearing libraries. Clearly, I am just railing against progress because I am feeling old…. my baby became a man when I wasn’t looking and it makes me want to weep (and gripe about the modern world). A word of warning to all you cute young mothers out there with your adorable instagram feeds…..that nasty growing up trick of Pete’s? It’s contagious….and it’s SO FAST!