the wrong kind of blues

Donna Ferrato's  first view of domestic violence.
Donna's take on domestic violence has changed over the years. Getting out of a bad situation is not enough, she now believes. Women need to learn not to get back into such situations, and girls need to learn not to get into them in the first place. Hence her new campaign, "Unbeatable." Here is a look at a show opening at Vanderbilt University, for which I wrote the text.


the right kind of blues


Everything in this picture is under water #soclear
 This is Blue Spring, the bluest of the several springs in the Ozarks. With a daily flow of 87 million gallons, it is estimated to be only the eighth largest spring in Missouri. It is more than 300 feet deep. It was very hot yesterday, pushing 100, and the temptation to dive in was great. The water is icy, however, and I was afraid I'd seize up and be unable to get out. Or turn blue myself.
Blues Springs flows into the Current River in Missouri


goodbye to all this

West Plains Farmer's Market

Yingdong Zheng and hubby
Many of you know that my week is regulated by the farmers' market hours on Wednesday and Saturday. They see me coming, especially Yingdong Zheng, who presses me with dumplings, Chinese spinach, bok choy and other Asian specialties.
  She and her husband met on line. "I still remember seeing her at the airport in China when we met," he says. "She was wearing this blue dress, and she looked so beautiful. She still fits into it too."
  Now her son from a previous marriage is in college, her mother is growing the bok choy in their garden and they just celebrated their tenth anniversary.


everywhere a sign

Something about the laundromat always gets me. It's called The Washboard, and sure enough washboards hang on the wall as decor. People who have actually used one other than in a jug band are thin on the ground even here. My plumber, however, says he grew up without plumbing in a house with dirt floors. I bet his mom used a washboard.
   Saw another sign of the area on a T-shirt: "They can''t take these guns away." Girl was wearing it right over her bazookas.


the bouquet

Outside the Goose
I am enchanted by this crazy plant that grows in a crack in the pavement next to the bridge.
For those of you who read this blog and have been complaining about too many pix and not enough writing, if you were present at the gala Entertainment last night, you will know why there are not more words this morning. In fact, be very proud that your correspondent even found a picture to post.


warning: grandbaby pix!

Celebrating tomorrow, August 23, in Block Island!


asking $35,000

For Sale
Next door to me, right across from the river. Said to be in decent shape. Owned by a Michigan couple now too old to come down. Very large yard. Taxes @ $60/ year. Not an investment property. I have a feeling they'd take less to off-load it. (Good luck with that! On the other hand, I was sucker enough to buy here. Fortunately the carrying costs are minimal, because I might have some difficulty selling. Though I could easily rent for, say, $150 a month. At that point I could recoup my investment in 12 years or so. . .)
  A fair number of people have suggested I import my friends to repopulate Thomasville, which seems to be losing faster than it's gaining. Don't all clamor for this place at once.


missouri wildlife

One of the local watering holes, the Klepzig Mill, near Eminence, Mo.

Local fauna, at Rocky Falls, Mo.
We went to Peck's Ranch to view elk. Peck's Ranch is the place the Beatles went on retreat for a couple days 50 years ago when they first toured the U.S. There's a guy around here still trying to sell a Champagne bottle he says they shared. Anyway, there were no Beatles there, nor elk neither, so it was kind of a bust, wildlifewise, except for a deer wandering around in the middle of the road. So as the day drew in, we went to other scenic locales in the area and did capture one specimen.


well, i'll be

I woke up when the house shook from the pounding.

Welding on another length of pipe.
"Take a good look at this here," said Randy (left). "Something you won't see much in the Ozarks. men working!"
  "Don't you go telling my wife!" joked Skip, the welder.
  They call it a "drove pipe well" around here. I don't know what it would really be called other than a piece of pipe in the ground. Harley's machine pounded down one 8' length, then another until, 19' down, they hit the river level. The water came up about 6' in the pipe. This ayem Randy and I go to town to buy a new pump, a new pressure tank and fittings. Then he will install and I may be able to take an actual shower instead of a dribble. Still won't drink the water, though the next-door neighbors all do from the same type of well.
  "You know what the only cash crop in the Ozarks is?" Randy asked me.
  "No," I said.


police action in missouri

Just think, if my crape myrtle (left and right) had grown properly I wouldn't have been able to see all five police vehicles. 

