Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A little bit of history goes a long way...

This past weekend, I had the honor of participating in the Manayunk Arts Festival which has been considered the largest arts festival in the Delaware Valley. The days were long and the streets were packed, it was undoubtedly an exhausting weekend but my mom (my wonderful helper) and I came away with a few wonderful memories that we are sure to laugh and reminisce about in the months to come. Not only was I honored to participate but I was presented with an Honorable Mention Award for the Fiber Arts Category and got to display a ribbon on my booth! This is the first time I've received an award at any of these craft shows! I'm not the best at receiving awards and the picture they snapped of me probably looked more shocked and confused than anything else but it certainly was a good feeling. (More pictures to come of this later...)

Traveling to my many shows throughout the seasons I have met a lot of people and boy do they sometimes say the darnedest things. My mom and I have even discussed having a notebook where we can write down all of the things that people have said and done that made us laugh or smile throughout the days....

With that being said, despite having won an award and meeting many wonderful people, the highlight of the weekend can be summed up by one particular family. It was early Sunday morning, post award, pre-100,000th person to pass by the booth (just a guess, there were LOTS) when this family stepped into my booth. There was a mother, father, grandmother, and three daughters, one in a stroller. The whole family walked into the booth somewhat in awe, dad and the two older girls the most excited. I said hello and smiled at their excitement when the dad looked up at me and said, "Did you sew all of these BY HAND?" This is a question I've become rather accustomed to, so I said, "Yes, everything is hand-stitched and one-of-a-kind". He then proceeded to tell his daughters that I was the artist and I made every single one of them and then he turned to me and said, "You know, if YOU were around in 1776 you could have been Betsy Ross!" Slightly caught off guard at this comment I said, "Yes, yes I could have." Again, he proceeded to tell his daughters that I was the artist and I could have been Betsy Ross! Then one of the girls came over to me and looked up at me behind her big sunglasses and said, "You LOOK like Betsy Ross!!!" Not knowing what Betsy Ross really looked like, I asked her, of course.... "She had broooown eeeyes and brooowwn hair..." And it was at that moment that Dad realized my actual name. Diane Koss. "Even your name is close!!! I bet you're related!!!" And there it was, I unknowingly and unintentionally changed history in those young minds. They MET the relative of Betsy Ross on their visit to the City of Brotherly Love. As they left my booth with huge grins on their faces, I thought to myself, this is why I do this. No, I don't do it to change history in young minds (although I'll pat myself on the back for that one) but I do it because in that moment I gave that entire family a memory that they can share. So those girls might grow up to think that Betsy Ross made monsters and that Diane Koss hand-stitched the American flag, but what does all of that really matter in the end. I'd take ten minutes of pure excitement, inquisitiveness, and happiness over a minor inaccurate history fact any day!

Now onto that inaccurate history fact... I didn't put much thought into whether or not I actually looked like Betsy Ross until now... but they may have been on to something here...










4 comments:

Straight_UP said...

In honor of Ms. Ross you could make a flag monster... that would be cool.

Sammi and Tom said...

American flag monster would be very timely. If only you knew you were the descendant of Betsy Ross a few weeks ago, you would've cashed in this weekend. That story is adorable.

Sammi and Tom said...

I just thought of this and had to go back to comment it : "MonsteROSS"

OK, I'll stop now.

Carol said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.