Greeting lovely ladies at the Real Woman’s Expo: A gorgeous Saturday well spent!

Real Women's Expo 2014, Paducah KY
Our wonderful booth!

Putting aside Sunday’s unsavory answer to Saturday’s ideal weather, it has been a great weekend for Abanathy Photography, LLC for one reason: The Real Woman’s Expo in Paducah! And to that I say: We. Had. A. Blast!

It was so refreshing to get out a little after this unrelenting winter and mingle with other area businesses and the more than 1,000 lovely ladies who attended this year’s event. From our prime seat at the expo, we were able to not only meet some great local business owners and watch the delightful cooking demonstrations, but we also got to speak to many great ladies! And we had I don’t know how many enter their names into our prize drawings! One will be for a one-hour portrait session and the other for a one-hour “You” session! The winners for these drawings will be announced soon!

It was also refreshing for other reasons. In case you couldn’t have guessed, the subject of sexy photography can be a little taboo for some and, as a boudoir photographer in a small town, it is sometimes makes me wonder what kind of feedback I might receive in an honest world. However, if Saturday were to speak in numbers, I would say I should not worry at all! We had many women put their names in for the free session drawing and the excitement on their faces told me everything I need to know!

It also told me how much we NEEEEEEED a woman’s expo in Murray! We have the convention center, we just need some event organizers and I think this could be a real, annual possibility. Just like Paducah, we have women from all walks of life from college students to retirees and I’m sure they would find a Murray event just as rewarding as that held in Paducah. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, had many great smiles and laughs, and are already looking forward to next year!

Real Women's Expo 2014, Paducah KY
Patrick in front of the booth at the Real Women’s Expo on Saturday

And it was funny, as I sat there in that spacious, inviting conference room of the Julian M. Carroll Convention Center, I realized I was destined to have a bit of deja vu on the blog front today. You see, some months ago I wrote a blog (Sitting in my past’s present: A great weekend spent at the mall) where I reminisced a bit about the times in my youth spent at the Kentucky Oaks Mall. Well, being at the Carroll Convention Center kind of brings about a bit of nostalgia for me as well!

When I was little, my dad would often attend and help sell guns at several of the gun shows held throughout the year at, what was then, the Executive Inn. On Friday, as I took our booth supplies upstairs and turned to venture down the rather impressive east hallway of the center, the memories came rushing back.

I recall the many, many, many, MANY trips made down that hallway as I walked between the gun show in the convention center and the arcade room at the east end of the hotel’s west section. Any of my gun show friends who were there with me will remember we quarter-hungry kiddos more than received our exercise on gun show weekend. And this is to say nothing of walking on to the Olympic-sized pool two sections further east of there. We were all over that hotel in those days. Riding up and down the elevator, checking out the different shops, swimming in the pool, and, sometimes, calling attention to ourselves from hotel management who had to tell us to settle down a bit.

I even attended a 4-H retreat there some years later and, I believe, the dance was held in the very same room we attended the expo on Saturday!

Luckily, in late 2010, I was able to see part of the hotel one last time before its demolition. I even got to show my wife a memorable part of my youth at the same time! However, on Friday, it was still a warm, bittersweet memory for me to walk to the far end of that memorable hallway and gaze through two large windows where there once stood a bricked entryway into the hotel’s expansive, skylit concourse. I gazed out of those windows over a parking lot and the roughed up footprint of that grand place and take it in for a moment…then I think: I’m so glad they kept that hallway.

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