View from where I sit.
 "Stop! You have to stop!" That came from the red car in the middle of the road. The sheriff's truck was parked across the bridge over the Eleven Point, and there was no way around. The sheriff called in reinforcements, and pretty soon there were five police cars in front of the Goose. The three ex-cons had apparently got in some kind of fight in the next town of Birch Tree and fled. Birch Tree cops called the Oregon County sheriff to block them off at the pass.
   "Fuck you, you know you're going to have to let me go in five minutes, I know my rights," shouted one man. So I knew that they had had run-ins with the law before.
  The one with the big jailhouse muscles was taken away. The woman driver was taken away. The car was loaded on a truck and taken away. And somebody came to fetch the skinny ones home to Birch Tree. It was dark by then.
   So you see, it isn't all white-on-black police action in Missouri. White meth addicts get the troops out in force too. Course the suspects are all still alive. . .
The three suspects, handcuffed in front of Bear's house. Did no evil?


not renting yet!

Waves in front of the Block island properties
OK, people, I know you were out on Block Island for a day or a weekend or a week recently and you passed my place and said, "Wouldn't it be great to stay there?" Then you thought, "Let's get ahead of the game!" And you looked up Block Island on VRBO and emailed me.
  Sorry.  I am not booking new people until after I find out which of the old ones are coming back. I will deal with that in November. In January there may be a few weeks left. Get with me then. With two houses, it's like putting together a puzzle, and my brain might seize up if I booked year round. One month is all I can take. January. Be there.


ah, to be young

The Play Date   Hannah Garrison, July 2014
This is one of my favorite pix ever of the chaotic nature of childrearing. And it is just a hint of the real story!


foodies in the ozarks?

The Chomping Donkey food truck
Plum Food Group truck and catering hq.
Are we in Austin? This can't be West Plains (pop @10,000) Missouri. But yes, two food trucks decided to open up simultaneously, serving organic fast food with a few pretensions—sweet potato fries, bbq with bacon, crawfish rolls, tacos and carnitas. You can find the Chomping Donkey at the Farmers' Market on Saturday, and Plum Food group at the flea market by the railroad tracks several days a week.
 Check Facebook for hours and specials. Both serve Ozark pop with Real Sugar and feature Nice Young People as chefs.



Madison and 35th. Kate Knapp
On a morning like this, when it's 62 and the kids are about to go back to school in Missouri, thoughts turn to New York City. And how better to enjoy it than vicariously through Kate Knapp's watercolors fabulosos. They are up at the Front Street Gallery in Housatonic, Mass, if you're anywhere near there.
And speaking of New York, here's a map of NYC places mentioned in songs. Love maps.
And while on the East Coat, here's a crib sheet for what fish it's correct to eat. And which not. . .
And speaking of maps, there are famous artworks on billboards all over the U.S. Looks cool! Check it out!
And in other of my locations:
This is a fab video of Block Island from above using a drone. I have been sensitized to drones by he-who-is-alwayd-on-the-cutting-edge.
A fascinating piece on an amazing storm a hundred miles wide and a thousand miles long that flattened acres in the Ozarks, written by she-who-owns-the-truck.


goose on google earth

The Goose by Google Street View, Spring 2009.

The Goose today, Summer 2014

Google street view, 2009

Goose 2014

The old truck in the yard (and me, painting), 2009 Google

The new truck in the yard, 2014—and they laughed at my privet transplants!
We did not see the Google Earth truck come by as we worked. I had just bought the Goose, and Chris had come from Santa Fe to help me fix it up en route to help Erin build her house. But there I am, painting in the back yard, and there Chris is unloading tools from his rental truck. And here we are now. Drive by again, O Google. The place has changed.


devil and angel

Unka Simon, aka Mr. Cool, and his niece Camilla, aka Mimi Mouse


one mo' time

A guy has a bunch of these signs on his junkpile of a place
Yes, I do believe those are bullet holes. Big surprise. Enough, you may say, with the romance of the road already. But it's so American! And, hell, I'm living in  a gas station!
  Something to look forward to: before and after pix of my gas station. Coming your way. Hitchhike, hitchhike, Darlin'. The middle of nowhere? No way, we're in the heart of the country, where the Midwest, West and South meet. We're not in Nueva York any more.


