#219–My big day . . .


Although I had sent out invites to everyone I knew that I thought might be interested in attending the 2nd Saturday Gallery Tour reception at Backstreet Gallery, I didn’t expect a big turnout. Only a couple of people actually said they would be there. Most had somewhere else to be or lived away from Florence. I really didn’t expect the out-of-towners to be there but wanted to share the good news.


2nd Saturday Gallery Tour and reception for featured artists Judy Fleagle and Meredith Draper.

Every 2nd Saturday Backstreet reception honors one or two of the gallery artists, and this was my first time to be so honored. I was sharing the honor with Meredith Draper, the vintage watch artist, who also spins wool into yarn and then weaves it into beautiful scarves that are also on sale at the gallery. She has terrific photos on cards there too. I just have my books there.

Meredith, as the gallery person in charge of window displays, told me she was giving me the whole front window and then helped me get my display together. I had the idea to put the bridge poster of McCullough coastal bridges in a sandwich board configuration facing both out the window and in and flanked by photos I had taken over the years of various McCullough bridges some facing out and some facing in. And my books would be interspersed.

Meredith’s husband, Charles, made two 12- by 18-inch copies of the bridge poster on fabulous paper from the large file I had on a flash drive. Then I took them to Pacific Frameworks to be mounted on foam board and hinged. This project was not cheap, but I’ll be able to use at book fairs in the future.


My window display featuring McCullough bridges.

I may have had the idea for my window display, but Meredith made it happen. After spending three hours going over a decade of digital photos, I found 22 and put them on a flash drive and gave to her. She selected a dozen and ran them off on good photo paper and then mounted them with frames and backing that she ordered for me. I reimbursed her for them. I was only too glad to have her recommend what to order and to frame them. She had years of experience; I had none. I did write up descriptions of each bridge and mounted them on the back of each photo and on the front on the plastic sleeves that protected each photo.

On the first Tuesday of each month display changes are made. And Meredith spent at least two hours getting my display just right. I love what she did, and it will be there for all the world to see until April 3.


Erin Leonard and me at the reception.

For Meredith, the reception was not a big deal because she has been the featured artist many times before—not so me! It was a first. I was thrilled and excited to be so honored. The evening before, my sister called to wish me well on “my big day,” and an out-of-town friend sent a dozen yellow roses.

I was also in charge of the reception, as I am for every other one. I do the ‘odd’ months and someone else does the ‘even’ ones. I did all the ‘check on this and check on that’ responsibilities prior to the event and got there early enough to help in set-up and stayed through take-down. During the event, the ‘even’ reception chairman took over, and I will do the same for her next month when she will be unable to attend her month’s event.

So I was able to mingle and socialize during the whole time. It was not a big crowd but a steady crowd. There were always folks I knew to talk to and some of them came just because I was being featured. So I was very pleased, and I’ve never had the time fly by so fast at a Saturday reception. I even sold a couple books.


Erin Leonard bought one of my bridge books. She’s been threatening to for years!


Jeff Lovejoy played some of my favorites.


The weather was great, at least until the last half hour or so when we were hit with a couple showers, but that was it. Soon it was back to decent weather. And the music was great. Jeff Lovejoy played keyboard and sang, and a lot of the songs just happened to be my favorites.

The food was also great. It was the second time to have Fresh Harvest do the catering, and they outdid themselves. There were four items. One was a mini reuben and another deviled eggs. My favorite was the mini chicken salad on croissant sandwich, and the dessert was puff pastry bites with melted Brie drizzled with a choice of strawberry or raspberry preserves. Doesn’t that simply make you drool! Anyway, the deviled eggs and puff pastry bites ran out before the end of the reception, but I lucked out. I got to take home a few reuben and chicken salad mini sandwiches that were left over. So I was a very happy camper.


Rhiannon Nickerson from Fresh Harvest is the main one responsible for all the wonderful food.

All in all it was a lovely reception, and I had a wonderful time!

About crossingsauthor

Judy Fleagle spent 22 years teaching 1st and 2nd grades and 21 years as editor/staff writer with Oregon Coast and Northwest Travel magazines.Since 2009, she has written five books: "Crossings: McCullough's Coastal Bridges," "The Crossings Guide to Oregon's Coastal Spans," "Around Florence," "Devil Cat and Other Colorful Animals I Have Known," and "The Oregon Coast Guide to the UNEXPECTED!!!."
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