Twist and Shout

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

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Vignettes from Vermont: Willing


BENNINGTON -- I'm willing to fill life's nothing hours with doses of healthy happy instead of the stuff that turned my world upside-down. Turning it right-side-up a process.

Opening another box full of packing peanuts -- nothing -- then digging through the fluffs and finding frog-covered shot glasses transports me to happy, if for a second or eight.

Fiddelhead's Graffiti Vault has provided other doses of happy, and in large amounts.


Look at the woman in the picture above. She's a 50-something whose beating heart would make an 18-year-old blush with envy.

Genevieve is her name but it's not just Genevieve, it's jenna-vee-EV!

And jenna-vee-EV! is pure as the driven snow. She's from Bucktown, Chicago, and bursts with life. She drew a kitty with blue chalk and stamped it with her usual earmark of "Hi Gigi" and I have no idea what "Hi Gigi" means other than jenna-vee-EV! said she stamps all of her seamstress work with "Hi Gigi" and she was pretty excited to tell me that.

She talked like a 6-year-old, beaming with joy, fingers full of chalk.

In that sense Fiddlehead's Graffiti Vault is working just as I envisioned.

jenna-vee-EV! said she saw the Dead in San Francisco in '68 and how freakin' cool it was to watch The Beatles and Janis and Hendrix in person when America was a different beast.

Then Farmer Clem and "my dell Jo" from Lunenburg, Massachusetts, populated the gallery and provided another 12 or 16 minutes worth of happy.

Farmer Clem. What a fella. 


He kind of looks like Brett Favre's burly cousin from up in New England if Brett Favre's burly cousin from up in New England wore Clark Kent glasses. Not to mention, Brett Favre's burly cousin from up in New England, who wears Clark Kent glasses, has meathooks for hands.

"I'm a fiyafightah, excavatah and fahmah," Clem said.

Clem Tyler is his name, and Clem is not related to Brett Favre. 


He's not sure if he's related to President Tyler, either. 

Clem Tyler handed me a business card (not in bone) that reads CJT Excavation, but what the burly fella talked about most was Honey Moon Farm -- he's an egg fahmah.

Here's a Facebook photo showing Clem on his tractor:




I sent Clem into the Graffiti Vault with his dell Jo, and here's what he produced ...




... adorable. Honey Moon Farm chalked in pink between two pink hearts. The words on the inside of the left heart read Clem & Jo. Love story for the ages. That makes me happy.

Later on, three more folks interrupted my nothing and led me to happy.

Alex and Ann and their friend took a walk into the Graffiti Vault. 


Alex surprised me ...




... when he wrote a riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in a dose of literature.

"That that is is that that is not is not is that it it is" is that which Alex wrote in chalk. It is a famous passage from his favorite book "Flowers For Algernon" -- one of the featured works in Fiddlehead's "Banned Books" case.

Never judge a book by its cover, which is what I did with Alex. Alex loves to read.

A little while ago a beatnik and his ginger beatnik girlfriend strolled about the gallery. 


I told them about the Graffiti Vault, and they were pretty stoked and found their way to the box of chalk.




Here's what the dude chalked up:




Time to close the gallery.

No action.

Nothing.