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Triumphing Over Childhood Trauma! And a craft show. And a Birthday!

Well, it had to happen.  I’m just glad it waited until now.

I’ve been very lucky over the years.  I have had great success at craft shows.

Pouring rain?  Made a profit!  Only a few customers?  Made a profit!  Windstorm blows half my stuff onto the ground?  Made a profit!

Last weekend in Santa Monica?

Not so much.

I don’t know what happened.  Not a big turnout but those who came just, were not there to buy stuff.  Or even take business cards.  It happened to all the vendors and it was weird.


The event was held outside the very cool Museum of Flying at the Santa Monica airport.15776516228_7067342873_oAnd since I……..had some time on my hands….. I checked it out and ended up facing and defeating a demon from my childhood!

“Tell us more, David” I can hear you murmur.


My dad is an aviation nut and always has been.  He builds model planes.  He learned to be a pilot and flew Cessna’s.  His second career was running the Airline Safety Reporting System.


So it was appropriate that, when I was six we took a family vacation to Dayton, Ohio and the Air Force Museum there. (yes, we lived large when I was a kid!).

I was good with this plan. I was a little boy.  I like planes, cars trucks and stuff.

Well, I was good with it until I saw this:

DAYTON, Ohio -- Curtiss P-40E Warhawk in the Air Power Gallery at the National Museum of the United States Air Force. (U.S. Air Force photo)

This is  a Curtis-40 War Hawk.

And Mr. Aren’t-Planes-Awesome decided he wanted a picture of his only son standing in front of it.

Well, I may have been six but I was not an idiot and I WAS NOT GOING TO TURN MY BACK ON THAT THING!!!

Was he crazy?  Was he trying to kill me?!  Whatever.  It was not happening!

But it did happen.

So, there is a famous-in-my-family photo of me screaming crying in front of this plane.

But I can now put that shame behind me.

Because at the Santa Monica Museum they had thisAirplane

Yeah.  I took that picture.   I stared down that monster and triumphed!  I even got close enough to read the sign! (it is a North American Navion)

Modern kids?….no common sense.trusting foolsAnd, feeling flush with pride, I wandered over and checked out the reproduction of the Wright Brothers PlaneWright Brothers Plane and I was reminded of this great quote:Wilber Wright Quote

Nailed it!!!!!!! (OK, my dad may have had some dubious photo opportunity ideas but, otherwise, great guy!)

And also, today is Dad’s 94th Birthday!!dad(this picture was taken a few years ago)

Still going strong!  Still all about planes (although he was in the Navy – go figure) and woodworking, and book club, and taking continuing education classes and generally making me feel fairly lazy.

So, that was Santa Monica and now –


This next weekend is the big Jackalope Show in Pasadena.3f6dde38-e134-4175-903d-746c5a8520f8I am very excited about the show (I love Pasadena) and I had, um,  a lot of time last weekend to ruminate on new ideas that I’ll be sharing them this week.

Back soon!


About cheltenhamroad

I’ve been surrounded by amazingly creative people my whole life. My mom can, and does, make anything. The family has on occasion speculated that she just whipped up my dad one day when she discovered some left over fabric and stuffing. My three sisters have mad skills ranging from needlework to cooking to out and out ART. My father’s desk when I was growing up had a model train set going around it, oh, and he made that desk-from scratch. I’m the youngest and, as you can imagine, it’s a hard series of acts to follow. Truth be told, I’ve spent many, many years suppressing the creative instincts I learned at home. But I realized (rather late in life) that few things bring me more joy than making and creating. For the longest time when I went to stores I didn’t think, “I want that” I thought, “I can make that.” And, with a deep breath and a leap, I’ve started on a very new, kinda scary path. I’ve given up my steady, dependable (dull!) corporate life to spend my days happily humming away in my garage designing, creating, painting, decoupaging and sawing and, since this blog will be an honest take on things, there is also a fair amount of tripping, spilling and swearing. Through this blog I hope to share with you the struggles and (hopefully) triumphs of a very non-businessy business person. I also hope to make this blog a resource for people who like to work with their hands and who are, like me, always looking at things and thinking “I could make that!” I’ve lived many places since I left Cheltenham Road; I currently live in Los Angeles California. So, with this preamble- Welcome to Cheltenham Road! Please come on over and make yourself comfortable – the place is always open.

10 responses »

  1. ChrisinanRVinMN

    I think that a lot of families have the traumatized by Santa photos. Yours was actually a scary looking warplane. I notice that you didn’t show the actual photo in question. All I can say about Santa Monica is “Bad, Santa Monica, bad!”

    • (to be honest I wasn’t a huge “meet Santa” fan either).
      Someday I will find and share the photo though. It’s buried in my dad’s slide collection and I didn’t want to bother him.

  2. I feel your pain! Years ago my Dad and I did a ‘FAMILY CRAFT’ show. We thought it would be great. We made vintage memory boxes that had vintage cameras, high top women’s shoes ect. so we were more high priced than the vendors around us. On one side of us they were selling rubber stamps and on the other side they had puppets that they pulled out of boxes marked MADE IN CHINA. Not a problem that there were no people, they were everywhere-just not in our booth! Family Craft fair means let’s buy for the kids. If I had been selling balloons we would have made a killing! LOVE reading your blog! Keep up the good work!

    • that is the worst feeling! just sitting there watching other people buy other people’s stuff. I feel your pain Suzanne! The days in Santa Monica were warm and a SOOOOO wanted to be the guy that was selling shaved ice. He made a killing!

  3. How handsome your Dad was as a young man. I have a photo of my Dad during his life guard days and he was quite a hunk. You MUST find that photo, what a memory. Isn’t it strange what freaks us out when we are little? Once was selling at a show and if ONE MORE person smelled my sachets, I was going to throw them away because it started to gross me out…don’t put your nose on my stuff. 🙂 I would totally buy your stuff!

  4. …I don’t see the picture of you in Santa Monica standing in front of that plane with your back to it…just sayin’…what, there was NO ONE there who could have snapped that picture for you? You are so cute, bro….Happy Birthday to Daddy!

  5. The BLUE ANGELS are Navy planes! They always come by here several times a year, especially at the graduation day for the Naval Academy. As a kid, my parents took us to see the Thunderbirds airshow at Dover AFB, and I have been to the Thunderbirds at Nellis AFB near Vegas–no idea why. I’m not an aviation buff. I’ve been to the Air and Space Museum at the Smithsonian. I much prefer the American History and Natural History Museums…

    Happy Birthday to your dad!

    I hope the next craft show is a success!


  6. Myself, I have a fear of flying, not standing in front of a plane with a scary design! Sorry about your show, I have been there, not Santa Monica, but show(s) with no buyers. Well, some buyers, I used to get home from those shows and swear that next time I would be selling fudge.
    Happy Birthday David’s father!

  7. I know exactly how you feel about just sitting there seeing other vendors
    selling their stuff. I’ve had my own experience with that thinking “Why do
    I continue to get up early and just sit there?”. I like making handmade items.
    It can be relaxing with the tv on or music playing just making stuff. I know one
    day I will hit the jackpot and have an awesome craft show selling lots of stuff.

  8. Happy 94th Birthday, Dad!! What a milestone! I would love to know what your dad thinks is the key to longevity. I heard a 100-year-old (can’t spell that word) interviewed once, and he said the key is “keep working, keep laughing, and NEVER go to the hospital”… 🙂 Sounds like your dad is at least doing the first two very well. Sorry about your show…some days the gods smile upon us, my friend (did you catch the reference?), and some days…not so much. Better luck at the next one–I’m sure you will do very well!


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