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Saturday 27 July 2013

The day of the Gathering.
Bit of a lie-in, up at 7am. Breakfast was … scrambled eggs, bacon, potatoes, but I was good and had a toasted bagel. The dining room was small and therefore busy as it’s a big hotel.

We visited the High Falls in Rochester city centre, but it looked neglected and sad.
So it was on to the convention centre for the technical and commercial vendors in Empire Hall. One of the first people we met was Linda, also from the UK. We were at Arrow Springs stand. I bought glass and frit and a couple of tools.
We had a wander round – torches, findings, tools, glass, frit, murrini, there was a bit of everything. I bought some Double Helix glass and a bit of murrini.

Then we moved on to the commercial vendors, the bead sellers, approx. 50 of them. The variety, size, shape and colour was huge. I loved walking round, chatting to the sellers, admiring the beads on offer, marvelling at the skill. Everyone was very friendly, willing to talk about their work and let me take photos. It was great to see Sharon Peters again, meet Marcy Lamberson and her cute seahorses, meet Kristina Logan and see her beads in real life, ditto J C Herrell.

We had our lunch there and got chatting to two local ladies, Wendy and Farress – jewellery makers not lampworkers. It culminated in Farress inviting us to her house for dinner.
After lunch we looked at the remaining stalls, including quite remarkable insects in 104, including the most delicate stag beetles and, my favourite out of everything, fish with jelly fish in.

Then it was time to leave and head off to a Native American festival at Ganogdagan. Not arriving until 3pm meant we’d missed a lot of the live shows but were in time to see a tribute to a member of staff of the Ganodagan trust and a musical show by Arvel Bird. We looked round the stalls. Lots of silver and turquoise jewellery and dream catchers as I expected. I didn’t expect everything to be as expensive as it was. $20 for a pair of small woven seed bead earrings. As we’d already eaten, we didn’t partake of fry bread, beans and hand-pulled pork, but it sounded interesting. It rained heavily during Arvel’s performance but was only drizzling as we walked back to the car.
It was very warm and humid, and stayed that way all evening.

Dinner was at the home of Farress and John. She did us proud with typical 4th July fare – fried chicken, beans, corn on the cob, hot dogs, potato salad and coleslaw with apple pie for dessert. We had lots to talk about, we asked questions about all things American and they about all things English. John also had a renovated 1941 Chevrolet truck in his garage. It was an enjoyable evening.