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The Show of Summer - a Near Disaster!

Martha Marsh

In June, Cathy Miller and I entered an invitational two-sided arrangement class in the GCA Major Show in Chicago,  The Show of Summer.  A two-sided design is in itself VERY difficult,  and because the class was invitational,  we found ourselves among some of the hottest shots in the country.  Oh dear....

The class title was "Heads or Tails" so we decided to portray a flip of the coin,  using flowers on one side and vegetables on the other.  We had my iron man fabricate a graduated steel spiral with a platform on top to hold a cage of oasis.  At the bottom was a large steel circle for weight and balance.  We also enlarged the pedestal with a wooden tray and put about $20 worth of pennies all over it.  So far so good,  right?

We had our mechanics all set and arrived at the show with our traveling wagons loaded to the gunnels,  oasis soaked and in place, ready to toss this thing together.   Then physics reared its ugly head.  Even though the spiral was extremely sturdy,  with so much weight of water and plant material at the top it swayed and leaned,  nearly going over a few times.  

A show can be like a cooking competition -- all of a sudden time is up and you have to stop.  About five minutes before the deadline we had a 30 degree lean to one side and were frantically packing potatoes and brussels sprouts into the other side of the design to bring it up straight again.  We were beside ourselves!  But somehow,  after woggling around for about a minute it came to a stop at vertical just as the deadline arrived.  Whew!

In the end we got the third.  The judges' comment said it was because the two sides of the design were not clearly defined (No kidding -- there were potatoes and brussels sprouts everywhere!)  We were very happy with our third, particularly because the design didn't fall over.  And we decided that we deserved the Award for The Most Creative Use of Naughty Language.

One of the best designers in the country won the first and the Swift Award (as usual), but it was richly deserved.  That night all the class designers had dinner together and giggled and shrieked about the pitfalls of designing, which included the big winner falling off her step ladder just as we kicked over an entire bucket of water.  We are all such good friends, it really didn't matter who won.  And I know we will do it again.