GIVING A HOME TO CASTAWAYS
You can find amazing treasures in out-of-the-way places like Strong City in the heart of the Kansas Flint Hills where David’s long-time friend, Dan Clothier is opening his newest restaurant. We’re just returned and exhilarated, for David’s commission to restore Dan’s two huge rescued, vintage murals has been accomplished beautifully. I got to help!
Home again and beginning our artCentral errands, we’re off to the post office. “Did you see that? I’m going back!” David exclaims, just two blocks from home. Throwing the van in reverse, he does go back, back, back and retrieves a long strip of tire tread lying in the middle of our neighborhood street.
We do just this: give these random derelicts a new home and a new identity, too. We delight in taking the lost, the cast off and the unwanted and up-cycling them into something new and special and fun.
Today’s find, this dirty old strip of tire tread, becomes David’s “Road Gator”—mounted vertically on Reverend Jan’s salvaged piece of barn wood and adorned with a wee set of faux golden antlers found some-time-ago from who-knows-where. The finished results are charming when seen on David’s studio wall, ready for an acquisitive patron to claim this amazing recreation.
Likewise I have a new painting fresh off my easel inspired by and including a tiny porcelain basket discovered by David, purchased for fifty cents in the second hand shop around the corner and given to me as a gift. I’m thrilled as I ply my acrylics to add and text to tell a story and images that create an environment. Voilà! “My New Little Basket” is ready—my entry for the upcoming JRAC “Yes We Can” exhibition scheduled for September in Nevada. David’s entry for “Yes We Can” is “Dawn’s Early Light”, a work of elegance and grace oil stroked on stretched canvas.
Every morning I wake to see the actual object of his inspiration purchased decades ago in a miniscule shop hidden in the depths of Florence. Finding and falling in love with her shape and her exquisite features and the response she gave him when he plucked her strings, my husband, then a broke young art student wandering the streets and back alleys, boldly wired home to solicit a loan. The requested funds forthcoming, his new love purchased, David’s strummed her in many places around the globe from the mountain top Acropolis above Athens to the chair beside our bed where he sweetly plays and sings me to sleep.
More rescued art adorns our sleeping sanctuary including “Jan’s Wedding Cans”—battered and dented and rusting at the edges. Jan’s artfully linked them together with hay baling twine retrieved from the ancient bales in her barn loft where she married us. The “Cans” come to us when David goes to get a Jan massage and returns home jangling them. They’ve been retrieved from the bumper of Jan’s 1951 Chevy—our post ceremony get-away car in which Jan chauffeured us around her rural section as grazing cows looked up in puzzlement at the clanging and thumping of Jan’s tin can bells and two left boots.
Reaching up to drape the string over the hook where our candle lantern swings between our upstairs bedroom windows, David reports, “Reverend Jan says we should hang these from the maple tree in the back gardens and let the winds make them sing.”
“Oh no!” says I. “I want them to stay right there to look at first thing every morning and last thing every night. They mean everything to us! They’re all about our beginning and our wedding celebration and our promises for forevermore. I want to see and cherish them every day. Jan made them special—just for us!”
“Okay” replies my husband realizing there’s no room for argument. “Here they’ll stay. They’ve got a new home!”
Yes, some of our rescued castaways are meant to stay with us in our home every day and forever.