On October 3 2015 was invited to set my production scene at my second "juried" art event. It called itself, "The Affordable Arts Festival" and it was in Hillsboro, Oregon. Normally, I avoid Beaverton and the West Side of Portland metro like the Black Plague, because like the fleas that carried the plague on the backs of rats (which would die and give the fleas to their human neighbors), the spandex sporting people of the West Side are often times carriers of Bookmaker Jake's arch-nemesis, "The La-La Land Personality of Portland." You'll have to read Traveler's scene on FLaBs, or Fictional Land Bodies, to understand the terror I experience when entering the West Side.
For example, the building where the Affordable Arts Festival was called "Northwest Events," but it looked like every other office building in Beaverton. Which is, case in point, how I know I'm near Beavertron. Everything looks the same. It's like Pooh's sandpit. The more time you spend there, the more everything begins to look the same..."Oh bother, where am I? It's that old sandpit again."
But this wasn't my first rodeo. I wasn't entering the Sand Trap of Hillsboro unprepared. I brought two of my biggest "guns" with me: Emily the Full Cellar Farmer and Just Jim my Spiritual Advisor and Treasured Uncle.
It was very good to spend time with my uncle. He's an amazing human being, and I loved that he communed (as he likes to say) with us at my booth as long as his health would allow. Just Jim, Emily, and I turned what should have been a place of desperate commerce into something better, a chance to be together, talk, commune, and share a few laughs. The amazing glassworks artist next door Kathy was the first to join our conversation circle. Her art was partly inspired by the hardships The American Way of Life has caused the people of Haiti.
I swear to all that is good that I didn't stage this. It took some doing, but I wandered around the sandpit long enough to find a cover. I found the plastic communion cups box and communion grape juice container (already rinsed) in the center's communal kitchen, which must have set the scene for a real deal holy communion sometime recently. As my Uncle Jim pointed out, it must have been a Protestant ritual because they used Welches grape juice instead of wine.
The next to join our rogue communion circle was Elizabeth, who returned later to buy one of my favorite books. She had great energy and I enjoyed her company. I posted her photo with her book "Roger's the Man!" The next memorable character to join us was Lez and her quiet companion who bought my book that told the story of the day I saved a chipmunk from Pip the Evergreen Jungle Cat. You can learn a little about Lez at her website: Lezbag.com. The show was not well attended. The musicians at what should have been the climax were playing to empty seats and some artists who'd abandoned their booths. In spite of what I'd say was "situation normal" for the Sand Trap, I had a good day. I sold the Tang Book to an interesting guy named Steve and sold seven others, which is sightly above par for an event like that.
I'd like to leave our communion scene here with a few of my favorite Just Jim quotes:
"Mathematics know no democracy."
"The Salty Old Harpooner turned to the Youth on his first day and said, 'There is no need to be afraid as long as you remember: We're hunting the whale; the whale isn't hunting us.'"
"Just keep being the best you that you can be."
"We're fundamentally spiritual beings having physical experiences, not physical beings having spiritual experiences."
"Whoa! That's heavy early!"
'You can be Bach (Back) and I'll be Beethoven."
We love you "everlastingly" Just Jim!