Today my father and I kept our standing annual date for the Southern Home and Garden Show. We’ve been doing this for at least ten years now – we wander through the exhibits, say hello to our friends who are doing the same, and usually end the experience with an overly expensive and not necessarily good bratwurst and saurkraut roll at the concession stand. What can I say? It’s tradition.
The show keeps getting bigger and bigger. However, it all seems to be more of the same. I think we counted at least twelve companies offering paint-free vinyl spray-on siding, and probably ten companies offering hot tubs. New housing community representatives were also out in force. There were also the usual complement of hawkers equipped with microphones and amplification demonstrating revolutionary cleaning techniques or ways to make salsa.
I know these guys are here to drum up business, but some of them can be really annoying. I used the same technique that I employ while walking through the vendors at technology conferences – walk straight, glancing at the exhibits as I pass, avoiding eye contact at all costs. I don’t want to attract some pushy salesman with a product for which I have no use. If I’m interested, I’ll make the first contact.
Not having a specific improvement project in mind, we cruised throught the exhibits quickly. This year we decided to break with tradition – slightly. We met Glynda, Laura, and my mom and went to Haus Edleweis for our bratwurst and saurkraut. Much better.
Continuing with the home improvement theme, this evening we watched the first episode of Town Haul on TLC, in which designers give an entire town a makeover. This time, they were working on our hometown, Laurens, SC. It was fun to see the places where we grew up, and to recognize some familiar faces on the screen. It was also interesting to see how a national program protrayed our town. I especially liked their “Confessional Tool Shed”, where townsfolk could go in by themselves and talk into a camcorder. One little girl said she hoped that the show wasn’t in town just because they talked “like ‘Gone with the Wind'”.