As I was making the new T-shirts at Spudnik Press, this pretty girl she asks, “Are you making those for Renegade?”
But it struck me that Renegade Craft Fair was a place I should probably go. Renegades love stories! Crafters are all about tales. So I went out on Saturday and Sunday and slung some postcards. I tried to be judicious about it. I put on my best Derren Brown cold reader face. And besides two doldrumy snarks:
1) a British-sounding, train-hopping-looking, gutter punk with a curt, “If I don’t know you, good — day to you, sir!”
2) a girl who’d just broken up with her boyfriend, “Yes, I am having a no-good rotten day!”
Well, besides those two encounters, I nearly felt like a drug dealer.
That’s not the story though. Here is the Story: Do you remember when we got a letter from Yellowstone National Park? Well, as the Craft Fair started to close up, I noticed a sign for the first time. I had passed it it a half dozen times over the weekend. The sign read, iamhome. It was in a familiar font.
I ran into the booth, “You sent me a letter!”
The couple that ran the shop looked at me strangely. And I tried another tact. “Do you know me? Do I know you?” I was ear to ear grinning. I was nodding to try and get them to say yes despite the fact that they clearly didn’t know me. “You guys sent me an awesome letter… Okay maybe it wasn’t you guys. Are you guys iamhome?”
“Yeah!” Joseph, was a tall man with a frizzy red beard. His wife Sarah kept packing up boxes as it’d been a long hot day, and though I was exhuberant, I was unlikely to buy something right then. She knew too, that next week would be busy, they’d been commissioned to do an instillation piece out in Deerfield.
I pressed them further. “Did you send me mail? Do you send snail mail? Because you guys sent me a piece of mail.”
“Snail?” The bearded man, Joseph, asked.
“Like parcel post, like licking letters and stamps?”
“To you? Who–are you?”
“I’m Here’s the Story. Well, in the same way you’re iamhome. I help run Here’s the Story!”
“We didn’t mail you anything, we’ve never heard of you. Hun?” He looked to Sarah to make sure. She shook her head, she’d not heard of me before. Then he asked me, “But you received a letter that said iamhome?”
“Yeah, but in that font. On a card, and it’s with these trees on fire, only not on fire, it’s just deep red–”
Joseph cut me off, “Smoke! That’s our business card.”
“But it was thick, thicker than a business card.”
Sarah cut in, “But it wouldn’t be a mystery if he had our business card he wouldn’t have to find us here, our info is on the back.”
“The back had no info.”
“Get them out, hun.”
She did and showed it to me, and before turning it over I said, “Mine is thicker, this is the same front but mine is thicker, he pasted something on the back, whoever sent it. There was no return address, but there was another homemade postcard inside of the original envelope. And the To address of that homemade postcard was already filled out. It was ready to be sent. But it was addressed to the original sender. It was addressed to Here’s the Story. So the person who sent me this iamhome package, they put a postcard inside of it for us to give away, and have it return to us again.”
“That’s crazy, was there anything else?” Sarah asked.
“There was a map of Yellowstone National Park.”
“Was it a big map?” Joseph asked.
“Just Yellowstone?” Sarah added.
“I don’t know, it wasn’t huge, it was like a brochure map, but it was bigger than A11, it was like 11×14. And the back of the map was a close up of Glacier National Park. Which was crazy because my co-host, Janna Sobel had just trained through that area as she headed, via circuitous route to Arizona.”
“No!” Sarah said. “That’s where we went on our honeymoon in 2008, Glacier National Park.”
Amazing and strange but there were no more clues to be had. They hadn’t heard of Here’s the Story, Janna Soble, Dan Boyd or know of any postcard artists.
The next day, I looked at the back of my card. Then I held it up to the light:
Closer to the light:
And then when I bowed it just a bit:
Eureka! I hadn’t noticed the other day when they handed it to me, but they’re Belknaps! And Ian Belknap did our July 6th show. I am resolved to email him shortly. Whoever sent this has done some quality work in the serendipitous department. Thanks.
We’ve got the coolest fans. Can’t wait to see you on Wednesday and then again on Saturday for Journey to the End of the Night!