Saturday, April 2, 2011
Bruce and the Talavera Stallion
A few days ago Tomas and I took a bit of a break from the obsessive focus on our careers. Gotta feed that inner child some fun, or at least get away from any sense of a workaday world that can make life seem at all predictable. (As I mentioned last time, of course in realities, nothing ever IS predictable!)
With out friend Wayne we got an early start and drove east of Austin to Round Top and Warrington to explore the immense Antiques and Collectibles show that draws folks from all over the country both spring and fall. To be honest, I'm really not much of a shopper--not unless I'm in a bookstore--and I had no idea of what to expect. However this turned out to be a truly amazing experience . . .
I had imagined some kind of huge parade grounds with hundreds of booths. Instead there are actually areas with hundreds, maybe several thousand booths scattered along both sides of the main highway for miles and miles and stretching through several communities. It's probably something like the Smithsonian--even a steady pace of walking for days could not allow you to see everything!
There's a remarkably varied selection. "This is not a museum, this junk is for sale!" one sign proclaimed. There are all sorts of antique furnishings, original artworks of every shape, size, and material; collectibles from many eras and places, imports from all sorts of countries and cultures, including Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, African countries, and even stuff from the Grande Ole Empire of Tejas.
What struck me is the virtually infinite Universe of objects that humans create, from the totally ridiculous and tacky to the genuinely sublime. All of this is stuff that nobody really truly needs, yet obviously many people want a lot of it. Even on a weekday, we pressed through eager, sweaty crowds.
Nothing struck me as irresistible, though being who I AM I kept being drawn to the pervasive bookshelves of old books. I'm on a sort of informal quest for a nice old illustrated hardcover copy of LOST HORIZON by James Hilton. The book and two film versions are a current obsession, among my many perennial obsessions. That copy still eludes me, only I'm patient on that score.
Seems I came close and even almost managed to find a Disney tie-in with SNOW WHITE, the very same "Dopey Dwarf" puppet with a rubber head that I had as a boy in Thailand! He got away from me again--oh well. At any rate, Tomas and Wayne, being magickal gardeners, loved the yard art especially.
Wayne seemed to find it amazing how I can bond with a total stranger in a few minutes. That's my style, I suppose.
Now let me confess this fascinating photo of me clowning around with a painted fiberglass stallion is not actually from that expedition; rather it's an outtake from the recent visit Tomas and I made for Fort Collins for my mother's 90th B-Day. (You might have guess that based on how over-dressed I AM, as Tejas is already plenty warm this year.) As you can see, I've got no flare for the dramatic. At any rate, that horse, as wonderful as it is, alas it's another doo-dad I can live without. We left it there.
Only the photo's not a bad souvenir.
Posted by Bruce P. Grether at 3:05 AM