Sunday, April 13, 2008

trabajando en san angelo

Kinda freaky when you turn on CNN, and the first thing you see is a story from the town you're in--especially when it's an out of the way place like San Angelo, Texas.  The story of course is polygamists gone wild, and we're the only TV crew in town that's not here for the compound.
We did come for the art however, and found it all day in various forms.

First on the agenda was a quick run out to the Old Chicken Farm.  Not a poultry place anymore, but a compound for artists.  The O.C.F. even has a B&B and a great restaurant that's closed on Sundays.  Roger, one of the founding artists, kindly dished out CDs of the country pickin' that happens out on the patio too.  TV Weasels love free stuff!

The next two assignments both involved rocks and driving around town.  First we hunted for a grander than average fence made by a man named Cadena, enclosing both his home and his goats.  Then, with the gracious assistance of architect Craig Kinney, we trespassed in the yards of some very cool houses made by stonemasons in the 20s and 30s.  Craig's not sure who made 'em, but he thinks they're folk art in themselves, with decorative touches and flourishes no one would dream of including today.  We agree, and so does our own guest architect, Larry Harris (Narrowlarry to some of you) from Houston, who's joined the dog pack for a few days as well

Next we met up with a cop turned gardener turned sculptor named Bobby Peiser.  Bobby does stuff with plants, with wood, metal, stone and whatever else captures his fancy.  There's an 
olympic torch cactus, the ruins of Pompei, gates to nowhere, tiki gods and greenery with various Greek and Latin names we don't actually recognize.  Bobby's getting married again on June 5, and so happy he risks losing his status as an crusty, eccentric old fart (his words.)

All of which served as a set up for the day's final slam dunk, the Cascada de Piedra Pinta, a front yard waterfall grotto made by Jesus Zertuche.  The impeccably dressed Mr. Z. was a ranch foreman and laborer who brought materials back to his home near downtown, and crafted the one-of-a-kind tableau with snakes and dragons and bears to populate it.  The walls of his home are an amazing black and white stone extravaganza as well.  And to sweeten the deal even more, he took us inside, and played a few of the 450 or so songs he's written.  Kudos to our own Mr. Murphy for putting his limited Spanish skills to the best use possible.  Viva Zertuche!

Music in the Van-- David Lindley "El Rayo X" , Norah Jones' most recent
Trips to Starbucks--2

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