03 May 2013

A 2nd Update to "The Notice"

The Holly Springs Farmers Market met last night at the coffeehouse. The group is beginning it's third year. Chelius and I were background hosts, mostly there to provide coffee-and-fixin's and serve as colorful human accents to the charmingly eclectic decor.

The president or chairman of the group was a clean-shaven, attractive, 40-something guy who introduced himself to me before the meeting started. I told him my name and asked him what kind of work he did in the area. "Well, believe it or not, I'm a minister."  "Well, speaking as a woman who dropped out of seminary, may I say I would have guessed that?" He laughed. He said he is pastor of  "a new church, a different kind of church" a few miles outside Holly Springs in "the county." He invited me to visit and I probably will -- just to see firsthand what a "new" and "different" church looks like here.

After opening the meeting with a few welcoming remarks he ran through the participation guidelines for the dozen-or-so growers in attendance. (Never thought of it until just this moment:  when does a garden become a farm? I'm guessing it's a question of size but...) Noting the emphasis and elaboration on  the "no alcohol, no drinking, no drunkenness" rule, and having recently discovered a small vineyard in my neighborhood, I inquired during Q&A if vendors were allowed to sell wine made from their own grapes (similar to honey harvested from tended hives).

The question stumped him. "I....well, no one ever asked....I don't know..." and he turned to consult a woman who had driven up from Oxford to lend her expertise from that area's older, more established farmers market. She was not stumped. "No, no. I don't think you want to start that," she advised and the minister/moderator concurred as murmurs and quiet, nervous laughter erupted around the room. Felt like a fourth grade classroom reaction to hearing "robin red BREAST" in a poem.

As the group watched a slideshow, Chelius mentioned seeing my Writer's Circle announcement in this week's paper. "Too bad they left out your contact information."

I called the newspaper offices around 11 this morning. The woman I'd spoken to the other day is "off on Fridays" but I explained the situation to the one who answered. "Let me see if I can find it," she said and placed me on hold. Not knowing what "it" she was looking for, I switched to speakerphone and waited...wiped down the kitchen countertop....poured and drank a glass of soy milk...watered the aloe plant...swept the laundry room floor....looked up the phone number for the library....

I hung up after just over 5 minutes of holding and dialed the number again. This time a different woman answered. "I think she's having a little trouble finding something," I said. "I'll just swing by there while I'm out on errands."  "No, no," she assured me. "It's right here. We're just about to find it. Can you hold on just another minute?" she asked but did not wait for an answer.

After a couple minutes she returned, "We're just about to find it. It's probably just the, uh, the...writer's rule about always putting the important information at the top in case the article gets cut off but she's trying to find your original copy so we can see if we need to run it again or if you left it out or what happened exactly. Hold on just a minute." 

Back on hold.

Two or three more minutes go by. The first voice returns. "Well, I can't find the original that we were working from so I don't know if you left it off or if we left it off..."  "I can assure you the contact information appeared on the original."

"Well, we've short-handed this week and it is the week before the election so that's the most important news and we probably had to cut your article to make room for the election news."  (Note: I am actually excited to see the edition now....the Election Edition...of a newspaper that did not cover the single mayoral "debate."  

She took my information and said they will run the piece again. In next week's edition. She even offered to run it in their other little paper.  Pigeon something or other.


In the meantime...

-I've decided to make up some miniature flyers and start handing them out
-While the above events transpired, a Holly Springs resident who saw the notice and wants to participate called the newspaper office and was given a telephone number. She was given the wrong number. By the time she called again, the newspaper had my information and was able to give her the right number. (I know, I know:  what was the first number they gave her?  why did they give her that number?....)

This is a strange town.