Twist and Shout

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

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Vignettes from Vermont: Sal, Val, Katie & Kay ... UFO's, Horses & 'Roos, Too

Cindy Kent horse mug at Fiddlehead HERE

BENNINGTON -- Poor horse mug. The devotchkas said they'd come back for you, but didn't, and that's why you're still here in the art gallery. Guess they didn't want you. Nobody wants you. Nobody ever wants you. Nobody loves you. Nobody loves you enough to drink from you. The devotchkas said they'd come back for you, but didn't. Poor horse mug.

They're the ones, Katie of Bennington and Val of Santiago, the devotchkas who chalked it up in the Graffiti Vault at Fiddlehead at Four Corners, all rambunctious and wild-like, full of vigor, thrusting like ponies on open terrain. They put the horse mug on the counter in front of Art Gallery Dude and said they'd come back for it later in the day.

Much happened between then and when they were supposed to come back but never did.

Into the gallery walked Sal and Kay from Commack, Long Island, New York.

They smelled 10 or 12 soap rocks from Fiddlehead's antique hexagon, and bought one. Then they chalked it up in the Graffiti Vault. Kay, with a chunky green piece of chalk, embedded the sentiment Sal & Kay in a heart with an arrow running through it. Sal and Kay Giammusso, with Long Island accents thick as butta. Back at the counter moments later, Sal, a retired engineer and H&R Block tax specialist, spoke about UFOs and the monthly MUFON meetings he runs at the Commack Library. AGD told Sal about a crazy-sane newspaper reporter he worked with a few years ago down in Trenton, Rick Murray, whose pursuit of UFOs was serious like the plague (here and here and here). Rick died of a heart attack one afternoon in '08 while riding the train in South Jersey. He was crazy in the best way.

Kay, who looks like she was a hot little number back in the day, began talking about a Jamaican stranger by the name of Michael who had been visiting their home a few years ago and, just before he left, told her the story about the time when he was 8 years old, in bed between his sleeping parents, and saw a UFO hovering above their roofless abode. The UFO, Michael told Kay, tried to lure him but he rejected the invitation.

"I asked Michael, 'Why are you telling me this story when he just met us?' " Kay said excitedly and seemingly out of breath, "And he said 'I don't know, but I am.' "

Then Kay said that Sal's brother is into psychic intuitions and shit like that, and Sal pulled out his brother's business card.

"Cool," AGD said. "Next time I'm down there I'll go check it out. Weird psychic shit happens here all the time -- yesterday there was a bunch of things involving Manchester. People from different Manchesters were in here, then someone bought earrings from Manchester, Michigan, and Manchester United won the championship of England. And that kind of weird stuff always happens here."

Sal looked confused, as if someone had just asked him to divide 9,238 by 278.

And that's right about the time Sal shook AGD's hand, and AGD shook Kay's hand, and they all exchanged pleasantries before the UFO-loving Long Islanders left the gallery.

The horse mug remained on the counter.

"They're not coming back for you," AGD thought.

Hours pass. Quiet in the gallery. Always quiet on Wednesday except for when hot Chilean devotchkas and UFO-loving Long Islanders provide promises and entertainment.

Grateful Dead 9/16/90 Madison Square Garden played in the gallery.

"It was Bobby's band the whole time," AGD thought during Hell in a Bucket.

Hours pass.

Australians walk into the gallery, tired and thirsty after bombing up from Gettysburg. 

Yo, Sal! Gettysburg! On Tuesday someone from Columbia, Pennsylvania, read a particular blog entry here; it's always someone from Pee-ay who reads that entry. AGD was curious to see where Columbia, Pennsylvania, sits on the map of life ...

Ahh, all the way down there.

What perked AGD's attention more is Gettysburg's location on the map -- just north of the Maryland border. Well then. Always thought our deadliest battlefield was somewhere near Williamsport in the northern stretches of Pee-ay. Well then. Learn something new every day.

And now you understand why Brian and Sue Grindlay of Brisbane, Australia ...

... were parched and thirsty after driving 400 miles from Gettysburg to Bennington, pitstop between the Shelburne Museum and then Quebec ...

"Can you tell us where we can get a beer?"

"Right across the street at Madison's. They brew their own beer. Good burgers, too."

"Thanks, mate."

One thing leads to another ... and the Grindlays tell AGD about their trip to Gettysburg, and Arlington National Cemetery the day before. They inquire about house prices in Bennington and are shocked to hear how low they can be compared with tiny plots of land in Brisbane and other Aussie cities. They explain about how most Australians live along the coast and that hardly anyone lives in the forest comprising the vast middle of the country. AGD said he was a sportswriter ages ago and covered Australian and New Zealand athletes as well as a studly tennis player from Vanuatu.

AGD asked the Grindlays to leave their mark in the Graffiti Vault and they drew Skippy the 'roo and told a story about the day a 'roo hopped onto one of their cars and caused heavy damage.

"It must be like hitting a deer," AGD said.

Brian Grindlay agreed: "Yes, you're right -- it would be like hitting a deer."

Back at the counter, the Grindlays talked about ANZAC Day -- which is today.

Brian Grindlay said it's the most solemn day of the year in Australia and New Zealand because it pays tribute to the military losses the young nations accrued during their combined splash into war -- joining the Allies against the Ottoman Empire in 1915 -- and losses in wars and conflicts since then.

It's like Memorial Day in America.

The Grindlays were thirstier, more parched.

Brian said "Whenever you're in Australia give us a shout, mate!"

They walked back into Bennington.

The horse mug never left.

Poor horse mug.

At least I'm enjoying the ride!
At least I'm enjoying the ride!
At least I'm enjoying the ride!

Mugs at Fiddlehead HERE