28 March 2010

Old Art, Some Great News and A Trip To The Zoo

Hello Readers!
I went on a road trip yesterday with the intention of seeing my oldest son and taking them a few things they forgot the day before yesterday when they were at my house. The baby has a bad cold and doc has put her on a nebulizer. They forgot the nebulizer when they went home late in the afternoon on Thursday. We'll get to that visit in a bit.
Some of you know I have talked to Rosslyn at the Grassroots Art Center in Lucas, Kansas about getting some of my artwork in the gift shop there. My brother, Sam and I went on this roadtrip. My van would never make it to Nickerson, where my son lives, so I sweet talked brother into driving his truck. He needed to get out and get the stink blown off him anyway! And if truth be known, so did I.
We stopped in Lucas about 11 a.m. on Friday to have a chat with Rosslyn, who is the director of the Art Center. If I had been thinking before we left on this trip, I would have packed up the artwork and brought it along, but I wasn't thinking! It didn't dawn on me that we would be passing right through Lucas on our way to Nickerson till after we'd gone passed Paradise. By that time we were better than 60 miles from home! We stopped at the Art Center nonetheless though and I set up a time to bring in the art work so Rosslyn can choose what she wants in the gift shop. She already has a spot all picked out to display my things! I'm really stoked about this endeavor!
While there she told me about the new public restrooms that are in the making. I'll be headed to Lucas to help with that project when they have another 'play day' to work on the mosaics that will be in the bathrooms! That should be a great deal of fun!
My brother had never been to the Art Center before! He was fascinated by the old safe in the main building of the museum that houses the Art Center and spent quite some time discussing the features of that wonderful old safe with Rosslyn.
Thankfully it wasn't raining or too awfully cold yesterday morning. We went out behind the Art Center where the limestone courtyard is located to check out what all had been done out there since the last time I was at the Art Center. That was a couple of years ago!
The great news is the news about the gift shop!
Old art is the stones in the limestone courtyard that I carved back in 2000.
This is the cat stone that was delivered to the Art Center when the courtyard was still in the planning stages. This is the VERY FIRST limestone carving I ever did! It's actually carved out of chalk rock, not limestone, but the two are related somewhat and they included it in the walls of the courtyard.
The Squirrel Stone was carved about six months after the cat stone if memory serves me correctly. It sat in the office of the Art Center for awhile before the other carvings for the wall it is in were done. The squirrel stone is the second large carving I ever did! In the time between the carving of the cat stone and the squirrel stone, I did about 7, maybe 8, other stone carvings. None of them were larger than fist size, with the exception of another squirrel stone that is about 6x8 inches. I gave all the little carvings away to my sisters and friends. I've no pictures of any of them.
This is a picture of the walls of the courtyard where my stones are located. The courtyard itself is much more than just these two walls. My cat stone is in the center of the arch in the far wall, the squirrel stone to the upper right of the near wall beside the arch. I'm uncertain who carved the pillars, the lintels and the medallion stones in the archway wall. I think Larry Morril did those carvings, but I'm not 100% sure of that. I know he did do quite a few carvings for the courtyard walls.
It was really cool to see the squirells in the wall. They have some damage to them, probably because of the fact they are chalk rock, like the cat and chalk rock just isn't as hard as limestone and is easily damaged from the elements alone. I didn't know this though when I carved them. As I said, this is the first time I had seen them in the courtyard wall.

I was quite active in the Art Center back in the early 2000s. This shoe sculpture was an entry into a contest in connection with the Adam's Apple Festival held every September in Lucas. It is titled "A Day At The Beach With Jacques Cousteau" It is a mixed media piece with lots of different things on it. I don't have this piece anymore. It was lost in the house fire back in May of 2005. The swim fin is a child's swim fin so it wasn't terribly large. I remember what a devil of a time I had finding a swim fin at the end of August that year. I must of went to ten different stores and still didn't find what I was looking for. I forget who it was that presented me with a pair of swim fins for the project. I didn't win first place, or even any place but I did get the 'travel award' for this one, which was an honorable mention.
The stop in Lucas was very enlightening and I'm faunching at the bit to get my work out there and seen. Rosslyn has made this possible!

