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2009 JAN 09
Some Photoshop images of who was at our house for Oscar night, what we did for WCAD 2009, what and and my new ridiculous strange sculpture...
1. Java Linda 2. Everybody ogling Merrill Streep. 3.Liz and Shay amazed. 4. jenny, Liz and Tandra. 5-12. Details of mural. 13. Weird sculpture on exhibition at Mine Shaft. 14. Weird sculpture becomes fourth musician at the gate.
And more important my only child will be back in America today...hallelujah the hunter, home from the hills...and hopefully we will get to see her soon and hear the adventures her and Geno have had on their overland expeditions in Africa.
One last thing for this month and it is very nostalgic, almost sad for me, are photos my oldest sister gave me of my brothers and I when we were very young and my father and his last family.
1. Us brothers somewhere around 1950-52, from left, Red, Robert, Tommy and me. 2. My father and his last wife who was younger than my oldest sister, from left, Phillip my half brother, Frank, my dad, Andy, Johnette, step brother and sister, and step mother Anna, in 1964.
It is almost like summer today. That is pleasant.
One of Ruth's oldest and dearest friends died last night. They caught frogs in Lake Waubeeka when they were kids. I met Eddy when we were there two years ago. He was a very nice guy. It is too bad.
My daughter still has four days left to be in Africa. Hopefully she and Geno are safe and all is well. The parents are clamoring to pick them up at the airport, but she has to come to our house to collect her things, so I will wait until then...of course I am as anxious to see them as everyone else.
Life is big even if it is too short...all so very very precious.
This is the end result of our community in WORLD COMMUNITY ARTS DAY which measures approximately, 8 by 70 feet.
There has been so much...really...honestly...there has been so much.
A friend dropped by.
His name is Stanley.
I remembered who I am.
1. I commit myself to projects with absolutely no hope of capital gain. 2. I love beautiful women who dance in the dark.
In other words , of Tom Clark, circa 1969,
" ...there only two things in life that are absolutely necessary. Romance and adventure. But you can't have one without the other. What is romance without danger and the unknown.? What is adventure without warmth and love?"
1. Before 2. After
I got enough wood for another week. Doing this task has several features about it.
1. Obviously I get relatively cheap firewood.
2. I clean up a very overgrown and dead parts of the river that are a real fire danger, especially as summer heat comes.
3. The part I did not plan, is with slash piles I build from the cut off limbs, small animal habitat are created, so such creatures as cottontail rabbits, ground squirrels, pack rats and mice have a safe shelter from their dominant predator, the coyote.
The rest of the day, I played around with paint up on the FREEFORALLARTWALL.
It was cold and windy and nobody but me was crazy enough to stand there and splash paint around.
Today is the official date for WORLD COMMUNITY ARTS DAY and day-four of my little contribution.
Not very many participants so far, but the one lovely thing has been the little kid across the road who seems to be a natural artist and possibly some day a muralist...he took to the wall like the proverbial ducks to water.
We will see.
I have to take a small break from the wall and descend to the river and collect more firewood. Winter is no way over here yet and our wood stash has run out.
My daughter is somewhere in Africa, Ruth has not been well for several days and yesterday an old friend dropped by I have not seen for many years...that is my little other world.
Above is a 15 feet of a 50 foot section of my contribution to WCAD
Yesterday, was Valentine's day and the "official" beginning of what I have called the FREEFORALARTWALL....me taking part in the WORLD COMMUNITY ARTS DAY...
Five people actually participated and three came by to have a look and I got one horn beep from somebody passing---in short, the idea bombed in regard to popularity...
The wind was blowing gusts of 20 to 30 mph and the temperature was near freezing which was not conducive to standing there dripping goopy paint, though the sky was a beautiful blue.
Even so, the random boards I put up got covered with an initial splash of color and one very unique moment occurred.
A man from France with his two sons arrived and the boys wanted to paint.
While they were doing their thing the father and I talked.
He had stopped because a woman friend of his had told him about the event...she knew me from Scotland in 1974. Somehow she located me through the web. The man was of Turkish origin coming from Istanbul.
I told him I had been in Istanbul in 1977, performing in several theaters, doing a children's play...I said I knew one person there.
Her name is Zeynap Oral. Naturally he is a friend of her. It is a small world.
As for the FREEFORALLARTWALL, I will continue it for a few hours a day, as I said I would until February 21 and we will see what evolves. At the moment it does not appear to be one of my better ideas, but at least the one good thing is perhaps I will be back in touch with my Turkish friend Zeynap, who was one of the most kind and generous people I have ever known.
Below is DAY ONE of the FREEFORALLARTWALL
We spent a very enjoyable week in Tucson, visiting not only Swap Meets, The Gem Show, but also Saguaro National Park, The Tucson Desert Museum (which is an absolute must if you ever go to Tucson) and of course my family, Red and Margie, Kip and Kelly, Tammie and Dave, Kandi and David and my sister Ruby...whew!
