Twist and Shout

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

Monday, May 27, 2013

Vignettes for Vermont: George Plimpton's Idiocy Rings Familiar (play the Soundcloud while reading)

Bennington's first sunny morning in a week yet ...

"That's my bicycle," I said.
"I ride it around New York," I added idiotically

BENNINGTON -- That's what Paris Review founder George Plimpton said to Bill Clinton the day he walked POTUS into the literary mag's office. It's a funny bit of self-attribution in this story that AGD read Saturday night.

AGD latched onto the " ... I added idiotically" bit of self-attribution, especially the idiot, because he feels the same way when self-critiquing the whole Art Gallery Dude shtick after a big event such as Mayfest. Not to say AGD is an idiot, although he might be slightly retarded because of the head injuries, or the drugs, or both. No, it's just that AGD sounds idiotic every now and then in the engagement videos he makes at Fiddlehead at Four Corners.

It's tantamount to this:

"That's my brain," I said. "I hackeysack it around Fiddlehead," I added idiotically.

Indeed, George.


Paris Review social media curator Justin Alvarez posted this on Facebook page yesterday:

"The writer is always to some extent in exile, wherever he is, because he is somehow outside, separated from others; there is always a distance." -- Ismail Kadare.

It's a teaser quote from the Review's 1998 interview with the Albanian author of the 1970 book The General of the Dead Army.

Two things:

1) The woman who won the Fiddlehead at Four Corners photo contest Saturday is a free spirit who lives in Kosovo part-time, and she took this photo of Kosovoans sitting at a bus stop near Albania ...

Jane Swensen photo; Jane won Fiddlehead's photo contest (here)

2) She also worked for President Clinton. Coincidence is a helluva drug.

3) Guess there's a third thing, too: Ismail's quote pretty much defines AGD.


Time isn't as long as it used to be. The anticipation of a deed two weeks away always felt like 9 months away. Now 9 months blast by in the blink of an eye. Exerted and exercised braincells galore in the weeks leading up to Fiddlehead's Mayfest'ivities. Burned so much energy creating contest for "Chalk It Up 3!" in the months leading self-publishing. Then the book launches and no one gives a flying fuggut and it's like "Why do I try?" Forty-eight hours later the free beer flows, then ebbs, party's over, and the crest of a wave of people breaks back to sea, anticipation having given way to the deed, and all that's left after the party is the pretty art and the marble bank counters and the gold chandeliers and the silent vaults and the ghostly mezzanines ...

... and the art gallery dude sitting in a chair behind the counter, bereft. 

The next two weeks will be here tomorrow. Time, time, time, see what's become of me.


Joey Lauren Adams, when she was hotter than Georgia asphalt, delivered a great line in the quirky, seen-by-12 movie "The Pros and Cons of Breathing in L.A." and it goes something like this: "If you have one leg in tomorrow and one leg in yesterday you're pissing all over today."

Which is why I'm going to stop waxing about yesterday's deeds and tomorrow's anticipations and go stand on the marble stoop to photograph Bennington's Memorial Day parade that's happening right now about 25 feet away ...

... and back after 25 minutes. 

You want a parade, bubba, here's a parade:

Barbara Roan's top 10 photo

The parade also featured marching brass sections and cloggers clogging on the flatbed of a moving truck and vets from Iraq and Afghanistan and fire trucks from Bennington and fire trucks from North Bennington and fire trucks from Pownal and fire trucks galore. And a father, son and their brown lab. And a shirtless Benningtonian smoking a cigarette 2 feet away from a newborn. Bennington, My Bennington.

And that cow with a purple hoof? That heifer is pointing to a photo in the back room at Fiddlehead, to the photo she took that finished in top 10 in the gallery's photo contest. 

Who is she?

She is her ...

And her ...

And her ...

Read about her (here) then come check out her top 10 photograph at Fiddlehead.


Strange thing happened not long after Ms. Theatrical Heifer mooooved on (thank you, I'll be here swu'out zee week) and left Fiddlehead, back to the parade crowd. Customers started coming in. Vibe of the mood changed. Or maybe the mood of the vibe changed. Either way there was a tectonic change of mood. And vibe. And 3 hours after the sales, chit-chat, Parisian Graffiti Vaulting and 2 fantastic craps, AGD feels chipper and charged. 

It probably helps when customers tap into his source code and stroke his ego.

"You're really easy to talk to," Fran from Milford, Connecticut, told AGD as he scoured the Web to find her 6 mugs she desperately wanted. "You should be a psychologist."

Art Gallery Shrink ...

...  hmm, that has a good ring to it.

Then again, it might sound idiotic, which is par for zee course.

Sylvie from Paris and Nancy from Nantes by way of Connecticut;
"Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite" is France's national motto
Then they chalked up "the essence of France" -- wine, bread, cheese
As will Tabbie of Bennington and Mary of Indiana
who appeared in "Chalk It Up 2!"