Wednesday, August 12, 2009

100 things #45 I have searched for a Palm Weaver ...

I was having dinner with David on Saturday night at City Pizza, we were catching up and making small talk when I mentioned that on Friday I got a text from my sister saying "I need a palm frond weaver next Saturday."

My initial reaction was to text back saying "good luck with that" but instead I typed "When?"

Because my sister and her family are event coordinators, I assumed they were putting together an Island Party of some kind and their customer was requesting a palm weaver. I know that for a recent East Indian party they did, a live elephant was requested to give elephant rides and they were able to come up with one. (Thanks Angela)

how great is that elephant?

and the elephant handler ... could Hollywood Central Casting with all of it's resources create an elephant handler that looked any more authentic than this guy?

and then there was the elephant handler's assistant ... but that's a story for another time lol. Hi Nikko!

Anyway back to my palm weaver story...

August 15th was short notice but I told her I know where one weaves. After continued back and forth bantering by text we decided that even though I only knew where the guy was on Thursdays, we might find him if we asked around on the weekend.

The minute I told David my text message story he knew just the guy I was talking about. He aslo knew that he was usually at Clematis By Night on Thursdays, so he did not seem all that surprise when I asked him if he felt like taking a look for him since we were already in the neighborhood.

We hopped on a trolley and went to Clematis Street from City Place in search of a palm weaver.

It was a beautiful evening for a trolley ride, we laughed out loud as we made gumshoe jokes and mental notes of who we would ask and where they might lead us.

It's not like we were going to walk up to a desk when we got there and order a palm weaver for the night. Most of the ones we've run across in our travels are street people, not successful palm weaving businessmen.

We knew that the first person we would ask would be the owner of the corner bookstore directly across from the fountain and the park where Clematis by Night is held. He gave us good leads saying that he sees the palm weaver every day, he would either be across the street by the fountain or hanging out with the valet parking attendants and if that doesn't work try Starbucks.

We walked across to the fountain and asked a local who had set up camp for the evening at a picnic table in the park, about the palm weaver. He said "oh, you mean Pablo ... by the way do you have any change? I gave him a buck and he said I would find him at Starbucks.

I sent a text to my sister letting her know that David and I were looking for her palm weaver and asked what she wanted me to say to him once we found him. She asked me to get a sample and a phone number, we didn't really think he would have a phone but off we went to Starbucks.

There they were ... two of them, obviously they set their tables up at Starbucks to make a buck or two offering palm frond roses and crickets to passers-by for tips.

We sat down at the table to chit chat with one of them, the other one was nowhere in sight.

We pulled out a glittery Party Perfect card and invited the man to spend a couple of hours in Boca the next weekend entertaining some party guests by weaving his palms.

Much to our surprise his fear of the unknown was much stronger than his need to earn an extra 300 bucks. He was all to happy to sit at his familiar table at Starbucks and chit chat about the art of weaving palms, but made it very clear that he would not be attending the party. "Maybe Pablo would do it for you " he said. We waited patiently for Pablo to return, when he did the other palm weaver handed him our card and said "Pablo, you're invited ..."

Pablo bounced over to his own table returning with a palm rose and handed it to me saying "a rose for a perfect rose. "

but as soon as he heard that we were looking for a palm weaver to work a party next weekend he bounced and I mean bounced! He didn't come back ... obviously not interested in hearing our proposal and far less able to express his fear and doubts about trying something new that the first guy.

Maybe I shouldn't have been surprised at their reaction but I was. On our way home my sister called to see how it went, somehow she seemed less surprised than I was at the reaction to our invitation.

I told her that they offered to supply us with as much of the finished product that we needed and I suggested to her that maybe she could hire the hunky snake charming guy...

to give the illusion of weaving the palms and he could hand out the roses and say a rose for a perfect rose or better yet ... we could teach someone that looks like a palm weaver to weave. Jokingly I suggested David.

I could hear my brother-in-law in the background saying "that's a great idea, he would be perfect, he's already got the tan, he's already got the look ... David would be perfect."

I turned the speaker phone on so David could hear the conversation, we were all laughing hysterically. His father is from Costa Rico for goodness sakes, we could teach him to weave ...

come on ... take off that hip scarf and give him a straw hat and viola, a charming palm weaver if ever there were one.

I love David, he is always such a good sport. I knew he wouldn't mind us joking around a little after the whole palm weaver excursion we had just been on.

His reaction was to say "oh stop it ... you're using the wrong vernacular here. Don't say you'll teach me to do something you don't already know how to do."

"I would be willing to learn how to weave and then teach you" I whispered, " if you learn how to weave then you can be the palm weaver" he replied. "We both know that I don't look like a palm weaver, but good try my friend." Finally he says okay, okay ... we'll get a book and I'll try to learn, all I can do is try.

My sister said okay, you learn to weave, Coy will greet people at the door and put your roses in their hair and I'll keep you booked. That was that, now I have to find a palm weaving book, any suggestions?

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