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Santa Onna Longhorn #1
That’s pretty much what it turned out to be over Friday evening in South Texas. When my daughter returned from briskly walking the dogs before dawn Saturday morning, she told me that the grass crackled underfoot. We set out for Goliad just after sunrise, expecting to spend a chilly day selling books in the open-air. Well, the pavilions set up around the edge of Courthouse Square in Goliad were all essentially in the open-air too. We took along our heaviest coats, extra blankets, bundled Nemo in a doggy overcoat, and I made a vain search for my gloves.
Courthouse Square
To our good fortune and relief, Estelle Zermeno, who has set up Miss Ruby’s Author Corral ever since I’ve been coming to Goliad for the Christmas event, had located an last-minute indoor venue for us – the premises of a closed restaurant, right on the square; a restored historic building with a bathroom, parking around in back and heat. Alas, that was about the last good bit of news about the day. Two scheduled authors had called off appearing, due to the cold and potentially dangerous drive, so it was down to four authors and a handful of friends.
Random Streetcorner
We had shelter at least, but the other vendors were out in the miserable cold – and to add to the misery, there were very few people come out to shop or cheer for Santa. On the good side of that, I got a very good picture of Santa-onna-longhorn, and his military escort, but there seemed to be only about two dozen children and their parents, where ordinarily there would have been hundreds. No posse of cowboys escorting Santa, hardly anyone with a Christmas-dressed dog for the afternoon dog costume contest. I believe I only had four or five potential customers come and look at my books all day.
Garlanded Cow and Urns
We packed it up by 1:30, when a light drizzle began falling, and it was so cold that we were afraid it would turn to ice, somewhere along the road back to San Antonio. I am certain that if we had been outside as well, we wouldn’t have stood it for even that long. There were just no customers at all; this marks the very first time that I came away from an event like this without having made a single sale – and I don’t think I was the only one, not by a long shot.