Monday, May 15, 2006

By the time we got to Blackstock

Greg Blackstock plays accordion and makes what some have called list paintings.  They’re meticulously hand drawn illustrations with cleanly lettered explanations of everything from knots to bells and saws and mackerels, power boats and Vermont’s historical attractions, and well, whatever he gets the urge to make. The walls of his basement apartment are covered with prints of his work, letters about his retirement from a kitchen post at the Seattle Athletic Club, and autographed photos of his favorite celebs.  He loves Phil Silvers, and barks out a mean Jimmy Cagney impression.  He and Don even went toe to toe with a round of dealing Cagneys!!

A book of Greg’s amazing pieces (and a few recipes) will be out by Labor Day. Congrats are in order...

We hit Greg’s place near Green Lake after a morning run through Frement, the self-proclaimed Center of the Universe.  It reminded Mike how much he loves “Journey to the Center of the Earth”, but really, what doesn’t?   We saw the statue of Lenin by the Taco del Mar there and took the Big Ball under the bridge to visit the VW crushing Fremont Troll.

On the way out of Seattle we ate “the best chips of the trip”--Tim’s Cascade Chips from nearby Algona, prompting us to consider a morning visit to the company HQ in hopes of copping some freebies!  TV Weasels to the end...

But the day actually ended with a visit to Bob’s Java Jive, a still standing coffee pot shaped structure in Tacoma. Never really made money as a restaurant the owner told us--so it’s been a bar for fifty plus years.  The inside was fabulously folk artsy, and only a wee bit dank.  Karaoke tonight didn’t float our boat, but someday it’d be fun to come back and rock out with ‘em on the grounds of this classic roadside attraction.

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