Thursday, April 23, 2009

down in the basement with bart

That would be Bart Powers, from Munster, Indiana.  Turns out he also knows quite a bit about The Munsters, old cars, architecture, music and a great many other topics.  But he suffers from agoraphobia and depression, so he doesn't get out all that much.  Bart works fairly obsessively down in the basement, starting with pencil sketches, and then painting in a way that brings to mind M.C. Escher, graphic novels and album art from the 70s.  Some of his more detailed pencil and marker work might keep a school supply store in business!
He admitted our impending arrival had kept him awake all night, but he was surprised to see we were "professionals, not 20 year olds with a VHS camcorder."   He seemed to enjoy Don's witty repartee more than your average bear--they both love guitars and Allen Sherman, and they talked Corvairs a fair bit as well.  We all riffed on some TV and movie trivia, though I fell flat on the lead in "Vanishing Point," which I later remembered to be Barry Newman of  early 70's "Petrocelli" fame....
Bart's house is about two blocks from the Illinois state line, which tells you we crossed most all of northern Indiana to get there from Toledo.  Most surprising was the thriving Amish town of
shipshewana, which we saw thanks to a detour on US 20.  We also stopped for lunch in downtown South Bend.  The Thai food was fine, but the trip down an old elevator to a bathroom straight out of a David Lynch movie was even better.  
Oh, the other main attraction today was Goshen.  At first Mike had it confused with Gomorrah, but with some lifeline help, he did confirm it had biblical roots.  Something about Moses and the Exodus' starting point.  The one in Indiana has a claim of its own--a bulletproof guard tower on the courthouse square that was built to protect the Maple City from gangsters back in the day.  Apparently, it worked, because no banks were robbed, and the courthouse lawn is well-tended and just right for playing some catch.

]Music In the Van--"Heading West"(we were), a Starbucks Compilation with Pattty Griffin, Jakob Dylan, Aimee Mann, etc., "St. Mary of the Pines" James McMurtry, "Trouble" Ray Lemonmtagne
Don's up to $3.16, and he also picked up some really good beer from the Great Lakes Brewery, "Edmund Fitzgerald Porter" (yum)

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