Thursday, April 25, 2013

David Mickey Evans' Blog: QUICK UPDATE AND CORRECTION...






In my last post I attributed this work to JAZI.  My bad.  It is actually by Lee Pasquali:

Top quality drawings by Lee Pasquali

Another killer piece by Lee Pasquali
Go to the IMAGINATION GALLERY FB PAGE and buy his (and Jazi's) stuff.  You will not be disappointed.



David Mickey Evans' Blog: 20TH ANNIVERSARY SANDLOT TOUR - 4.16.2013 - DAY 10...

David Mickey Evans' Blog: 20TH ANNIVERSARY SANDLOT TOUR - 4.16.2013 - DAY 10...: WINCHESTER, VA TO HARRISONBURG, VA Dear Reader, We get up early, concoct the go-juice in the french press and engage in...



Dear Reader,

We get up early, concoct the go-juice in the french press and engage in the ritual AM running-of-the-pup.  The Captain is in fine form this morning, he charging first, me throwing the tennis ball just ahead of him, wherein he snatches it from thin air on the run off the first or second bounce.  G'boy Captain Maverick.

We head to main street in Winchester to find Shawn Crimm’s Imagination Art Gallery where I had promised to stop by the night before.  With everything under construction it’s a bit tough to find a parking spot, but we eventually do.

Backpacks on, we take a nice walk along the promenade (If we would have had some tidy 19th century garb such as a whalebone hoop-skirt for Navigator Stacey and a Top Hat for me, it would have been perfect - but it was nearly so nonetheless) in even nicer weather and find Shawn’s IMAGINATION ART GALLERY.

He’s recently moved in so the window sign is still in outline, but you get the point:

Owner Shawn Crimm and Navigator Stacey outside The Imagination Gallery

The Imagination Gallery, Winchester, VA.

We’re greeted inside by a small group of Shawn’s friends and customers, including the lady whom (with her husband) I am told own a good portion of the real estate on main street.  She’s an incredibly kind lady and she’s hipping a child of about 16 months.  He is the smiliest little boy you ever saw, and somewhat developmentally disabled.  Whatever his trouble (and I’ll bet he doesn’t consider life any trouble at all the way he was smiling) he is, in a word, Joy.  We learn that this lady and her husband foster parent and/or have adopted many children with disabilities both mental and otherwise.  These people are really, really good people.

A canvas by JAZI

B&W's by Lee Pasquali, the cat can draw, trust me.

I am not a Che' fan, but Cornelius the Ape as Che'?  Genius.

I also meet JAZI, a pretty well known ex-DC street artist, graphic designer who has for the most part put the public spray can thing behind him and concentrates on actual  canvasses now.  And his stuff is fantastic.  Very, very cool, as is almost everything in Shawn’s gallery.  We introduce ourselves, and it turns out Jazi is a huge Sandlot fan.  And I am a big fan of his work.  I sign a Sandlot tour mini for him and he’s just shocked.  In a good way.  We shake hands and he says, “Hang on a second...”

He ducks over to a nearby display and comes back with a small canvass he’s recently done.  It is, in a word, bitchin’.  I mean like “Takes me back to one of my first surfboard’s, an early 70’s Lopez Lightning Bolt single fin bitchin’!”  I ask why he’s giving me this.  And Jazi says, “Because you gave me some of your art.  I’m giving you some of mine.  We’re exchanging art, brother.”

Spreading the love, Sandlot Style

The small art piece JAZI gave me.  I channel my inner Gerry Lopez when I admire it.

Personally signed.  Priceless.

Now, for most of my life and particularly my working career, I’d had trouble with the “I’m an artist” thing.  I never considered myself an artist, either because I had some upside down negative notion as to the definition of the word, or because I considered myself more of the “working real hard meritocracy type” who got it done through sheer force of will and singleminded vision.  But then, I am an artist.  Good, bad or indifferent (either good or bad is fine, indifference in art is death - if you’re indifferent, or worse, your art is indifferent - you are, in fact, not an artist) I am “that.”  So I’ve come to agreeable terms with the term itself.  