Somehow I forgot to photograph my clan...so below are 33 of the best of 200 clicks of the other spots.
Ruth and I got home last night at 9:00 PM
We blew up at each other today at 2:30 PM.
I got an email from my two ramped kids in Africa...this one from Geno:
"I had a glitch with earlier email. If you got it, great. If not here it
Were back in Kedougou a small town in south eastern senegal. Today we walked to the local market and bought some food. Rowan and I have been enjoying some alone time after the non-stop people time that weve experienced as basarai village life. Our five day visit to the small villages of the basarai country was not a disapointment. In my darker moments, I had feared the villages wede encounter might be glorified human zoos full of farmers turned beggars in mock traditional dress hawking shabby wares and desperate for tourist francs. Instead, with few exceptions, I found the villages themselves to be hot picturesque places populated by dignified selfsufficient people flattered by our interest in their traditions but not unduly interested in what we had in our pockets. This was refreshing after the aggressive sales pitches and scams in Dakar. It was also pleasant releif from the trash and poop stewn beaches and streets of senegals towns and mega capital. During the five days we covered a good amount of ground on foot without seeing much trash that wasnt acceptable compost. In each village we stopped to pay our respects to the villages male and female elders. We did this by thanking them formally through our guide and paying them a gift of kola nuts, a bitter tasting mild narcotic. The choice to pay the elders in kola nuts not francs was encouraged by the guide book and our guide human Doba Diallo. The industrious son of a local village chief, he felt that money would throw the local economy off balance and essentially turn his home territory into the tourist needy people zoo of my aformentioned nightmare. although my french is so limited as to be useless, Spanish has been more helpfull on this trip than I ever expected. Doba, who ive continued to hang out with after the trip, speaks spanish and french along with several west african dialects. He provided many insights into the local politics he debated with various elders during our village visits. He was also very open about his frustrations with the corrupt system that was denying his people thier part of the wealth that lay on thier lands in the form a large gold mine and marble quarry. He also had frustrations with the expense of traditional marriage and the stress of satisfying familial and cultural obligations. We were also able to see some wildlife. It was the wrong season for spotting chimpanzees but we were able to have some quality time with a large troop of baboons.
After much emotional discussion Rowan and I have decided not to press on into mali. Weve also decided this not only out of respect for the time the nations of senegal and mali deserve but also for our sanity. Carrying a couple grand in currency over another border from a region with few banks into a country with no banks for a visit of two weeks, sound nuts right now. Far More than in south america, the experience of budget travel in north and west africa has felt like life in a very clean fishbowl in a very crowded room. Generalizing too much I ill hazzard the hypothesis that gawking at others, especially a couple composed of a freckled redhead and a dreadlocked male of ambiguous ethnicity, is a continental pass time. Its exausting.
In my last email, I wrote that africa was not for the faint of heart. What I really meant was that it is not for the faint of heart and light of wallet. The 60 plus year old paris-pale french tourists in designer shades flown in from the coast in planes or airconditioned suvs ive encountered may very well not be faint of heart but they are surely not light of wallet. Transit in the interior for the rest of us is hot dusty crowded smelly and slow and not especially cheap. If you want to take a minibus or other form of torture the price is good say 14 dollars for a long trip. A far more comfortable and way faster ride in a 4 by 4 will cost you more than 100dollars. Today we realized weve encountered just three americans since spain. Two of them were peace corp volunteers. more later,
And from Rowan...
"we are safe and sound back in
tambacounda; I think we are going to go to toubacouta which is north of the
gambia; it is a lush area similar to the florida everglades with swamps and
mangroves, plenty of wildlife spotting by pirogue; from there we will snake
our way back to dakar and fly home YEY
miss and love you both,
I will send details of our flight as it gets closer,"
"so, we are in a tiny town called tambacouda in soUth eastern
senegal,tomorow we go into the bush to hike and stay in traditional
villages. I will be out of touch for maybe as long as two weeks.but don,t
worry.....it is peacezful and safe compared to dakar
the closest town to where we are going is kedougou....look it up if you get a chance.the people we will be staying with are the basarai tribe.
it is sweltering here....african sun is scorching
lots of love....in a month we,ll be home.....
THERE ARE MOMENTS
MOMENTS WHEN ALL THE CRAZY SEEMS OKAY
THERE ARE MOMENTS WHEN IT JUST SEEMS CRAZY
THERE ARE DAYS I COULD LOVE NO BETTER
DAYS I CAN'T LOVE A THING
SO IT GOES...
Vonnegut said that.
Nothing changed in two days...
but last week, I missed ths :