We drove over the dam at Wilson Lake as we made our way south and east to Nickerson.
A few pictures to show the beauty:

We explored the town of Wilson, which is a tiny little place filled with old stone buildings. Did I take any pictures in Wilson? Not a one! I was too busy oohing and aahhing over all the cool junk in Wilson.
After Wilson we headed down US Old 40 towards Ellsworth for some fried chicken. I was hungry! Sammy had other ideas when he saw the road sign telling us Hollyrood was 16 miles down the dirt road. Off to Hollyrood to visit our grandparents' graves. Would have been really nice to go to Hollyrood to see Grandpa and Grandma but they've both been gone for quite some time. Grandpa died in 1984 and Grandma died in 1990. Sam had never visited their graves.
We explored the town of Hollyrood as well. Again, a tiny little town (though it's much bigger than I remember it to be!) I hadn't been there in years! We drove by the old homestead on Pennslyvania Street just to see what it looked like these days. The windmill in the backyard is gone. Grandpa's shop building has been restored and looks nothing like it did when Grandpa would sit out there with his sons and BS the day away and holler at us kids to "Get your asses off that windmill before you break your necks!" No one lives in the house now adays. It is apparently used for storage of some sort. The shop building appears to be a repair shop for small engines as the yard is littered with lawnmowers and the like. And again, I forgot all about that camera in my pocket as we went down memory lane and not one picture was taken!
When our tour of Hollyrood was through we headed down 156 Highway to Ellsworth for that fried chicken...finally!
Ellsworth is an old cow town. I grew up there. We didn't explore the whole of Ellsworth. I showed Sam where the house is that I lived in from the time I was 7 until I was 14. Ellsworth doesn't hold a lot of good memories for me from the far past, but there are excellent memories there from the near past! We hit the Kwik Shop where that yummy chicken is made. The best fried chicken in the state! We got 8 pcs of chicken, a drink for the road and off we were towards Nickerson.
The boy was expecting us as I had called him from the Sterling Road stop sign to let him know we were very close! He showed us his finds of the morning....junk...cause the boy has junk in his blood just like his uncle and his mother~! He found an old metal toolbox that to me looked like it should have been thrown in the junk pile but he was tickled pink to have it in his possession and even more happy he'd found it on the side of the road in a pile of junk beside someone's trash bin! He also got himself a small metal ammo can from that heap.
We delivered the nebulizer so Annabel could commence with her treatments, yapped at the baby for a few and then we were on way again, headed to Hutchinson to visit Dad's grave and to go to the zoo. The zoo was really an after thought but we went anyway. I did take some pictures there!
Bald Eagle
Little Monkeys
Not sure if these are tamarins or not. Cute little devils though!

llama in the petting zoo portion of the zoo. We didn't get to pet the llama though cause she refused to get up and come close enough so we could pet her!
Mexican Red Kneed Tarantula
This guy looks exactly like Sir Nine, the tarantula I had in when I was in high school. Sir Nine only had seven legs when I bought him for six dollars (in 1978) at the pet store in downtown Hutchinson. This spider has a leg span of about 6 inches. Sir Nine was as large, if not larger than this one.
Mule Deer in the foreground and a prong horn in the back.
White Tail Deer

mean ol' turkey
That's what the zoo attendant called this critter!
River Otter
There's a sheet of plexiglass between me and the otter in this picture. I did not use the zoom, we were that close together! He refused to wake up to get his picture taken. Not that I tried very hard to wake him.
Zebu or Brahma ....we had a zebu when I worked at the traveling zoo back in 1997 who looke a lot like this fella. Bully....he hooked me with his horn in my thigh one morning....didn't hurt me much, no open wounds but it did hurt like hell! I was beating on that critter's head with my fist trying to get him to back up and take that damn horn out of my thigh before he scewered me! he had me backed up against the fence of his pen. I still liked Bully an awful lot after that incident. He was really just a big baby that weighed about 1000 pounds!
And there's the little critter that prompted the impromptu roadtrip!
I took about a dozen pictures of Annabel while we were in Nickerson and not a one of them turned out clear! She's still a cute little thing though!
Go get some hugs folks!


Cate said...

WOW!! What a great day and love the story about the carvings! Sounds like that is going to be huge fun for you having your art in the gift shop!! How exciting!!

Looks like you and the brother had a fun day together and enjoyed some awesome scenery!!


soulbrush said...

what great news and you were so down last week, so there may always be something round the next corner! what a li'l darling-here are loadsa hugs coming to her from grandie joss in london!xx

Tammy Freiborg said...

How exciting to see your carvings as part of a beautiful wall! Love all the photos!

soulbrush said...

love the shope sculpture and thanks for crediting me with the 'blue man' day, wans't it such FUN, perked me up no end. hope annabel will be fine real soon. our little maggie has a tummy bug and is also so ill.