A take on the Hydra and Monster Zero of Japanese Godzilla movie fame by Lee Pasquali

Color.  And more color.  Very cool stuff.

The point of this is that although I’ve signed and sold or given away thousands of copies of the last-day-of-production photo I took of the Sandlot boys over the years (and especially on this tour) I’ve never exchanged works of art with anyone.  So that Jazi considered my photograph a piece of art and in turn felt it appropriate to give me one of his works, I was deeply humbled and gratified and grateful.  Jazi, if you are reading this, the “ Lightning Bolt ” piece is going to be framed and hung in a prominent place in my writing room.  Thank you my friend.

Shawn’s gallery is also dedicated to eclectic pieces of sculpture (a hand-held sized leather-wrapped very strong magnet was a favorite - I could literally feel the energy in this thing) and polished stones and precious stones in the rough.  He asked Navigator Stacey her birth date, and proceeded to give her an awesome uncut, in the rough Ruby (her birth stone) from India.  A beautiful gesture, Shawn, and the Navigator appreciates it very much.

The raw Ruby Shawn bestowed upon Navigator Stacey

Navigator Stacey's raw Ruby from India, lighted "Carlsbad Cavern Style."

After signing a bunch more tour mini’s for Shawn’s friends and Clients, we exchanged contact info, and The Navigator and I headed back to the Tour Truckster.  And just as we had made some new friends (and this has happened every single day on the Tour so far) in was only right that somehow The Captain would as well.

Captain Maverick in his Command Center.  On watch.  Always on watch.

I said in an interview recently that The Sandlot means “I have friends I’ve never met wherever I go.”  And that is undoubtedly true.  But The Captain needs no such past filmmaking resume.  He’s a force of nature and a natural “kid attractor.”  He attracts everyone really, but particularly kids.  And more particularly little kids - I think because he’s so much larger than they are, and when they look up at him, it’s just too much to process and their little minds go into instinctual “Mommy I wanna pet that big beautiful doggie” mode.

So we walk The Captain around a bit to stretch his legs, he holding his tennis ball (of course) on the off chance there might be a bit of grass to have a quick run on - there wasn’t - and in a few minutes a nice lady with her 18 month old granddaughter walk by.  Emmie spots The Captain, who by now is back in his Command Center and in repose, and instantly starts walking for the back of the Tour Truckster - arms stretched out before her, “I wanna squeeze you” fingers grasping at air on her way toward The Captain’s fur.  Her grandmother gently holds her back - again, The Captain is a beautiful and beautifully intimidating looking GSD - not knowing whether he’s kind to children or considers them snack food.

The Captain large.  Emmie small.
We assure her The Captain means Emmie no harm.  So she sets the toddler up on the bumper and this is what transpired.  Bear in mind that NOBODY and I mean NO-FREAKIN’-BODY touches The Captain’s tennis ball.  Except, apparently, Emmie:

Look closely at the tennis ball.  It's actually in mid air.  The Captain is dropping it to share with his new friend Emmie.

The Captain nosing the ball toward Emmie so she can pick it up and play too.

After we said goodbye to Maverick’s new friends Emmie and her grandmother The Navigator and I headed back to Union Jack’s Pub - not for a beer, we had a long drive ahead yet - but to secure the end of day beer for later.  Always thinking ahead.  Like I tell my movie production crews, and especially my heads-of-departments, “Anticipate everything and don’t ever let me hear you say, ‘It wasn’t on the callsheet.’”

The bartender pours us a growler of Firestone IPA - great beer - when it occurs to us we have no cooler to keep it cold for the next 350 miles or so.  The Tour Truckster is so jam packed there is no room for a cooler.  What to do?  But, luckily, we are in Virginia, technically “The South”, so she’s fixes us up with a “Red Neck Cooler.”  To wit:

Bartender at Union Jacks Pub, Winchester, VA.  Constructing our Red-Neck cooler: beer and ice in a bag in a box.  genius.

