More Reports From the Front Lines of the Storms


My thanks to Don Crozier of Best of Missouri Hands for the following information, more fallout from the last week’s storms, in particular the Omaha Summer Arts Festival:Omaha Summer Arts Festival

From Bari Precious:
Dearest Friends and those who have become friends through your love, I am overwhelmed by your response to my wind water hail storm disaster on Friday. I can only say the sight of soggy pizza having floated in and glued to the broken pots under my devastated tent did not stir my hunger but the vase of wild black eyed susans sitting intact in the middle of the heap of shelves, pots drapes and debris gave me a breath of peace.

Photo by Don Ament

It was an unbelievable mess and I have spent the whole day
washing away the crud happily to find many pieces still intact. My
icestorm teapots from last year were under the bottom shelf and
although the shelves were thrown around and heaped in a mess the
teapots (3) MADE IT.

Thanks for your many offers of tents and equipment but I have one from
Sam and Patty for next week’s show and insurance to cover a new one
following that. If anyone is into mosaics I would be happy to furnish
enough pieces to pave a trail to heaven or somewhere close to it. I
will recover and hopefully create better stuff- though I have said a
few bad words as I discovered some cracks in pots I thought were
pretty fine – “in their earlier lives”- So often I have said, as one
broke. “it’s only mud” well now I am having to eat my words.
Your love, thoughts, prayers and well wishes have gone straight to my
heart- I am humbled
Thank you – I hope to hug you all in the future- love Bari

Theresa Gallup writes that she has been doing shows for 10 years and
has never lost a tent or product. Her garage looks like a wet laundry
room with garments hanging everywhere.

Blenda Marquardt
Hi, Don. Noticed the Omaha information and thought you might be
interested in other members who were also affected.

In the canopy next to Bari Precious, Ken Nelson also lost his canopy
and entire setup. Luckily he was able to salvage enough of his
beautiful wood art to keep going. With the tenacity so typical of our
members, Ken bought an EasyUp and a couple of tables, and, with pieces
of his shelving as his display, he was open for business on Saturday
morning. Yea Ken!!!

Suzette Nesbitt also returned from the storm shelter in the Landmark
building to find her canopy twisted but still standing. Not so good
for her display, propanels and all her jewelry, which was scattered
throughout her booth. After several hours of putting things back
together, Suzette was up and running again on Saturday.

The net loss on Friday night was twelve displays that were completely
destroyed, but many others were damaged. Most artists managed to put
things back together and were up and running on Saturday.

Just to show how unforgiving the weather can be, there was another
storm on Saturday night. They called it a microburst…about three
blocks wide with about 60 mph winds, that lasted about 5 minutes but
took about 6 more canopies. Unfortunately for Suzette, she caught it
again. True to BOMH strength of will, she put it all back together
and was up and running again for customers on Sunday…yea Suzette!!!

There were several other BOMH members at this show including the
Marquardts, the Clements, and Robert Lyall, who had little damage and
were able to keep going.

Kudos to the art show staff and the folks of Omaha. The staff saw to
our safety, helped clean up, and took good care of us in oh, so many
ways. On Saturday and Sunday, there were many folks from Omaha who
had damage at home, or lost their electricity who made a point of
coming to the art fair in support of the artists. Thank you, Omaha.

There is a good discussion about the effects of the storm also at the NAIA artists site.


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2 Responses to “More Reports From the Front Lines of the Storms”

  1. Lisa Konikow Says:

    I thought the River Days situation with at least 1-2 storms per day was really precarious, however beautiful and last year, they had to move everyone because of the rain as well.

    My point is – how did you and Norm manage to do all those festivals all those years OUTSIDE, WEATHER dependent? Were there not tornadoes, thunderstorms, hurricanes and fires in California and Florida and Michigan? Have the seasons changed? If the art fair scene has changed so drastically, is any of it because of weather?

    I couldn’t keep on doing it year after year if my tent had been continually destroyed, not to mention all my work, not to mention all the money for travel and such. I heard from Stan Baker that Ohio was the same for him same weekend as RD, and I’ve read your reports. Poor artists.

    Yet the charm and excitement of an outdoor festival, as opposed to a Novi Expo, for example – that WAY out weighs the indoor festivals. (except for that opening night of Toledo – so elegant – but that’s another story.

    What do you think about the weather?

  2. downtown worker Says:

    As nice as this event is for the people that like outdoor entertainment, it’s not as wonderful for the downtown workers in and around the Gene Leahy Mall in the office buildings. Starting as early as Thursday night, streets are being blocked off and changed from one-way to two-way streets. I saw a couple of near misses because drivers are confused. I wouldn’t want to be in the office building near 13th & Farnam with the new-age band playing loud music Friday afternoon. At least the area looked clean on Monday morning. This event has gotten so large it’s time to move it to a new location. The Santa Lucia festival also used to block off the same streets but they moved to the waterfront where the city has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars developing and promoting. Parking is less than adequate in the current area. It doesn’t seem to make any logical sense yet the city public works department seems to encourage the event to continue.

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