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Vintage Fashion

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September issue

September issue
available now

Latest Articles

The catharsis of the July Portland Expo

When someone dies in this business, I don’t get shocked that easily. I don’t stay grieved for very long. I can’t. I recycle every month like a newly minted moth breaking out of its chrysalis. We’re not kids any longer. A year ago, when I discovered that Chris Palmer died of cancer just a few weeks after I saw her at the July Portland Show, it was an existential blow from which I have yet to recover. I never got the catharsis that I needed. Chris was my age. I took it personally.
I still haven’t changed my Facebook banner featuring Chris’ show. It’s been a year. I really should do it. It’s way out of date.

When the July Portland Expo came around last month, it was ultimately beyond my control to stay away. I put it off as long as possible and paid a steep fare for my tardiness. I felt like a salmon, with that irresistible urge to return to the spawning grounds.
It didn’t come at a particularly easy time; I was in the middle of several pressing pieces of business, but I made the 3,000-mile round trip in eleven hours and twenty-six minutes. Left Ontario at 10:45 a.m. and got back at 11: 11 p.m.

I blazed through the enormous show in 2 hours and ten minutes. The train on the way back to the airport had a door malfunction. It wouldn’t move. I had to hoof it a couple miles in 92-degree heat across unfamiliar urban terrain, getting stopped by three people, asking me for directions. Just made my flight in time. At the TSA counter, in the frenzy I lost some computer accessories, a mouse, charger and ear phones. My good ones. The ones I was planning to use to listen to the interviews on the way back. Putting my shoes back on, I got knocked down by a wheelchair and slashed my knee on the corner of a steel bench. Seeing blood running down my white sneakers, a flight attendant quickly found me a big piece of gauze. Still hurts.

I’m glad I went.
Frankly, I was worried about the show. Chris was a workaholic and was obsessive about staying on top of the most minute details. She worked like a furious hurricane on fire.
Glad to report the show is doing just fine. Chuck and the staff were on top of it all. Electricity. Parking. Passes. All the usual stuff I’d see Chris doing.

The displays looked great and happy dealers were making substantial sales.
Since my flight on the way back had a stop over in Sacramento, I had plenty of time to think about the show. I came away with a half dozen stories. One is in this issue, the rest in a special feature in the September issue.

The scab on my knee just won’t seem to heal, but I think somewhere between the show, the train and the airport, I got my catharsis.

Next month, I’m changing my Facebook banner. Goodbye Chris.

Calm’s May Show fills pent up demand for high-end indoor show

Calm's Show producer, April Thede

First edition after the fires and flooding
This is the first eagerly-awaited edition of the Calm’s Antique Show since the natural disasters that plagued the Santa Barbara area and literally forced the closure of the 101 freeway.
In order to get through that area, drivers were required to go on a hundred mile detour so the January show was forced to cancel. That, coupled with the canceling of the May 4th and 5th Pasadena Bustamante Show, has led to pent-up buyer demand for the Calm’s Show slated for May 18th-20th.
Suzanne Fox will be bringing her Staffordshire, majolica and milk glass; Pam Lee will be dressing up shoppers in Bakelite bangles and celluloid hair accessories; Ann Slater will be bringing her tole-painted trays, Robert Sommers of Blue Heron Gallery will offer Mission and Arts & Crafts era antiques along with avant garde paintings; Peggy MacFarland unveils her latest figural cast iron doorstops; and George Nyiri, the Most Sensational Dealer, will feature designer antiques from the early 20th century.
The Show runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Earl Warren Showgrounds in Santa Barbara. Admission is $6.