Small.  Portable.  Stowable.  Works perfect.  Free.  Genuis.

We stash the red-neck cooler in a corner of the Captain’s Command Center, and head back toward the Wyngate to a Best Buy I saw across the street. We liked Winchester, VA a lot.  We will be back there someday.

Beautiful Victorian house from the 1800's just off main street, Winchester, VA.
It has become eye-strainingly obvious that Navigator Stacey, although an iPhone genius, needs a larger screen on which to Navigate (yeah, we have Rhonda The GPS Lady, but she’s a DVD and sometimes not so right after all), find pet friendly accommodations, look up stuff OTR as we go etc...  Which is all, of course, why God created The iPad.

We head in an meet a nice young salesdude named Jim.  He says he’s 18, but the size 16 waist on his pants says otherwise.  I think he was about 13.  He is, however, smart as the day is long.  Knows everything about the iPad.  We need a 16G, retina display, wifi / cellular on Sprint.  He doesn’t have one, but the Best Buy about 100 miles down the road in Harrisonburg has an “Open Box” version.  We purchases all the iPad gak from him as a thank you (cover, screen protector, stylus...) and get the 30% discount.

Jim tells me that the Open Box version is EXACTLY the same as the unopened box version - same warranty, phone support etc... It’s just something that someone bought and returned within 15 days.  Plus it’s $50 less expensive.  And what’s the rule, boys and girls?  Never pay retail.  And what are you if you pay retail?  You’re an idiot.

iPad with Retina Display. WiFi Cellular.  Check.

So with The Navigator on high-excitement gotta-get-my-new-iPad overload, we head down the interstate to Harrisonburg.  There, we acquire the iPad, and check it out in the store.  Sure enough, it seems to be brand new, not a scratch on it, and working perfectly.  Awesome.  Score.  So awesome in fact, that The Navigator wants to start downloading apps immediately.  And in order not to incur the data usage over the cellular network, we gotta use the wifi.  So we decide to stay the night in Harrisonburg, at a tidy Quality Inn.  We’ve got time to make Greenville, SC, so this is a nice respite from having to slog another 400-500 mile day.  Plus it gets us off the demolition derby, commonly referred to as "The Virginia State Highway System."

A van in which were travelling 5 or 6 younger and older Christian Missionary types, spreading the word as they see fit.  I asked if I could photograph their van.  They said yes.  Proudly.

I asked if they had painted the van themselves.  They said yes, they had and did I like it?  I said I did.  Because, I did like it.

A quick call to the folks at Sprint and the iPad is connected to our cellular account.  And we’re thankful we switched, because frankly, if it had been call to the Evil Empire (I mean AT&T) it would’ve taken hours, and then not worked.  Ever.  And AT&T if you are reading this, I let The Captain mark the front entrance to your headquarters - number 2 style.  Because that’s the kind of service you gave me for all the lost years I was with you - pure, unadulterated, steaming Sh*t.  Moving on...

New Name.  Same great service.  The old name was "Jameson Inn."  Which could have proved problematic as Navigator Stacey is 100% Irish Girl.

Colonial.  That is all I can think of.

Always a place to run the Captain - this behind the pool house at the hotel.

That's the hotel grill on the right.  Not gonna cut it.

We check in and find a nice stretch of grass behind the pool house out back of the place to run The Captain.  The Navigator plugs the iPad in to charge and we notice a group of guys having a tailgate bbq at the truck in the parking lot.  We learn these guys (there are three of them) are house painters, and this being spring time in Virginia, they’re working non-stop for 7-8 months, everyday without a day off to get as much work done as possible before winter hits in November.  They’re also from Kentucky and away from their families for that long as well.  Tough going.  But they’re tough guys.  And very polite as well.  The bbq seems like a good idea, but the one near the pool provided by the hotel is dodgey, so we hit Wally World for a portable grill on which to cook some chicken.


