Arizona Landscape

Arizona Landscape
Arizona Landscape, 2008. Processed 2011.
View On White

Clouds and scruffy hills and twiggy trees. The day was actually bright and blue, which goes to show that black and white can do whatever the hell it wants. Stella, of “The Uninvited”, will appear any moment and race to the right, seeking the cliff off which she must leap, pursued by the ghost of her mother, Mary, but the Grand Canyon is miles away.

You can do me a favor, the next time you’re in Sedona

And then we went to the old Douglas Mansion in Jerome where H.o.p. (who carries his sketchpad with him everywhere) drew a gargoyle that was leering down from a bookcase.

H.o.p. sketching at the Douglas Mansion, Jerome, Arizona, 2008
The Artist at Work, H.o.p. sketching at the Douglas Mansion, Jerome, Arizona, 2008

And we watched one of the worst and yet one of the best “This is our history” educational videos we’ve yet to see of a place. It was soooo hokey and bad, delivered by a ghost of old Jerome. Yet it managed to be engaging and held our interest, maybe because Jerome caught fire a lot and had lots of prostitutes, and houses in Jerome have a tendency to relocate themselves at will by sliding down the mountainside.

I was a trifle disappointed that only one room of the Douglas Mansion was fixed up, its “library” (a half wall of bookcases with assorted furnishings).

Oh, and there was the bathroom.

H.o.p. was fascinated with the table top recreation of old Jerome with a miniature train running all about the hillsides and spent a good deal of time taking videos of it.

For the blog - Out of focus train at Jerome's Douglas Mansion, 2008
Out of focus miniature train at Jerome’s Douglas Mansion

Here is a totally gratuitous shot of me in my new hat.

For the blog, totally gratuitous shot of me and my new hat

I love my new hat. Someone actually complimented me on it Friday. We had a gathering of cousins at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History (I think there were 14 plus H.o.p., and that’s not all of them) and some unknown woman stopped me and complimented me on the hat, saying it was very cool, and I thanked her and would have been able to manage that, but then she complimented me on it a second time and the flattery so confounded me that all I could do was become confused and run in the opposite direction.

We did a group shot of the cousins and passers by commented on it being quite a troop of kids. They had a fair window of opportunity to comment as it took a while to get all the cousins lined up and saying cheese not quite all at the same time.

One of the exhibits at the In the Dark show at Fernbank was a booth in which you could sit and try to fit a block into the right hole (three choices of holes) while people on the outside watched you fumble about on a night vision camera all for laughs. The reason you would be fumbling, and everyone outside laughing at you, was because the block, which looked a perfect tube to onlookers, was irregularly shaped with ridges. We watched many kids fail at it and then H.o.p. and his cousin, N., failed at it, then several more cousins failed at it, then H.o.p. and N. had another go at it and this time H.o.p. found a position in which it almost fit and tried to strong arm it in, jamming the block firmly. Which meant I then took my place in the booth to try to knock the block out, with me giving many and more multiple blows from the bottom before it dislodged. Then I tried my hand at fitting the block in myself and found the right way shortly and I whooped and hurrahed self congratulations with great boisterousness because I like to take great advantage of the small victories life hands one. Then I left the booth and waited with one of H.o.p.’s cousins who was wanting a second turn, and the bright and shiny edges of my victory dulled rapidly as every child who now went into the booth promptly found the right hole for the block and the right way in which to drop it through that hole.

But back to Jerome and it’s Douglas Mansion. There were more rocks for sale as the southwest is very big on selling rocks to saps like me and I purchased a couple more nice rock specimens from the old mine.

We then drove over to Sedona again and checked out the Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Village and ate at The Oak Creek Brewery and Grill (good food, good service, very friendly and welcoming of children).

I marveled at the $21,000 new age paintings in one of the galleries and wondered how to cash in on this with my style of southwestern art but I don’t see it happening.

Another gallery was featuring a lot of glass that looked like it was done by Chihuly. But it wasn’t. With no intention of being rude, simply curious, I stuck my head in and asked if the local individual who’d done the glass had studied with Chihuly. “No,” came the very cool response that was hoping, and probably expecting, I’d promptly dehydrate into a pile of dust and blow off into the hills.

So, if you drop by Tlaquepaque, please do me a favor. Seek out the gallery that has the glass that looks like it was done by Chihuly, and stick your head in and ask if the artist was a student of Chihuly’s.