A KILT, A BOAT AND A PISTOL
“Mindscapes” artist, Doug Randall, is coming…in a KILT!...to his artCentral Opening Reception, Friday, September 9th!
Kilts go with bagpipes and bagpipes with the Blue Ridge Mountains where some time ago I travel over the peaks with a Brooklyn musician—he to teach bagpipes at a summer retreat, I to camp in the deep woods surrounding Nantahala Lake.
Pulling on jeans, quietly toward the mayhem I creep to find a glowing camp fire dancing orange reflections off ruddy faces. Round and round jugs are passed by tilting young men as they swap tales and tell lies punctuating the treetops with pistols firing each time a good whopper is shared. Boys having a good ole time! You gotta love ’em—even in the middle of the night!
In the morning, wisdom suggests I make my presence known to quieter neighbors, if I can find any. I do. I discover Mary and Jimmy set up beside a cove—their annual secret spot. They’re surprised when they learn I’m camped out alone in these parts.
We take a liking to each other. For the remainder of my sojourn we share evening meals of hot dogs, potato chips, moon pies and contributions from my “healthy” supplies. Turns out, Mary checks at their village grocery. Jimmy builds high-up roads with twisting curves when he’s not at his still or running moonshine or away from the revenuers. Making good money on the road crew and on his jugs, he’s only been to jail twice, when he didn’t run fast enough.
We celebrate our friendship with a last night moonlight ride in their mildewy white boat. Jimmy puts his pistol on the dash. Mary puts hers up there, too. They look at me for mine and are appalled to discover I’m not packin’. We have a lovely boat ride anyway. Next day I walk five miles out of the woods to my pickup point. Brooklyn feels a little boring when I get back!
I need to drop Mary and Jimmy a line (we exchanged addresses) to tell them I’m properly prepared for another boat ride. My new artist-musician friend has kitted me out with a pistol—a really awesome air gun. I haven’t a clue how to shoot this, but at least I can say I’m now packin’.
A kilt on an artist, a mildewy boat and a pistol sure do make for a good story!