Friday, April 17, 2009

when balls collide

Let me explain the picture above.  It's proof of our day-ending visit to the World's Largest Ball of Paint in Alexandria, Indiana.   Mike Carmichael has been painting layer after layer over a baseball core since 1985, some 2,300 layers, including the Jayhawk blue one we helped with. We chose the color in part because of Mike's un-nerving resemblance to former KU b-ball coach Roy Williams.  He, however, is more into Sherman-Williams, dadgummit.
Mike's not just a painter, he's also a numbers guy, who tracks all the different colors each layer has been, and all its vital stats.  The appearance of our Big Ball o' Tape inspired him to do some measuring on it as well.  Ours is lots smaller.

Prior to the Ball-A-Rama in Alexandria, we'd spent some time in Warrington with Billy Wilcox.
The topic was wire, which Billy incorporates into animal forms that can be seen around the area, in places like Greenville and Knightstown (where all the restaurants seem to have died). He showed us around the remains of what had once been a sculpture garden out back-- until his partner left him holding the bag on a whole lot of bills.  The conversation covered everything from Billy's days as a Boy Scout to the importance of keeping your tetanus shots current. I took home a wire "r" and Don got a nifty small fish.   Mike weaseled something too, but I'm not sure just what.

The worst part of the day was a soul-deadening stretch of suburban driving on US 31 south of Indianapolis, followed immediately by more of the same on US 40.  Genericana at its most tedious, but at least we'd seen Big John before that.  BJ is, or so the store that owns it proclaims, the World's Largest Rocking Chair.  We played our first catch of the trip in its shadow, a nice spot for as Don put it, "sunny and chair."

Music In the Van--Eric Clapton & JJ Cale "Road to Escondido", Golden Smog "Pecan Pie"
Don found only 2 cents today, ironically, I noticed a quarter in the driveway at the Ball o Paint's place.

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