Art Fair Insiders

Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals

A friend and I took our wives on a photo safari to The Plant City Strawberry Festival yesterday.  We met in a large parking lot shared by a Hooters and a McDonald's.  We left my car, and rode in his.  After dark, when we returned, I noticed a few people chatting behind a car a few spaces away. 

 As I was transferring my camera and tripod to my trunk, we were approached by man on a bicycle.  He interrupted our goodbyes and began talking.  My wife and my friend saw the “pan-handle “ coming and my wife quickly got in the car while my friend turned and said, “God Bless” before he too, got in his car. 

I asked, “You after money?”

He began telling me how he hadn’t worked in several weeks and was looking for money so he could eat.  I guess I’m a soft touch, and he seemed sincere so I pulled out my money clip and leafed through a few bills until I found a ”fiver”.  When I handed it to him; he said, “There’s a Chinese buffet up the road and I could get all I want for $7”.

I was caught off guard for a few seconds and finally, pointing at the group of people a few parking spaces away, I said, “Maybe you could get a couple of bucks from them”.

His demeanor immediately became sour and he began rolling away on his bike grumbling under his breath.  It  became clear to me that he now thought I was some kind of an asshole!

He went off in the opposite direction from the other people so I assumed he had already hit them up.  When he was about 10 feet away, I said in a loud voice, “You’re welcome!”.

No response.

Any of you have pan-handle stories?


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Comment by Ernie Komarek on March 9, 2015 at 1:55pm

While at a very long red light at an intersection I saw a couple panhandlers in the median. The woman was texting on her iphone and the husband left and went to a nearby parking lot to get something out their brand new Mercedes.

Comment by R. C. Fulwiler on March 9, 2015 at 11:03am

I was traveling in Nebraska and in-between shows was looking for a Walmart to get an oil change.  At the end of the off ramp from the Interstate a guy was standing there with a sign that read, "Need Money for Bus Ticket Home".  Waiting at the light, I asked, "How much you need?"

He said he was $10 short, so I forked it over and wished him well.  An hour latter after my oil change, I drove by there again and he was still there!  I decided then and there that the people who stake-out a corner are frauds and that guy lying to me, cost a lot of panhandlers on a lot of corners a lot of my money.

A few weeks ago, I saw a woman with two young kids on a corner....  Come on man!  I'll bet she drives a nicer car than I do.

Comment by Christina L. Towell on March 9, 2015 at 10:57am

Forgot to mention that my knitting group Detoit Knitting and Crochet Club has been donating mittens and scarves to the homeless and Detroit school children through Mittens for Detroit.  

Comment by Pam Fortner on March 9, 2015 at 10:50am

According to the 2013 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress, there are more than 610,000 homeless people in this country. That is a terrible statistic for the richest country in the world. It's also a terrible statistic for a country that claims to be Christian.  Over 25% of the homeless are veterans who have risked their lives for our freedom.   When I encounter a homeless person in the winter, I give them a warm scarf that costs me about 50 cents to make.  In the summer, I give them a bottle of water that costs me less than 50 cents to buy.  I always give them a smile and acknowledge their value as a human being.  I have never been threatened and I have ALWAYS been told "thank you".

Comment by Christina L. Towell on March 9, 2015 at 10:24am

I was approached in the parking lot of a strip mall this winter by a young woman who said her boyfriend took all her money and left her with no way to pay for her motel room.  She was wearing a big warm coat and looked genuinely distressed but I simply had to say, "I'm sorry, I don't have any money either", which is pretty close to true.  I think if you can listen to their spiel and show some concern but not actually fork over any money, they will, at the very least thank you and not be nasty about it.

Comment by Robert Wallis on March 9, 2015 at 1:21am

I don't give money. At all. I used to work with at the Indiana State Board of Health up until 1985. One of the chemists, a guy with a Master's, was a "little" eccentric and was eventually fired. I ran into him a few years later while he was panhandling. He had the schtick down pretty good; a large band-aid on his forehead,  a ratty and worn business card that said he was a deaf-mute, and a hang-dog look that said he was on hard times. I found out from a mutual friend that the guy nets well over a hundred thousand/year just panhandling. Every now and and then I run into him where he tries to put the bite on me, and I remind him I used to work with him. For that guy the thrill is pulling the wool over everyone's eyes.

Comment by Joel Lockridge on March 8, 2015 at 10:19pm

It's so sad and true how many times I've offered to buy food for them but they turn me down.  

Comment by Greg Little on March 7, 2015 at 4:46pm
always carry an extra ham sandwich
Comment by Anne Wooster on March 6, 2015 at 3:31pm
When I attended Maryland Institute College of art in Baltimore I was constantly asked for money. So my mom sent McDonald's 50 cent gift certificates. I had a crowd and they all wanted more. I felt bad. As a young adult I learned it is an endless pit. Most cities have food banks and soup kitchens.
Comment by Leslie Turner on March 6, 2015 at 2:52pm

While I will happily buy food for anyone who tells me they are hungry, I very rarely give money. Anyone who insists on money instead of food is put on the list of folks to walk away from at first sight.

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