Twist and Shout

Twist and Shout
Life is never straight (Joey Kulkin photo)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Vignettes from Vermont: Joe Around the World day 9

Joey Kulkin photo

BENNINGTON -- Yesterday was brought to you by the letter P.

First, a British couple prawned about Fiddlehead at Four Corners and bought one of the "lookie" pieces I wrote about last month: the piano plate.

Girish and Jackie are Brits who said the plate, from Illinois, would decorate their holiday home called Rockside Hall in Matlock Derbyshire.

Soon as Jackie said Derbyshire my eyes lit up and I gave her a dose of my ostentatious British brogue "Lorrrrrrrrrd Durby'shi'uh!" ...

... and, well, apparently that's not correct phonetically or humorously.

Jackie said it's Durba'sheer.


The piano plate, Jackie said, will sit between 4-foot-tall candlesticks in a magnificent room with a 12-foot ceiling. Their main home, Girish said, is in Farnborough near Hampshire. (Lorrrrrd Farrrrrn'burrah!)


This is Day 9 of the international java journey, and Colombian "Huila" filled the pot. The description reads "This high grown coffee possesses nice snappy acidity, rich flavor and aroma with a big strong taste" ...

... not sure about the "big" or the "strong" but I am pretty sure Colombia's cocaine is much stronger. Let's hope the second cup of Huila takes much better.


By the way, Girish and Jackie bought the piano plate minutes after I had changed the Grateful Dead CD to the one that elicited sales galore this summer, the show on May 10, 1978, from New Haven, Connecticut. I wrote about that coincidence HERE.


And so, two guys and two dolls walked into the gallery 15 or 20 minutes after the piano plate prattled out of the gallery. They were in their early to mid-50s.

One of the men noticed the music.

"Is this the Grateful Dead?"

"Yes it is. And it's a great show." Told him about the days in '94 and '95 when the gallery owner and I saw about 25 shows from Highgate, Vermont, to Soldier Field, Chicago, and made it from here to there and everywhere in between by selling Snapple.

The guys and dolls finished passing from one piece to the next but before they left one of the guys asked if I know who Treat Williams is.

Do I know who Treat Williams is ...

"Yeah," I said, "he was in 'Pursuit if D.B. Cooper' -- great movie."

The guy looked at me like, Nice job there, kid.

That is Treat Williams these days.

So the guy says he just saw Treat Williams at the Blue Benn Diner, and I said No way! and the guy says "I'm pretty sure it was Treat Williams" and then the other guy and the two dolls chimed in and said it was Treat Williams.

"I'm going to call the Blue Benn right now" I told the guy, and the guy says "You should."

I called Blue Benn. The cook dude answered.

"Hi, I was wondering if Treat Williams ate there a little while ago."

"Who is this?"

"Joey at Fiddlehead. A guy said he just ate there and saw Treat Williams."

"Yeah, he comes here all the time. He has a house in Manchester."

Huh. Ol' D.B. lives right under our noses.

I hung up and told the guy he was right. Nice job there, kid.

"I was 99 percent sure it was him," he said.

His wife -- at least one of the women in the quartet -- said that Treat is handsome as ever and that back in the day ... (she didn't need to complete that sentence).

Indeed, Treat Williams in his younger days of manhood throbbed women's hearts just like Redford and Newman. He's still throbbin' those hearts, like Redford and Newman.


About an hour later a man walked into the gallery and after about 30 minutes of poking around he bought a puppy Dalmatian clock that has been here forever.


A little while later a British hubby and wife came into the gallery and one thing leads to another and we're knee-deep in conversation about Brit music.

They were in their 50s. He looked like a cross between Esquire writer Charlie Pierce and actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman. We talked about TV first and they mentioned a show I've heard of but never watched but I said I grew up on Benny Hill -- that made the woman smile -- then said I love Absolutely Fabulous.

The woman mentioned something about Ab-Fab doing some shows during the Olympics. I missed them. She said they were very funny.

Then we talked music for a few minutes. Told them I love Oasis, that Oasis is the Beatles for my generation and that I wish the Gallagher brothers would stop acting like douchebags and resolve their issues so the band can get back together. The hubby punched his fists together when I mentioned the Gallagher brothers are acting like douchebags.

His wife prefers a band called Bellowhead, which, she said, is like Mumford and Sons. She said Bellowhead's "New York Girls" is the perfect primer for a Bellowhead newbie.

I told her I'd give Bellowhead a listen. 

Not sure how we got from Bellowhead to Andy Murray, but we made that leap. 

Told them I was happy for Murray for finally breaking through to win a major (although taking gold at the Olympics doesn't really count). 

The woman said something that I had thought of, too, when it happened: Yeah, sure, Murray beat Federer for the gold but it's almost as if Federer wasn't fully there emotionally and spiritually and kinda-sorta let Murray have this "Wimbledon moment". 

Because ... there was a moment during the trophy presentation at Real Wimbledon when Federer said, to the effect, "Aww, shucks, Brits, we all know your sweet little Andy will win a big-boy tennis tournament one day" and the Brits kind of nodded their heads in sad disagreement knowing full well that their sweet little Andy may never be good enough to win the big one with Federer, Nadal and Djokovic still in their primes. 

But, the woman said, it was nice to see Andy win the U.S. Open. It really was. 

He's a major champion. Andy Murray is a wonderful man. He's one of my all-time favorites. 

"But," I told her, "he's gotta win Wimbledon to be legit in British eyes." 

"When he wins," she said, "he's British. But when he loses," she added, "he's Scottish."

Very funny. Sadly true. 


Another cool moment came when this German walked into the gallery ...

... he walked to Fiddlehead's "Banned Books" case and picked out Kerouac's "On the Road" and walked to the counter to ask how much it sells for. 

I opened the front cover and looked on the flap and told him. He seemed to really want it. 

Told him I'd cut 5 bucks off the price. His name is Peter Wawerzinek, and he said he's an author who wrote the book "Rabenliebe" and that he's a visiting professor at Oberlin College in Ohio. Told him it's Banned Books Week but he wasn't hearing me.

Peter seemed like he was in a rush, kind of sweaty, kind of eyeballing the front door as if the raven mother had given him 38 seconds to be in and out. 

It was 1:45 in the p.m. 

Told Peter again he could have the book for 15 bucks. He said he'd come back at 2 o'clock to buy it. Ahh, yes, Klaus von Beback ... 

... so he put the book back on the shelf and rushed to Brattleboro for a puppet show. 

2 o'clock, huh? 


On the second cup of Colombian. Why is it coffee tastes better on the second cup? 


Last night I took a picture of myself with pretty glass pigs that sell at Fiddlehead. 

As I took the picture -- the one at the top of this Colombian-fueled screed -- I thought I'd caption it, to the effect, take my pigs, please! They might eat me! 

Then a bizarre story about 700-pound hogs appeared on my Twitter feed. 

Read the story HERE.

Revenge of the bacon.