The story began with a FB post on Region 9 Group. A First Annual Model Meet Up, also called PA Model Meetup, was proposed in York, about 2 1/2 hours south. It sounded wonderful: an open-air backyard model show with vendor booths surrounding. The timing was very good, a month after BreyerFest, when my interest was rebounding and I had plenty of horses to sell. As for the weather, it was nothing less than perfect. Geo wanted to go on an expedition, as we do most weekends, but not on such a long canoeing one as we'd been doing lately. When I tentatively spoke of the Meet Up, he was enthusiastic.
|Academy-Pomeroy Covered Bridge, near Carlyle, PA|
|Back seat, photo taken at end of day, August 10|
I didn't want to show, but I did want to vend, so I'd sent in my $5 vendor's fee (July 30). I printed out 3 pages. Two were maps and 1 was the first page of the classlist, which had the address and contact information. I went over with Geo how to get there. Having entered "York Camp Security Park" in Google, I discovered a lovely open field with a gravel parking lot. The location seemed so perfect for the Meet Up that it never occurred to me that wasn't the place.
|Photo taken of rear of car at end of day, Aug 10|
And there was nobody there.
Not one table of ponies. Not one car with a horsey bumper-sticker. No signs directing us that the venue might have changed. Just a couple of moms and their kids on the swings.
And just like that, I was in another universe, with all my perfect preparations and plans blown to smithereens... having to recover whilst in motion, balancing everything with a partner, hundreds of miles from home, without a smartphone. We don't have them, although we do have cell phones. For the first time I saw the address on my printout, 137 Eastern Boulevard. Geo seized upon this evidence, and for the next 3 hours we tried to find it.
We drove all over York. Discovering we were at 3600-something, logic dictated we head back west along Eastern Blvd. We covered the whole of that Boulevard, all the way into town -- into such quarters as he (and me) would never feel comfy visiting. Eastern Boulevard ended around 1700. There was no lower block of it. There was no phone number I could call. I wondered if someone had got the date wrong. At one point we went back to Camp Security -- and found a large birthday party in full swing! A carful of pink balloons had been delivered! I really wanted to congratulate my hostess on those balloons...
Finally in desperation we went back to the Turkey Hill gas station we had located when we'd first set this up -- it was the closest bathroom to Camp Security Park. I went in hunting for a map. I came out with a kind clerk's smartphone help, having located 137 Eastern Blvd precisely where we'd first looked.
|Taken from Google Maps|
It took a while to find a McDonald's; at that point he had given up and I very nearly had. When we did, we were in for another shock. The screen showed a FBk I had never seen before. There were no pictures, only links along the left side. It was eerie and very strange. This part of my story I can only explain by comparing it to a nursing-home's computer: probably restricted-bandwidth packets.
The laptop was on his lap, since I was driving (I drove nearly all this day. I'm a better driver, he's the better navigator.). Acting on his own, he tried to get Google maps, and succeeded. With this small encouragement, he then brilliantly asked Google for the "true name" of the show.
And there it was. Two addresses instead of one: What we'd been missing. I wrote it on the map (6th photo, above). Instantly he found the new location: Rocky Ridge Park off Deininger Road. It was north of State Highway 30, the exact same spot as Camp Security had been to the south -- almost as if the 2 locations had been flopped. It was now about 1:30. I had to decide whether to pursue my shattered wishes. I chose to attempt.
|Photo taken in my backyard, Sunday, the next day, August 11|
Back through York we went. It was easy to find Rocky Ridge Park but hellish to locate the Meet Up within the Park. Inside the entrance were 3 driveways -- but no signs. At random I chose the central and we drove to its end, what seemed a mile, then turned around and went back to the entrance, checking out at least one populated pavilion on the way. (Bathrooms are necessary for oldsters.) North driveway? Nope. South? YES. It was 1:55...
|Photo taken in my backyard, Sunday the 11th|
|Photo taken in my backyard, Sunday 11th, next day|
|Taken in my backyard, Sunday the 11th|
Tiny clues it wasn't my fault: Multiple FBk pages for the same event. Lack of a redirecting sign at Camp Security. Lack of signs at the entrance to Rocky Ridge Park.
Tiny clues I should have caught: Inaugural events have a higher chance of changing something. The event had two names. FBk groups are so easy to create. There wasn't more discussion about the Meet on Region 9. The street number of 137 matched so badly with the other street numbers in the area (3600). There was no acknowledgement of my $5 donation.
|Taken in my back yard, Sunday 11th, the next day|
Next year Meet Up? It was such a good idea. Give me some time.