On our way out of town, we notice a strange roadside gallery--the story? As far as I understand, an Icelandic artist moved to Florida, had a long romance with his wife, another artist. They shared 30 years of artistic joy together, expanding their love of painting, sculpture, african art--until she died. Her husband, then 77, picked up stakes to follow a friend to Fredericksburg, where he bought a ranch and used it as a memorial and museum of her, his, and their work. It's pretty amazing stuff--strange, organic sculptures, massive almost lunar disks of aluminum, strange artifacts that look like God's own coffee coaster. He was an amazing character, gentlemanly, a beautiful accent, a sort of mad-scientist look to him, old but filled with energy.
He asked us if we were artists. We both fancy ourselves writers, so we muttered a bit, but compared to this man--his life, this strange gallery, his work--I'd have to say no. He's redefined what an artist is for me.
Saturday, Whines, Butterfly and I trooped down to Houston for the Texas Renaissance Festival. We didn't stay long--it's amazing how fast you tear through a faire when none of the party's really interested in the shows, and you're only at 3 or 4 people. I feel a little guilty. Next year maybe we'll do the "Stay two days, dress in wild costume and see every show" thing.
Odd random encounter at the end--we were piling into the car, I was struggling to extricate my antlers from my froofy hair, and from about 10 cars down, someone shouts at us, "Do you mind if I take a piss?"
Whines, the clever one, says "No, go right ahead, we're not looking."
So, we don't look.
A few moments later, the two guys--pisser, friend of pisser--amble over and start telling us about their day at the faire. Whines smiles and nods, because I'm getting freaked out and Butterfly looks really uncomfortable. They're both way drunk. (well, obvious.) Pisser has a story to tell--he's at the faire, and his wife's away at a booth or something, and a scantily-clad goth girl with a whip asks him to whip her hard. He's reluctant, but he thinks about whipping his wife, and really gets into it. He tells her, "after I spank it, I like to pat it," so they have a special moment together. "It's a good thing I had just bought this," holding up one of those 2-foot glasses, "'Cause I had a big chubby and had to cover it up."
Friend of Pisser tells me they're from Houston, but this is their first faire. FOP asks if we do this alot. Yes, of course we do. They're moving to Austin soon. Oh, good. Nice town. Hey, is that a sword? (reaching for my new didjeredoo). No, it's a musical instrument. Wow. If it was a sword, I was going to ask you to, like, pretend to stab me, yah! [mimes stabbing]. No, really bad idea, please, God, excuse us.
Clearly a trip to the renaissance festival is not complete without a random encounter of some sort :) This would have been the PERFECT time to tell my story about the time the goth girl checked to see if I was regimental and wandered off with a piece of my underwear in her teeth. I have witnesses on that one, sober ones.
Tired, tired :)
Anyway, pictures of all this are on Flickr.
And here, for your special edification, is The Danish Rude Tree.