Friend a Day – Deb Shoenack
I’m proud to be Deb’s friend because her friendship is something that is earned. She doesn’t just hand it out to everyone.
If Deb calls you her friend, you need to have done something pretty special.
I met Deb when we were both part of the band for a dancing troupe at the Renaissance Festival. She played drums with us a few times every day and ran a shop filled with a whole lot of beautiful feather art that never sold and a little bit of horrible stuff that sold all the time. It takes a special kind of artist to be aware that your best work is the work that nobody is ever going to buy.
She would tell long stories about her customers and her life. They were great stories. They were funny stories. They were the kind of stories nobody but Deb could have ever told.
If you get a chance to talk to Deb, ask her about the Ethiopian yak’s tooth necklace.
Deb treated entertainers like equals. She welcomed us into her shop and encouraged us to entrain the audience in front of her door. She made us feel like we were all part of the same show. She was the kind of crafter entertainers gravitated towards.
As many people do, she grew tired of the festival and migrated away. When I walk by the corner of the grounds that used to house her shop, I will always feel a sense of loss.
Deb has a gruff and cynical exterior and I won’t say she isn’t gruff and cynical because I think she’d be insulted if I did. She is gruff and cynical. But she is also kind and funny and fiercely loyal to anyone who has earned it.
She loves her family and is constantly showing pride in them. She embraces the title “Jew Bitch” like it was her given name.
I’m not a big fan of drum circles any more. If Deb was in the circle, though, I’d join in because I wouldn’t want to let her down.
Deb doesn’t have a web page but she is passionately opposed to wolf hunting in Minnesota so I’m linking to Howling for Wolves.