old cars of the ozarks

In my neighbor's car graveyard: TK
I'm not really one to make fun of car graveyards. Some of you know where my old Fiat is buried.  But you're not telling, right?
    I stole that Fiat. From my boyfriend. (Who coincidentally or not bought the thing accompanied by the man who subsequently became my husband, if you can follow that. They all met at Time.) The boyfriend also had a VW bus, and for some reason put the Fiat in my name when we were starting a newspaper together in Springfield, Ill. Bad plan. When he took up with Another Woman, I took up the car and headed East, back to New York City.
    It got towed away the first day. (I had never had a car in New York before. Speaking of car graveyards!) Me and my next boyfriend had a lot of fun in that car. Maybe too much, but I won't go into that.
    The boyfriend I started the newspaper with sold it and split the money with his business partner. They both broke up with the girlfriends who had lived and breathed the thing with them, and the girlfriends got squat. I figured I deserved the car and so I told the ex-boyfriend when I saw him next. Besides, he had put it in my name—almost the same as giving it to me, right? He said if I would give him a viyella Brooks Brothers shirt we could call it even. So I did, and we did.
   The takeaway (besides the radio) from this whole adventure should have been never to engage in startups without a piece of the action. However, I did not learn: I worked my heart out for Billie Jean King's womenSports relaunch (fail), People magazine (success), TV Cable Week (major fail), Picture Week (never launched), Life weekly during the first Iraq war (cancelled) and innumerable redesigns of Life monthly (fail).
My own car graveyard: the Fiat radio.
Actually, I did get stock options, which enabled me to develop the property where the Fiat might lie. (The radio from it is the only souvenir. It now dwells in my yard in the Ozarks as is only appropriate.) And I got a nice pension from People. And the other girlfriend made good at National Geographic, while the boyfriends got out of the magazine business. So it all worked out and everyone lived happily ever after.
   Except the Fiat.


logoo gone

 For some reason the TRD logo bothered me. Maybe it reminded me of T_RD. I like how the new truck handles, but I didn't like its looks much.
Much happier since taking my fingernails and a lot of Goo Gone to it. . .



gluten free

Cousin Richard takes an outdoor shower.
When I was a little girl, I was the big boss of my Alabama cousins, and the next in age to me was Poor Richard. The things I made my tribe do! Building wigwams in the woods, playing games of my devising and charging all over the rose garden at Grandmother's house. Now Richard is the big boss of Grandmother's house. He is also gluten free, which led certain people to suggest a call-in radio show called "Bubba Richard's Gluten-Free Hour." Recently, he was able to overcome his fear of me, Yankees and cold water to visit the North.  He and his son paid a quick visit to Hannah's in Block Island (I was not there). His favorite time of day there was shower/cocktail hour.
  Yes, martinis are gluten free.


old rides

The school bus cum chicken coop

The Buick (?) cum Pasture Pal
Since I come out to the Ozarks to enjoy splendid isolation (and a handful of real friends), I'm not much on socializing with the neighbors. But sometimes my curiosity—and their persistence—gets the best of me an I succumb to, say, a picnic. "I'm one of those people who thinks a stranger is just a friend you haven't met yet," said Randy (every man in Thomasville seems to be named Randy, a name I can't but deplore, or Rodney). So off I went to see the horses, the fruit trees, the above ground pool, the home-raised and home-canned pork, the wild plum wine stock, the persimmon moonshine and the old cars that inhabit the pastures and woods. Don't be a stranger!


art roundup

Kate Knapp's view from Hannah's porch.
In art news, Kate Knapp's Block Island show opens tomorrow. Here's what Katie wrote about the picture above on her link.
Speaking of Block Island, here's a list of best places to eat there and places to go.
Another abstract expressionist you might want to check out is Keri Picket, who is better known as a photographer and filmmaker. You can see her whole book on Blurb in the preview, but of course she'd prefer you bought it!
The talented young photographer and friend who did the Flying Henry series has put some photographs of motherhood up on Feature Shoot.  Please comment.
In the life as art category, a feature on Hannah in Provy Love (which sounds faintly off color, maybe because of pervy?). And speaking of Hannah, here's her new site.
And in the art-as-life-threatening category, we have a depressing story on alcoholism about Elaine from LatinoUSA. Which I actually did listen to.
And in the art as death category, we have a review of a show at the Vietnam vet museum in the Chicago Tribune that calls Bill Dugan's sculpture the most powerful piece in the show. And speaking of Bill Dugan, he and Carla will do the West Plains, Mo., Art Walk this evening and then take off for Arizona.
Carla and Bill Dugan