Monday, August 3, 2015


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A good friend of mine contracted me last week. We became friends in the Public Enemies era of Columbus and her village was in desperate need for a photographer and I was the very last choice for help.

I agreed and DJ and I spent time in Clyman, population 422.  Did you know the post office in Clyman has been operating since 1849?   Clyman is a young town with a medium age of 36 (Columbus is 38).

ANYWAY - for the first time in 50 years the 118 year old Firefighters Tournament was being held in Clyman and they wanted me to sort of document the event. There was a week long softball tournament of which I see Columbus did not have a team and there was a big celebration Sunday ending with a firefighter barrel water tournament thingy (for lack of a better word).

Of course when I agreed to take photos I completely forgot about Ale and Arts in Columbus. ARG!!
Clyman Fire Department
They had a fantastic Fish Fry Friday night and an amazing Chicken Dinner Sunday. I'm still trudging through the 299 photos I took. This was a pretty big deal for a pretty small town.

The photo on the right is of a foreign exchange kid from Tokyo.  Talk about a culture shock being 12 years old coming from Tokyo (populating 13 million) and ending up in Reeseville Wisconsin (population 708).

I was told he has a good command of the English language but is very quiet. In Japan children are seen not heard.  And in the States strangers talk to strangers which is unheard of in Japan.  There was a thing on travel tips for Japanese tourists on what to expect of Americans.  One was that we tend to talk to cashiers in grocery stores and will strike up conversations with a common stranger for no reason at all.

These guys won a goldfish.  WHAT LUCK!

One of the tournaments was the firefighter water squirting barrel thing which on a 90 degree day felt pretty darn good at times.

Here is the Clyman Firefighters who I hear were ROBBED from victory.

That was pretty fun to watch.

I think there were about 10 fire departments in the tournament.   Kids loved getting wet.

The Clyman parade was really excellent. Every fire department marched through town, very professional.

I'm kind of laughing at that photo bomb on the bottom.


SO - seems people were wondering where I was at Arts and Ales. Frankly, A&A is a poor fit for me on a number of levels and I'll give it to you straight.  For one thing I'm not sure how many people attending A&A want to spend $385 on a piece of at work which is my average price.

It's problematic getting my canopy up and down and I really really loath art fairs that have other things going on besides art.  It's not conducive to sales and taking a canopy down (normally 1.5 hours) becomes more like 3 hours when people are still around and I have to drive a trailer in and out of partiers.

When I was in Spring Green for their art fair they actually had a starting time and a ending time and announced it. It was GREAT. Vendors loved it.  There is nothing worse then trying to pack up and people are still looking and talking and milling about getting in the way.  You have put in a 12 hour day with no breaks and are normally hot, cranky, tired and hungry even if you have had a GREAT day.

A&A is a fantastic event for crafts, not so much for large cumbersome art and large trailers.  Have it in Firemans Park would be a different story but A&A is meant to get people downtown (that place with the buildings if you are unfamiliar with that term) of which Hydro Street and the Ninja's do a fantastic job.  Those two groups have done more for the downtown then people realize.

From what I saw yesterday Arts and Ales is sort of out growing their spot and need to add another street.


On this day in 1492 Columbus set sail with three ships to find a western sea route to China, India, and the fabled gold and spice islands of Asia.  Of course Columbus never ever set foot on what we call America! EVER! Never really got close actually.

Giovanni Caboto was actually closer. The US was fighting England and not Spain and no one wanted to give credit top Giovanni Caboto who started England's colonization of most of North America. So we gave credit to Columbus.  Our little town COULD be called Caboto.

Columbus "discovered" the Bahamas and that was the closest he ever got.


I don't have many things on my bucket list.

A REAL Roller Coaster is one.
A Nightwish concert is another and attending Burning Man in Black Rock Desert in Nevada is another

The event is described as an experiment in community, art, radical self-expression, and radical self-reliance.  This years theme is "Carnival of Mirrors".   I think it's the closest thing to Mad Max in the States.


Have a great Monday!  Beautiful week coming out!!  I have an Art Fair in Paoli Saturday and Fitchburg the next Saturday.

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