Bowery Bum Fatigue

Outside The Redlands Hotel Sunday Morning

And we’re standing outside of this wonderland
Looking so bereaved and so bereft
Like a Bowery bum when he finally understands
The bottle’s empty and there’s nothing left

Dire Straits, “Your Latest Trick”

The words to the song above struck a profound chord with me last year when we finished the Dogwood Art & Music Festival followed by our Gallery at Redlands reception. It expresses how I feel after a big event. I find myself on the day after “standing outside of this wonderland” but actually NOT “looking so bereaved and so bereft.” What I feel was expressed perfectly by an elderly high school English teacher long ago, following a state convention of “Teachers of English”. Sitting in the convention hotel coffee shop, she said: “after these things are over I feel like a bowery bum with an empty bottle–just totally trashed physically though happy spiritually.” That was what I felt last year and this morning.

First Gravesite of Cynthia Ann Parker

Greg Gunnels, President of our Dogwood Arts Council, picked Wayne and me up at 7:00 this morning for some meaningful sight seeing around the Palestine vicinity. We had always wanted to visit Foster Cemetery to see the first resting place of Cynthia Ann Parker, mother of the last free Comanche chief, Quanah Parker. From there, we visited other cemeteries around Anderson County and viewed graves dating back to the late eighteenth century. The experience was sobering for me, as visiting burial sites always are. As I continue to age (I’ll be sixty-eight next month), I come to that serious thought that one day I won’t be doing this ever again–painting, drawing, blogging, journaling, thinking, remembering. One day I will cease even as these others have. And so of course I begin to question whether or not I’m doing anything of value during these final years (besides having a great time!).

Elkhart, Texas

Always looking for the next painting, I stopped by this ghost sign in Elkhart, Texas while the morning sun was still spashing the side of the building, and for the first time not finding an SUV parked on the concrete slab blocking my view of the entire sign and the grass beneath. I’ve been looking for the next ghost sign since painting my last one, exactly a year ago:

Hot Springs, Arkansas
View of the booth Wayne and I shared beneath the Art Tent

Wayne, Stacy and I had a blast sitting side-by-side in our booths this year, both Friday night and all day Saturday. Though we’re weary to the bone tonight, we have grateful memories of what we experienced this weekend.

My artist friends Wayne White and Stacy Campbell, joined by the ones who inspire me always–Ron and Dian Darr

Ron and Dian Darr (like family to me since 1990) made the 4 1/2 hour drive from San Antonio to spend time with us Saturday. Not only did we get to hang out in the booth, we also got to “party hearty” at The Gallery at Redlands anniversary gig that night.

The first guests arriving
Sharing Some Words from the Heart
Jeffie Brewer’s “miniatures”

Palestine native sculptor Jeffie Brewer had a knockout weekend under the tent and in the gallery as he kicked off Art Tracks 2022. His miniatures have been sold like hot cakes out of the tent, and continued so the first night in the gallery. These steel miniatures sell for $150 each and they’re going fast!

Fabulous Cake and Cookies shaped like Jeffie sculptures!

The cake and cookies were a big hit, compliments of Lulu & Kakes: Cupcakery and Sweet Shoppe, as was the food provided by the chef at Queen Street Grille. There would be no excuse for anyone leaving the party hungry tonight.

A relaxed moment with Jeffie at the end of the day

As our partying neared its end late last night, the artists began to sag as well. Stacy Campbell left for her Bedford home after the party, and Wayne departed for Belgrade, Missouri shortly after finishing the tour with Greg Gunnels and me. Sandi and I still had plenty of packing, tidying and loading in front of us. We got home about 9:00 tonight. The pups wore themselves out leaping about the house when we staggered in, and now, like us, they are ready to crash for the night.


Thanks 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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3 Responses to “Bowery Bum Fatigue”

  1. Dian Darr Says:

    It was such a memorable weekend. We are so proud of you and Sandi! Your beautiful gallery has become a beacon of light to the art community around you. Congratulations!!


  2. Stacy Campbell Says:

    It was a wonderful weekend full of art and love. What more could an artist ask for? Surrounded by beautiful art, beautiful people, laughter and genuine love, it was, once again one of the best weekends of my life. Thank you and thank Sandi for all of your hard work.


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