Monday, September 27, 2010

I'll Be Thelma, You Be Louise.

My friend Angel got me hooked on a reality tv show called The Fabulous Beekman Boys, which airs on planet green on Wednesday nights. It is a, well, fabulous show about a gay couple from NYC who were looking for a place to go outside of the city and stumbled upon Sharon Springs, NY, a quaint, tiny, old fashioned little farming town and fell in love with it. They end up purchasing the Beekman Mansion and its surrounding property and becoming gentleman farmers. They embrace the simple life of a slower pace and set out to learn, I believe mostly through Internet searches, how to be competent organic farmers. They also have goats on their property, cared for by their neighbor Farmer John, and make cheese and soap from the goat milk. The show is addictive and super funny and smart and wry and touching. And Farmer John cries on camera in almost every episode, which is just beguiling.

So I have been watching the show, and checked out its website,, and saw that they were hosting the upcoming Sharon Springs Harvest Festival, which they promised to be HUGE. And I was sort of interested in seeing this HUGE harvest fest in a town of about 278 people. And, of course, I am more than slightly obsessed with all things harvest-related, especially Pilgrims, because I was one in a prior life. But I digress.

So I said to Angel, "Hey- do you want to go to the Sharon Springs Harvest Festival?" And she answered, "OF COURSE!" and we counted down the days 'til we could ditch our five children and our husbands and take off for our road trip to Sharon Springs. Which is only about an hour away from here, but since we were child-less and husband-less, totally qualifies as a Road Trip.

So we rode into Sharon Springs, and let me tell you: someone spent a sh*tload of money on pumpkins and gourds because the whole street was decorated to the nines and just looked gorgeous. The Festival was on Main Street, which features several business, lots of history and quite a few worn down empty buildings. The Beekman Boys are clearly the biggest thing to come here since Sharon Springs ran wellness spas in the 1930's.

The American Hotel, a beautiful old hotel on Main Street, was another sponsor of the festival and offered their grounds as a place for vendors to set up shop. There were craftspeople, farmers, quilters, painters, and all types of artists selling their wares and I could have spent about a thousand dollars. One of our favorite booths was manned by Farmer John's sister, who we could tell was his sister by the huge banner on her tent that read: FARMER JOHN'S SISTER. She was a quilter and had lovely things; Angel and I each bought some potholders from her. We also are such dorks that we asked to take her picture, which she seemed a bit taken aback by, but I loved it just the same. "Um, John's coming here around 2 o'clock," she told us, "He's supposed to bring me some lunch." WHAT?? FARMER JOHN'S COMING HERE??? We started giggling and she was clearly sort of frightened by us.

We wandered around, enjoying every moment, and then came back a little after two. AND THERE HE WAS!! And we giggled again and tried desperately to say something funny and friendly and Farmer John looked as surprised at our interest in him as if he'd never been on a tv show and we were just randomly coming up to him, introducing ourselves and asking to take his picture. The picture above is Angel and Farmer John and I think the only times I have seen her smile that broadly was when her two daughers were born.

After we calmed down from the Farmer John meet and greet, we continued to walk around and decided it was time to hit the Beekman 1802 Mercantile- please, don't be pedestrian and call it a store- but in order to do that we had to wait in line. To just get INTO the store.

And it was pleasant to wait- they had several of Farmer John's goats outside in front in a pen, so you could be amused by them as you waited- and did I mention we were two grown women, by ourselves, not having to listen to any whining or complaining or asking for treats or trinkets? And we moved through the line and watched the security men move people through and finally it was our turn. We went into the store- I mean, Mercantile- and it was tiny little basic store, about the size of my dining room, but lovely just the same. We bought some Blaack Onion jam and oogled the textiles and soaps and laughed at the tshirts. But alas, The Beekman Boys were taking a break from their fans and eating a very late lunch when we came through.
Later in the afternoon, when we felt we had seen all that the Sharon Springs Harvest Festival had to offer, we swung by the Mercantile again in hopes of seeing The Boys, whose names are Josh and Brent. They were out front, so after waiting again in a much shorter line, we got to meet them.

And they were absolutely lovely and adorable. There's me, and Josh, and Brent and Angel, all color coordinated in our harvest oranges and tans and grays and the sun shining on us, clearly direct from heaven. Just LOOKING at this picture makes me happy. They asked us where we were from, and we told them and they said, "Oh! You're close! You can come by anytime!" and Brent started telling Angel that she needs to come back in December for their Victorian celebration, and she said Of course! and He said You have to wear your Victorian clothes and she said, Well, obviously! and then later on realized that she actually does not have any Victorian clothes whatsoever, but since Brent had PERSONALLY INVITED HER TO COME, she could whip some up lickety-split. And then she rubbed it in my face the whole ride home that clearly Brent loved her more than Josh loved me since Brent had invited her PERSONALLY to come back.
Well, not to be outdone, I told her how Josh looked RIGHT INTO MY EYES and asked with grave concern and caring, Did you have a good time? How were the vendors? Were they okay? And I answered Oh yes, they were just wonderful and we even bought things from Farmer John's sister. It was just lovely! And so I told Angel the whole ride home that clearly I looked like a discriminating customer to him, someone with wonderful taste, and that's why he asked me if I thought everything was nice.
So she said Well, look how Brent has his arm around me in the picture! And I said But see how close Josh is standing next to me? Not much personal space there!! And we declared it a tie and then talked the rest of the way home about who we thought was cuter.


The Hartle Family said...


Anonymous said...

I think it was a toss-up which was more wonderful-the festival OR being on the road trip sans children to beg for souveniers/food. SO glad you had a great time! Can't wait to see your Victorian costume for the trip back in December! Love, Mommy

Winterhoff Family said...

This is the funniest post that I have read in a long time. I am equally obsessed with the "celebrity status" of a local radio D.J. whose child is in the Kindermusik class immediately following Luke's. The teacher and I talk about it every week, fanning ourselves and wringing our hands with excitement. Oh, the excitement for suburban moms, huh?
Congrats on a fantastic road trip and great photo documentation!

Anonymous said...

NO WONDER I love I guess I would anyone who can find such joy and excitement in Sharon Springs, NY and write about it in such an entertaining, engaging way that it has me searching my closet for the perfect Victorian Christmas dress! LW