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Friday July 5th 2019Tim Candler9

 

     I remember the Dot Com Bubble. Not so much for any other reason than the craft circuits The Artist and I used to engage in. There are basically three kinds of crafts people on those circuits. There are those who are in it for the life style, they're mostly retired and any extra income is welcome, it gave them something to do, a broader horizon, travel and so on. There were those who thought crafts added value to society, a gentle if eccentric noble minority. And there were those who were in it for money and reputation. In there somewhere through the late 1990's were a number of crafters who got themselves excited by the prospect of easy money through investing in tech companies. One fellow crafter had become something of an expert on tech stocks, and he'd go on and on about the miracle as he rattled off this and that, stars in his eyes. His conviction was such that he'd borrowed money against his house to increase his portfolio, and his private advice to me was that anyone in their right mind should be following his example. Used to dread being anywhere near him in a craft show, he started dressing snappy, he got himself a new van, might even have lost weight, then thank goodness he was suddenly gone from the circuit.

 

Past

      Call me cynical, but I preferred the company of more dedicated crafts people such as a glass blower and her husband who made glass paperweights. I recall a conversation with this couple, and you should probably know that most of the time at a craft show there's not much to do, and the subject of this whole Dot Com thing came up. Neither glass blower had anything good to say about stock markets, they were essentially down right evil devices to screw people out of their hard earned money, and they both went on a bit in a manner that suggested a religious conviction, and then he said that as a couple one of their great joys in life was visiting casinos. I had a funny accent, and the glassblowers had some rural American accent that probably hadn't changed much since maybe the colonists, and I just assumed that there'd been some kind of miscommunication. "You mean like gambling?" I offered. "Slot machines," was the answer. "The thing is," the glass blowers explained very slowly, "With slots at least it's you that's pulling the lever and you always got that chance to win big." In later years I met an older logger, he told me he really got a thrill from cutting down trees, it was a thrill that had never faded, still made him feel alive.

  

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