Pre-Dawn in the Gallery

Gallery at Redlands

Over a period of years Doc dug himself into Cannery Row to an extent not even he suspected. He became the fountain of philosophy and science and art. . . . He lived in a world of wonders, of excitement.

John Steinbeck, Cannery Row

4:04 a.m. Really? The Redlands Hotel was quiet by 9:00 last night. Weary from the day’s events and road trip, I trudged upstairs and was asleep by 10:00. The suites here at the Redlands are wonderfully sound-insulated. The Union Pacific railyards are two blocks away and the sound of the occasional freight coming through town is little more than a rumble, more of a gentle feel than a disturbing sound.

One thing I certainly did not expect from this new day was to be seated in the gallery at 4:40 with it still dark outside. Nevertheless, looking out my favorite window to the world before sitting at the desk flooded me with the finest memories of this special town of Palestine.

The City of Palestine of course does not fit the shabby, grungy descriptions of Steinbeck’s Cannery Row. But the historic downtown section holding the Redlands Hotel, Carnegie Library building, Chamber of Commerce, Sacred Heart Church and of course the Union Pacific railyard has offered daily narratives to me that would compete with any Steinbeck novel. As I’ve stated before, I really miss the radio guys who used to broadcast out of this gallery in the mornings, and at this particular moment I’m saddened to look up at the space where they used to sit, drink coffee, laugh when they were not “live”, and fill this room with a warm communal feel. Right now, no one moves through the lobby, and they won’t for several more hours. But I do anticipate with gladness the arrival of hotel employees and those working the offices upstairs later. In many ways I experience the warm vibe of this town the way Doc felt when he worked daily at Cannery Row.

The day is full of promise, I brought plenty of work to pursue while staying here for a spell. Later today, Elaine Jary plans to come down and take her work that’s been on display here since February. Then I’ll re-hang my work that will include new framed pieces not seen here before.

Time to get to work. Thanks always for reading.

I make art in order to discover.

I journal when I feel alone.

I blog to remind myself I am not alone.


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4 Responses to “Pre-Dawn in the Gallery”

  1. Dian Darr Says:

    Have a beautiful day!


  2. davidtripp Says:

    Thank you, Dian! Good morning has been absolutely lovely. Great reading, soothing Journal time, I even have another blog ready to launch, but I’m going to hold it for a while longer. I am just now beginning another painting, and loving the quiet down here.


  3. lorrainemcfarland Says:

    Good morning David. Your post took me back to March when my visit to the gallery was the last time I stepped in one. I really loved the hotel and I hope that I can stay there sometime in the future. My paintings are still locked up in the dark office in Corpus Christi so at some point I will have to travel down there to pick them up. Who knows when? I should be receiving a frame soon for your lovely Dr. Pepper painting and then it will grace the wall of our kitchen. Norm was thrilled with his birthday present! Stay safe and enjoy your time Palestine.


    • davidtripp Says:

      How lovely to hear from you, Lorraine, thank you! I really hope I get to see you when you return to Texas to gather up your work. And I hope your memories of the Laguna Madre are still as soothing and wonderful as mine are. Thank you so much for purchasing my art, and thank Norm for me. As you know, artists are thrilled when they know someone takes delight in their work. I hope you are finding quality time to make art during these troublesome virus periods. I am just glad to have enough peace of mind to continue painting and writing.


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