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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Benches of refuge in a time of need...

We are busy getting ready for the Maryland Renaissance Festival where we make our living as artists. The grounds of the place is thick with benches. Literally 100's of various wooden benches of all designs and forms. I expect that I will be posting many variations of them in the coming weeks. So I thought I would start out with these simple examples just a couple of booths away from us. Nice basic form, built of framing lumber primarily. Sturdy.


Every bench has a story, some more than others, many unknown. 

 At the Festival, perhaps no benches have as dramatic view point as these. You will note the red and white booth they rest at. You see, these benches sit on the deck outside the main First Aid station. You must imagine, that although the festival is a very safe and family friendly environment, there will often be over ten thousand people on a weekend afternoon on the grounds. Any time you mix ten thousand individuals in one place, you are bound to have accidents, wounds, bee stings, and occasionally worse. Add to that the many possible pre-existing medical conditions that we humans are prone to, well, some days they can get busy there. So the people who have sat on these benches have been in pain, fear, and worry, as well as gratitude for the care they have received from the dedicated EMTs who main the station. Their lives might have changed dramatically and permanently that day..., or perhaps it was a brief moment, where aid was rendered and they went on.  I have seen folks walked up by friends, often from well across the multi-acre site, suffering of heat stroke or other ailment,  leaning on the arm of their companions, and the final destination, when they could sit and know they care was on the way, was here. 

They are literally a point of refuge and rest.


  1. Katie usually ends up at the First Aid booth at least once a season, sometimes once a day. She lives life large, and that has its consequences :) I have sat on that bench with her any number of times over the last 7 years of her attendance.