Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Chesapeake, Part III

Then we were off to the Fair Hill Training Center. We were told along the way that Michael Matz might not be available due to a last minute commitment – one of the fillies he was training had qualified for rather prestigious race on Saturday – so I found myself momentarily disappointed.

Just go with it, it will be fine. It’s all good.

Until the Blue Bus got to the Vintage Farms facilities, and he walked out to greet us.

Now I have to tell you that I am not normally the kind of person who gets autographs. It was never my thing to begin with, and watching Peter Stone sign entire collections at some of the early Signing Parties soured me a bit on the practice.

I own many signed models and other things, but very few of them I sought out a signature for: most were already signed when I found them. (In fact, I found a signed biography of Ingmar Bergman at the Salvation Army just a couple weeks ago! By the author, not by Bergman himself, though…)

But after he had taken us through a tour of his facilities, and graciously answered all our questions, I took out my Jet Run and to have him signed. I was shaking like a leaf, grinning like an idiot, and all I could remember was the sounds of camera shutters clicking...

For most of the attendees, the elevated treadmill, the vibrating therapy stall or even the rather posh dinner (Prime Rib! Crab Cakes! Huge Dessert Table!) in the massive tent at the Fair Hill International were the big highlights of the day, but it was all secondary to feeling like a dorky teenaged horse girl again.

(Honestly, I kind of feel like that every day, but now there’s actual photographic documentation.)

Saturday saw us return to the Fair Hill International. I tried on expensive boots, drank champagne, hung out with my friends, and then got way too excited at lunch when I realized that several of the table displays in the tailgating tent were, in fact, Sample models. Why hadn’t I noticed this before? Gah!

At that point I decided to break away from everyone and everything and finally walk the course on my own. It was not just to clear my head; since I had enjoyed the process of building my diorama for BreyerFest so much this year, I have been thinking about adding performance dioramas to my already-too-long list of craft activities. It was the perfect opportunity to do some research in the field.

A friend wanted to do a group entry for the costume contest – a nurse attending an Ninja Pit survivor – and since it was funny and didn’t involve a huge amount of time or money, it seemed like the right thing to do. (Handy pro-tip: did you can make very realistic-looking blood with Hawaiian Punch drink mix? Bonus: you can lick your wounds!)

We didn’t win – when we found ourselves momentarily delayed because of a life-sized horse skeleton in one of the hotel elevators, I sort of figured we’d be out of the running – but we still managed to have a good time with it, got some laughs and photos out of it too, and even a hug from the Grim Reaper herself.

(If you know something of my family history, you’d know that the Grim Reaper and I tend to run into each other in October. So it was a lovely and poignant moment for me that something was given, rather than taken, at this meeting.)

Neither one of us nor my roommates won a centerpiece model either, but my traveling companion at the next table did, much to her shock and awe. So I’d at least be traveling halfway home with one. (This was a step up from Chicago, where one of my roommates one a centerpiece. So next time, maybe?)

We sauntered downstairs on Sunday morning for the Special Run distribution and discovered, unbelievably, that according to the number that was drawn, I was second in line. I had my pick of any model I wanted.

This was literally beyond my best-case scenario, which was being close enough to to the front to get one Not-A-Mason, so I felt…kind of gobsmacked. I couldn’t remember the last time I was near the front of the line for anything model-horse-related. (2010 NPOD line, I think?)

So I got to choose what I really wanted – the Fell Pony Black-Eyed Susan, and the Missouri Fox Trotter Raven – though to help one of my roommates out, I bought the Sagamore Rye for her and exchanged later. I was honestly quite surprised at his popularity; he did look great in Bay Roan, but I wasn’t aware that the Brishen mold had become that much of a rock star.

The drive home was also an adventure: we stopped at a little hole-in-the-wall Mexican place and I tried – and enjoyed! – the lengua, though I wasn’t adventurous enough to buy the chicharrones big enough to wear as hats. I did get myself some tamales for the road and some dulce de leche for dessert, though.

(I ate entirely too much on this trip!)

As we were driving through the Amish countryside, having just eaten some authentic Mexican food, passing by Mammoth Jacks and snotty little ponies, talking of Model Horses and Quilting and Comicons, a little voice in the back of my head whispered to me.

You pulled it off, kid. This wasn’t just good, it was almost perfect.

You jumped off that cliff, and you nailed the dive.


englishspot2003 said...


LostInAn80sFog said...

If you decide you can't live without that skeleton, I will mention it just went to 50% off at Home Depot. According to a friend's measurements, it's exactly 13hh. And to my eternal frustration, it's not available for shipping to my zip code so all I can do is drool:


timaru star ii said...

Congratulations! about time you got one of these!!

Anonymous said...

The skeletons are sold out nationwide. Ebay prices are hugely inflated.

Highadventure said...

OMG! Heather...DO NOT get her started on THAT again! I can't take it!!!!!
That almost made me wee my drawers when you guys really got rolling!!!!