Traditions are worthy of their upkeep for reasons beyond whatever the tradition itself entails. Like a reliable old friend, they can be counted upon to deliver-whether said delivery involves turkey and mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving or Bloody Marys at the Sportsman the day we put The Indy‘s Best Of issue to bed. They’re those rare moments in life where you know exactly what you’re gonna get. I mean, I dig Thanksgiving dinner and a perfectly mixed Bloody as much as the next girl, but, when it comes to traditions, such details are largely beside the point. They’re markers, holidays, things that don’t require the anxiety of from-scratch plan-making, because each year’s plan is the same as that of the last. Best-case scenario, they give us something to look forward to. (Worst-case, they give us plenty of time to come up with a viable excuse to get out of it.)
And, oh so happily, Kenny Osehan and Chris Sewell of the Presidio Motel have opted to make a yearly happening of their Jill of All Trades event, whose maiden voyage went down around this time last year, at which point I became irrecoverably-and understandably-smitten. Let’s review: Cool peeps mingled as talented arts-women of all stripes slung their wares to live tunes in the reliably epic late-September Santa Barbara sunshine. (Read: shopping! Shoppingshoppingshopping.) I left with a homemade T-shirt, a necklace, and the world’s most adorable (not to mention bad-hair-day-rescuing) headband, which I wore nearly every day of a recent cross-country endeavor. In fact, it became such a trademark that last month, when I text-messaged a New Orleans friend to see where she’d gone to escape Gustav (it seems, for some, Labor Day natural disasters are becoming traditions in their own right), she replied from a bar, saying she’d opted to stick around and ride it out, and could I please find a headband like mine for her?
So, I was on a mission. And Jill of All Trades’ second year was even better than the first: vendors and guests equally enthused about the grooviness of the goings-on. The sun was shining, and my bestest old pal/former officemate was in town to take it in with. Local designers like Kelly Morgan, Jill Johnson, Claudia Abderhalden, and Susan Cameron got a chance to show off their skills, while the ¼ber-talented family affair The Volt Per Octaves showered us with a psychedelic soundtrack. I was having plenty of fun chit-chatting and blowing every last penny I’d brought, when, late in my second lap, things got even better. I spotted Nicole Strafaci, who’d sold me that infamous headband, a year ago. Or, she spotted me.
“Hey!” she said, “I remember you!”
“I remember you, too!” I said. “And I’m on a mission!”
We picked out a winner for my pal, and said goodbye again. I debated grabbing another for myself, but I’d already scored a vintage white leather satchel and a pair of earrings and was debating some electric-blue boots. : And something told me I’d be seeing her again next year.
In fact, I’m planning on it.