The Hot Air Jubilee is one of Jackson’s big annual events. Photos of hot air balloons are all over the Chamber of Commerce’s promotional materials, and for good reason: thousands of people head to Ella Sharp Park each July to watch the liftoffs.
For me, it never gets old. There’s magic in these giant sacks of hot air slowly inflating, and then leaving the ground, heading to Oz – or the outskirts of the county. It’s not just the balloons, either. The Hot Air Jubilee is like a small county fair, with junk food and rides and games of chance.
Tons of local photographers fight for the chance to get inside the launch grounds. I’ve been there, but it’s just as fun to sit on the sidelines and watch the show as a spectator.
It was stuck at 33% for weeks, then it creeped up to a high of 48%, and never got over that half-way hump.
I knew, going into it, that it was a long shot. My first rumblings of failure came when I had to explain to people, again and again, that they weren’t making a donation. No money was being exchanged up front. It was a pledge. People didn’t get Kickstarter.
The second rumbling came when a lot of the people I thought would support the project didn’t. After being stuck at 33% for so long, I knew my chances of reaching a fully-funded Kickstarter campaign were slim.
The truth is, my heart wasn’t totally into the idea of the Kickstarter. It was more of an experiment, to see if I could do it; to see if something like this could be possible in my small Midwestern city. Jackson wasn’t ready for Kickstarter. Plus the idea of constantly sending out updates and pleas for pledges is not me – I’m the anti marketing guy. It’s hard enough to get people to support your project, but to ask them to make pledges to support your project? Blah.
But it’s all okay. I’m fine, and I let Sunday’s project deadline go by with a whimper.
A lot of things are slowing down for me. Call it a phase, but I’m barely getting this musicians project started. I’m barely blogging. I’m barely making photos. It’s one of those seasons in life right now.
It was supposed to be an easy-going four day vacation – a quick trip down to Toledo, Ohio (the Midwest’s premier getaway destination, naturally) and visit the zoo on Friday. Our first trip with the three kids.
What we got instead was a near-drowning in the hotel pool, a scary trip to the emergency room, and a rainy zoo day.
Despite all that, we made the best of it. We took an impromptu trip back to the Toledo Zoo on Saturday, when it was warm and sunny, and did it right. We also met some friends at Tony Packo’s and enjoyed some good Hungarian hot dogs, coney style.
Easy-going? Not so much. But we got out of the house and started the vacation season in earnest.
We never had to prompt either kids to pick up a crayon and start doodling.
They both do it totally on their own. The crayons are always there, there’s always paper handy – they just need to sit down and scribble. It’s what they do.
That’s a good feeling, to have both kids take to art and music. It’s our fault, of course, as parents, because we surround ourselves with such things. It’s what we do.
As a kid, my parents always had music going in the house, and we loved to doodle and color in coloring books. But neither of my parents really did music (like play an instrument), or did art (as a hobby, say). I took their small spark and ran with it.
It’s exciting to think about what these kids will do.