Before your mind has you believing that in order to read the next six sentences, you’ll need a credit card and need be over 18, I will take you back to a 2008 road trip.
In middle Georgia during summer, festivals and fairs dot the countryside. And in Crawford County, officials call for your jugs. Pottery enthusiasts comply. So, in a small field across the highway from a Waffle House, those who throw pottery throw down for three days, and Jugfest jumps up like a large mouth bass out of a lake.
My wife heard about Jugfest and reacted as anyone with extra spending money, time and initiative would. “We’re going,” she said. I, however, sat almost 2,000 miles from her on a business trip.
Now, my wife would have gone herself. However, Jugfest was a bit out of the way. Further, my wife is to navigation what volcanic ash is to air travel. The two just do not see eye to eye. Even with a GPS in the car, my wife has notoriously gotten herself lost going to Wendy’s for burgers. The effort required my presence.
That said, we’d miss the first two jug-filled days due to my absence, but, if we drove a little like we were in an X-Wing Fighter, we could catch the last 15 minutes of the show … if there was no traffic … or accidents … and if the Jolly Green Giant could lift our Hyundai from the airport garage to the Jugfest parking lot. Even then, we'd be cutting it close.
So, after spending three days on a military airplane flying through Hurricane Ike, I pulled into the Atlanta airport gate. We ran from said gate to the car, 3-year-old in tow. I punched in the coordinates to the GPS. No address popped-up. I tried a number of generalities, like “Crawford Country” and “Please God Find This Location.” It eventually appeared. Off we went.
Now, I’m not sure how many traffic laws Georgia has for speeding and reckless driving, but I’m fairly sure I know how many I may have violated – and that was just to reach Interstate 75 (though my attorney claims I’m not actually typing this and none of these electrons can be used in court). We raced down the highway, then onto state roads and eventually made our way into parts of Georgia only seen in movies.
As we pulled into Jugfest, we'd arrived 10 minutes past the closing time. Still, there were a few ramshackle tents set up and from my window, I could still see merchandise. Jugs abounded. Suddenly, I sounded like a jumpmaster barking at my wife. “Go go go go!” and she darted toward the event. Don't worry. I stopped the car first.
When I finally got the car parked and the baby unsaddled we rolled in for a look. And sure enough, jugs. Tons of jugs. Ten minutes later, Dee showed me two, broad smiling faces pasted across each one. We paid the fare and ambled home. She set them near the front door to greet guests, as they are today.
“I like them both,” I said, smiling. “Well worth the trip.”
And my wife’s jugs have given me satisfaction ever since.
(Note: A link to one of the pottery makers -- I believe the one that made our jugs -- for Jugfest is here)