Industrial Stains

Hand in a Hole

Industrial Wall

Industrial Wall

The Goods

Me and my buddy went walking on an old RR track that is now a faux trail. It runs through woods and behind an industrial splotch. Half of the stuff we found along the tracks but the other stuff was given to me by an eccentric man we met. He lives just off the tracks and I was salivating over all the scrap in the back lot. It didn't look like a house but apparently it is, that and a warehouse for literally tons of metal. We went walking by and saw a wild haired man out there walking around and sitting down to smoke. After a brief discussion we decided to go back and ask about some scrap, did he have any round scrap etc. Turns out the guy is/was an artist. Sounded like he has lost his muse...there was some initial muttering about muse...someone cutting out a sculpture he made and carting it off...not being creative...letting it all go etc. Yes folks, another eccentric Vermonter who lives in a large building that from what we could see out of the corner of our eyes, was filled with shit inside. No furniture, nothing but stuff piled up into every nook and cranny. Slightly unpleasant odors wafting out along with the drone of talk radio and crazy sounding classical music.
The guy was wild haired...gray...wrinkly, gorgeous icey blue eyes...toothless yet coherent and obviously knew what the hell he was doing in life. I'm always a little suspect when some 'buzz' words fling by...things like living off the grid...making your own electricity...political discourse; you get the picture. I think he said something about schizophrenic this and that...my ears shut down sometimes when people start babbling. I find my eyes wandering, looking for abnormal stains on their clothing and looking for an escape. He was a nice guy. He was giving me pieces of scrap here and there. He didn't really understand what I did but he was surprisingly alert and knew exactly what he had on his property even though you'd never believe anyone could keep track of all the stuff he had piled up around the place.
I was taken aback when out of the blue he asked if I knew so and so...and I did. Then we got to talking about the gallery I am in and he knew of it. I mentioned the opening that starts next week and continues every fri through the month and said he should show up. He had just given me some cool scrap and the minute I mentioned the opening he said he had no car I think I lost track of who said what/ when.... but somehow I got myself involved in picking him up and bringing him to the gallery next Fri. Did I really do that? He said he would give me his number.
Me and my friend went off walking, said we would come back for the scrap on the return trip. Sure enough he was ready for us and handed me a piece of paper. When I looked at it I couldn't believe it, he had torn off the corner of his personal bank check. His name and P.O. Box sitting above his phone number. It struck me as surreal. I will save that little piece of paper for a long time you can bet your bottom dollar. ( I smelled it and it smells strange)
I have decided to make him a batch of cookies...although I worry can he eat normal food what with all his lower front teeth gone. I am not sure we will call him and go pick him up for the opening...its out of the way a bit and I can't be sure he is serious or comfortable in such a setting (he mentioned that he had lost his comb). It all happened so fast I can't be sure if I invited him or he invited himself or what. I'm half afraid to go back there on my own but I think he is just reclusive and been alone a bit too long.
All in all it was a good afternoon, only took a few pictures but they satisfied my urge to get out and shoot something new. Life is more fun when you meet people, and this person was like meeting four people all in one.


Nellie Bass Durand said...

All that on one outing? Talk about a lucky day!

BlueJude said...

Cool beans! love the photos and yes it is great meeting new people! Happy Friday!

Misplaced said...

Great story.

upon occassion I have come across old writer who are, to say the least, eccentric. It's always interesting to chat butI walk away with one thought in my head. "Will that be me in 30 years" and then I get very, very nervous. At least I don't smell strange....yet.

I'd love to see a picture of this guy but I'm thinking he would never allow that.

sarala said...

Great story.

m.m.crow said...

yeah, can you get a pic of him? i want to see his gorgeous eyes and wild hair and toothless jaw. let us know if you come across him again and what you decide to do about picking him up for the show!