On Being a “Market Kid.”

When we were in Houston 10 or so days ago, I was remembering being a kid with a mom in the quilt industry.

My father wasn’t around, so mom was a single mom, and when she had to go out of town, Gramma stayed with us or a quilting friend from the guild would come for the weekend. That was when we were younger. As my older sister got into her teens and could drive and be responsible enough to take care of any emergencies that might arise, we made it on our own. Mom went and taught all over the country (and then all over the world) so that she could keep us in school clothes and lunch money.

And she went to Fall Market every year. That was one trip that was on the calendar in perpetuity. We knew that Halloween weekend, Mom would be out of town. When I was at Market a few weeks ago, I heard many people, moms and dads alike, lamenting the fact that they were missing their kids’ costumes. They said that little Joe or little Suzy would never forgive them for missing Superman or the Fairy Queen, and I realized that I was a “Market Kid.”

“They’ll forgive you,” I reassured those who were concerned. “I never really did Halloween, and I turned out okay.”

Indeed, I think I turned out okay, but I really dislike Halloween. I don’t know if I disliked it before and that’s why it didn’t bother me that much that Mom couldn’t take us all trick-or-treating or if Mom couldn’t ever take us trick-or-treating and that’s why I never dress up, decline to go to Halloween parties, and skip the whole thing. It should be mentioned that I went into the theater. So I guess I did like to dress up. But I did it in a professional way, not just for kicks and a Twix bar.

Hang in there, Market kids. I heard a rumor that the lady who owns and runs Fall Market has booked Halloween weekend for the next five years straight.


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Mary Fons

About Mary Fons

Mary Fons hails from a prominent quilt mafia family. A professional writer and performer, Mary co-hosted the nationally-airing PBS program "Fons & Porter's Love of Quilting" along with her mom, famed quilter and educator Marianne Fons. In 2010, Mary began hosting Quilty, an online show offered weekly on QNNtv.com. In 2012, Mary became editor of Quilty magazine. She holds a Theater Arts BA from the University of Iowa.