Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Oh, My Beautiful One

Physically, BreyerFest was not too much of a drain on me – other than what I think was an allergic reaction to something at the hotel. It wasn’t the “con crud” that took down a bunch of people this year: all my symptoms – puffiness, stuffiness and congestion – were my typical allergic reactions.

(I’m guessing it was a soap, detergent or a cleanser the hotel was using, since it happened shortly after I took a shower.)

Mentally – well, we’ll get to that another time, the good and the bad.

But here is the one completely unmitigated good that came out of this year’s BreyerFest: it was the acquisition of a model I thought I would never own. A model I thought so unattainable, I never even imagined putting him on my Grail list:

The 1991 BreyerFest Raffle Model Gold Charm Man o’ War.

I did not attend the first BreyerFest in 1990: at the time, I was taking a bit of a respite from the hobby anyway, and what was advertised didn’t seem like all that big a deal – in fact, it felt a bit like Breyer was hijacking Marney’s Model Horse Congress for its own ends, but without the live show component.

But the following year was the year of four regional BreyerFests, each with a Decorator Raffle model. And the one in Kentucky? They were raffling off a Gold Charm Man o’ War.

I wanted to go. I had to go.

I spent $43 on raffle tickets: this is the most I have ever spent on any Raffle Model, before or since. That was a fairly huge amount back then, but you know the Man o’ War mold was/is a pretty big deal for me, so I had to give it a shot.

It didn’t happen, of course. And I definitely didn’t have the budget or the mindset to buy it second hand, so I just assumed that he was gone forever. Or at least until I won the lottery or something.

This year I had no plans on buying anything significant: maybe a few oddities, bodies and whatnot, but nothing major. I need to get caught up on a few things, financially: any extra moolah I made this year was going towards that goal.

But my sales were doing really well, so I felt a bit flush with cash and thought maybe I can get myself one nicer-than-average thing. Still within my budget, naturally, but you know how cheap I am: I was thinking really cool oddity, or a much needed upgrade.

I get back to the hotel on Friday after doing some volunteer stuff at the KHP. Since it was a bit on the “late” side, I had to park in the back back lot and hoof it through the 300 wing to my room, which at the opposite end (312) from where I had entered.

As I’m passing through, a room catches my eye. I have no idea why I even choose it, of all the rooms that were open, to walk into.

In the corner of the room, I see Him.

Ha! Surely he had to be some crazy, budget-busting price. These things never come up for sale. I thought myself honored to even see one in person.

Then I blinked several times when I saw his price. Were my eyes deceiving me? It was within spitting distance of the upper end of my budget! He was a bit tarnished and dinged, but heck, so was I, 25 years later. I made an offer, and after a tense 15-20 minute wait, the deal was done.

He was mine. I took him back to my room, and showed him off to a friend I had to leave in charge of my room for the five minutes I was gone.

What made his acquisition even better was because of that strange coincidence and timing, it led to a chain of events that brought another friend to also acquire her heart’s desire.

Oh, My Beautiful One. I have waited half my life to find you, and I am so glad you are now home. And from the moment I acquired you, spreading joy to all you encounter.


LazyShamrock said...

I'm happy he was able to come home with you!

Carrie said...

You almost literally yanking me out of the flow of people not even 10 minutes after I arrived at the hotel to show me this guy is definitely one of my Top Ten BreyerFest Memories™. Sweet.

LostInAn80sFog said...

Congratulations! So glad you've been united with your grail. :)

Lysette said...

I am so happy for you! Thank you for sharing, I needed the smile this morning. I am so glad to hear he is home with you!

Evelyn L. said...

Hearing how you attained your Grail, especially when you weren't expecting to find/buy
anything is absolutely heartwarming, it brought tears to my eyes.
How totally wonderful; Major Congratulations on your spectacular find!

Corky said...

That's fantastic! Congratulations!

Denise said...

I love hearing stories like this! Thanks for posting and congratulations!

Anonymous said...

I'm so happy for you!

Miranda Byford said...

I took a photo of the beautiful guy and even considered purchasing him but I am so glad I didn't. Your story is so wonderful, it warms my heart. Congrats!!!

Truson said...

A story to inspire Grail-seekers everywhere! Congratulations! :)

Anonymous said...

He is magnificent! Congrats!

Sandy said...

Congratulations! Stories like this keep my hopeful that one day I will find one of my Holy Grails!

Teresa Rogers said...

Glad he is with you now! I noticed a lot of Providence going around at Breyerfest (as well as the sharing of cold germs).

Susan said...

Congratulations, Andrea!! What a wonderful story.