Just takin’ a little break for a Wayzgoose recap … back with more road trip (of doom!) adventures later this week.
Oh, man. I’m beat. You people plum wore me out this time. Every year I keep thinking we can’t possibly top the previous year, but Wayzgoose just keeps getting better and better. And this year, the weather was so unbelievably good* that I think half of Tacoma (plus a good portion of Seattle and a smattering of Portland) put on their walking shoes and marched into our midst.
*See all those pairs of sunglasses? That straw hat? You don’t see those much ’round these parts. We’re the pasty-rainy vampire people, remember? Sunshine in April = naw, son, you must be dreaming.
To put it another way: it was absolute crazy sauce.
Or maybe it was just that the word is fully out now about our little printers’ party. After all, the Volcano said, “There are otherwise button-down, Wonder-bread, vanilla South Sounders who lose their ever-lovin’ shizz over Wayzgoose.” Amen, bros.
Big thanks to everyone who showed up to the party (even if I didn’t get a chance to thank you in person); to the Tacoma Arts Commission for being our fairy godparents; to the small army of adorable volunteers who kept everything chuggin’ along; to Rosemary Ponnekanti at the News Tribune for the write-up; to Kyle Durrie for making an appearance in her travelin’ Type Truck; and to sweet pea Flaherty and Jessica Spring for making it all happen.
Speaking of Jessica, I think I laid eyes on her all of twice, all day. She was scurrying around and herding cats outside, while I was camped behind a steady stream of folks at our adjacent tables (thanks, y’all!). There wasn’t even room to sneak a hip shot of how many people were shoehorned in there, so the only photos I could snag were right at the beginning before folks showed up, or at the end, when people finally started to clear out.
I know this doesn’t look like a big crowd, but trust me—it was a total sardine can in there. (Or clown car, if you prefer circus metaphors. I know I do.) But when the room is packed with all your favorite Northwesterners, it’s a win-win.
Among the talented regulars was my lovely friend Keegan,
and of course, Atticus, who frequently thinks he’s a pirate parrot. Yarr!
There was also a very special newcomer this year. Remember my former student Sara? Well, she caught the letterpress bug, and caught it bad. In less than three years since she took my class, she and her husband Brad (pictured) have gone from newbie nestlings to fully-fledged, successful business owners. (And they’re not the only ones!) Sigh. My kids are all grown up and making a hand-printed ruckus! It does my heart good.
Outside, spring was in full bloom at the L’Arche booth,
and the steamroller prints were better than ever. (Special shout-out to Audra Laymon for her goatey Blueberry Park print! I think a hundred people heard me squeal when I saw it.)
Jessica and I decided to sit out the steamroller this year to make room for a few new folks, and that turned out to be a smart move. Just standing at my table for six+ hours hobbled me like an arthritic old woman—I don’t think my knee was up to printing. My only regret was not being able to witness much of the spectacle this year.
I did sneak outside long enough to learn that Tacoma’s own Arts Commissioners had been pressed into service (heckuva job, Scott!)—
and that the print quality was the tastiest it’s ever been, thanks to some tweaked techniques Jessica gleaned from our day in San Francisco last fall.
Attendance reached a new record this year—I think we’re an official Tacoma institution now. Mr. sweet pea says the count of men, women, children, babies and beasties approached the 1,000 mark!
R.J. says: Word to your mother.