Up early to start packing car, and the Camp Host comes ‘round, asks if I am staying another night. Nope, just last night again; so we settle up for the additional third night, $14, and he writes a tag for the car, tells me that I will need that to use the showers. Um, showers?! Yeah, didn’t I tell you when you checked in the first night, just down the road, not quarter of a mile, is the main station, has all the modern facilities.
Oh, well, that is nice to know, three days later.
Car is packed and I head for the… modern showers. Wow, they are very clean, lots of room, nice to know. I then take my newly-washed self to breakfast, then to library, then I am out of here. I am heading to Winslow, AZ, after reading a couple of the links Diann had sent to me. I will be “takin’ it easy” very soon.
You see, I was told very clearly by a fellow I met at the charity event yesterday, Miguel, that Winslow is not to be missed; an artist community, it is teeming with art and artists. I actually will be going an hour out of the way to Albuquerque in order to stand on a corner. And that is just simply okay by me. Plus, I have had a shower today and that makes me happy.
And this is wild! Miguel is an artist and is displaying in the Olive Oil store many of his jewelry pieces and necklaces that he makes. He and Sonja have been inquiring about my art, so the website is brought up on the store computer, everyone huddled around.
Up comes “Venus Transmogrified”, one of my personal favorite pieces to date – it sold two years ago – and without prompting he says, “reminds me of David Bowie and Glam.” I exclaim, loudly, “Exactly! I always thought so, but you are the first person to actually say so before I did.”
He continues, “I should send an image of this to Bowie tonight. I know him and his wife, you know.” “Oh, really, do you?” “Yes, I was a make-up artist professionally in L.A. and worked with Iman (his wife) for more than twenty years.” “Is that right? Huh.” My incredulousness has betrayed me in a big way; I am a big fan of Mr Bowie.
So, glass of wine in our hands, we continue discussing all things Bowie, L.A., theater, and, of course, art. His girlfriend is an artist in northern California, north of Santa Cruz, in redwood country; he tells me I should get in touch, gives me her cell number – it goes into my phone. Wild. But that's how it works in this crazy world.
So, I pull into Winslow, only an hour and a half drive, and immediately go in search of a street named ‘Winslow.’ I find it, no one around, and I march into a business on the corner, a title company. Ask the receptionist if she might snap a photo for me. She laughs, says most people usually go down to the park few blocks away and have their pictures taken there; they pose with a statue, guy with a guitar, but I will be happy to take a picture for you. I then drive for a wee look-see at the town then decide to cave in and take advantage of the tourist photo opp with the guy with the guitar.
It is so early in the day that I really think I should move on, try to get closer to New Mexico before sunset, and decide to shoot for Gallup, New Mexico. Will find a campground there. I will get up early, do a couple of paintings in Gallup and head for Albuquerque in the morning. That’s the plan. Also, cell reception isn't great, might be better in Gallup, and if David Bowie calls tonight, I want to be sure to be able to take the call. Right?
Oh, and I do have something very sad to report. My straw hat - the one that I wore many times on stage when playing van Gogh in the one-man VINCENT, the same straw hat that joined me when first I began painting out-of-doors, in all kinds of inclement weather, the straw hat that, because of its derelict condition, caused painter friends of mine in Chicago to suggest to me, Jeffrey, that hat comes back with you to Chicago, you can find new painter friends - that straw hat has been forever retired.
With no further ado, no pomp and circumstance nor solemn ritual, the beloved straw hat was placed into a dumpster, near the newly discovered modern facilities at the campground, and simply thanked for good service. EDITOR'S NOTE: the replacement hat may be seen standing on the corner in Winslow, Arizona, and such a fine sight to see.