$7?!?!?!?!?!  Yep.  Worked great too.

$7.  That’s it.  $7.  Wally World gets a lot of crap from people about a lot of things.  Did I mention the little grill was $7??  Even came with it’s own insta-light coals.  $7.  And Made in The USA BTW.  Perfection.

Navigator Stacey Grillin' and The Captain Chillin'

$7 that came with its own insta-light coals.  Score.

Enough to make The Captain drool.  And he did.

So we set up right neat the Tour Truckster, with The Captain on watch, and light the grill as the iPad is presumably charging away and open the growler we’d carried from Winchester in the Red-Neck cooler.  The beer is ice cold.  

End of day beer gettin' its cold on

The chicken is soon on the grill.  And we have a chance to relax and consider the great success we had in Trenton, NJ with the first screening.  The Navigator and I agree - we have the best jobs in the world at the moment, and we’re having almost more fun than human beings should be allowed to have.

The Captain ever vigilant

This is a game The Captain plays in every parking lot we stop in.   He purposely drops the ball under a parked car so that dad has to go get it and throw it for him.  Works every time.  The Captain ain't stupid.

"Dad?  A little help here?!"

Sidebar: So one of the painter guys walks out the back of the hotel and approaches The Captain in a friendly manner.  The Captain gives him the once over, and declares him "okay."

The man is clearly feeling no pain and holding a Budweiser to his chest like it's his best buddy, which is smart because his very large belly provides a convenient shelf to rest it thereon.  He says, "Nice dog."  And we agree with him.  He then goes on, "Got me a Shep'erd Rot mix.  Big dog.  Bout 150 pounds and when he stands on his back legs wit his paws on my chest bout here, his face is bout even wit my chin right'chere.  Got the parvo though."

We sympathize with him in a manner dog owners have of sharing the pain of losing a loving friend and companion.  But the guy goes on, and I'll let him tell you in his own words here, (and I'm spelling this out phonetically because it would lose all its impact if I correct his pronunciation and grammar):

"Took him to the vet and the vet said he was either gonna die or he could give him some med'cin that would help but he'd probly die anyway.  I said no thanks and took mah Shep'erd Rot mix home.  Big dog.  Bout 200 pounds and when he stands on his back legs wit his paws on my shoulders, his face is even wit my face right'chere.  But he got the parvo.  Mah daddy and his daddy though knew how to cure it.  You get a shotgun shell and twist it open like this here (he demonstrated with his Bud can at this point), then you jess take a pinch of the gunpowder and get some hot sauce and then put all that there in a little bottle with some milk.  You shake it up and then you feed that to the dog - the gun powder, hot sauce and milk.  And in the morning they end up jess fine.  So that's what I did with mah Shep'erd Rot mix.  Big dog.  Bout 230 pounds.  And when he stands on his back legs wit his feet on top of my shoulders his face is right'chere above my head looking down at me.  Big dog.  So I gave him the mixture and in the morning he was jess fine.    Still got the parvo though."

At this point he drained his beer, and through the pleasingly blurry reality of his bud-goggles in which Shep'erd Rot mix canines grow ever larger with each recounting and would've no doubt soon reached Clifford-The-Big-Red-Proportions, I swear to you this is what he said: "I gotta get to the fitness center now and work off some of these beers. Ya'll have a good night."

And we did, grateful to have encountered such a fine raconteur.

BTW, it your dog gets parvo and you feed him gun powder laced with milk and hot sauce, he's a dead man.  I'm just sayin'...

End of day beer, Harrisonburg, VA.

With visions of another great screening dancing in our contented heads, The Navigator, The Captain and myself sack out, ready for an early day on the ‘morrow.

Check back soon and sign up to follow our continuing adventures on the 20th Anniversary Sandot Tour.