LHNM – St. Louis – Simmer’s Perspective

I grew up in St. Louis but left nearly 40 years ago. One of the constants in all that time has been Ted Drews frozen custard. From their web site “In 1941, the family opened a second South Side stand which is the current Chippewa location on historic Route 66.” So off to the Chippewa store I went and picked up a gallon of custard with the requisite hot fudge for the folks putting their trucks together. It is a must do thing in St. Louis if you are in town. I would contend the hot fudge is unique in its dark chocolate bitterness.

The placement and buildup of the trucks is reminiscent of Black Rock City’s rising up from the desert floor. Piece by piece the parts go together. There is an impatience in many people to be done with this, the final prep before the event. Mark asks me if I am interested in helping and I pair up with Joshu to assemble the tea truck. I gain so much from these experiences because I’m put in contact with such different perspectives on how to do things. These carefully shaped panels that Joshu had brought were not working in this truck. I was expecting some hours of new measurements – careful slicing and reassemble – then the attachment to the truck. As I start to form these thoughts Joshu takes the panels in his hands and tears the unwoven fabric across a ragged line. Then another and another gets the same treatment. He starts sticking them to the walls and in the end we have a serene clearing in a forest to drink tea. It was beautifully done. My payment for helping him were many stories from the road, some that will stick with me for a long time like the outer body tattooing at Arcosanti. As Joshu exercised his rich story telling ability and having just revisited Arcosanti, I came away with mental images like I was there.

Full compliments to the St. Louis crew who picked the site. The grittiness of the space truly appealed to my Detroit soul. I enjoyed the isolation from the casino crowd that was close but never knew we were there. I also thought the murals and sculptures around us set a great tone. Even that neo- early Gehry pile of shapes was cool like his place on Venice beach. http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/North_America/United_States/West/California/Los_Angeles/photo208893.htm

Many moments that were stunning during the market. My favorite happened soon after I had come back at the start of the market. I first went into the tea truck. The tea monk is shown standing guard at the entrance in one of my pictures. The entrance now looking translucent and inviting. I can only imagine the wonder of coming into the space with no knowledge of what to expect. I enjoyed the Pu-erh tea that Joshu had made sweetened with the honey from Arcosanti. The ambient music washing through my mind – cleansing. Pure magic for me – a peaceful meditative start to the evening. From there I wandered over to the Smash Truck. They had just finished set up. I had skipped the truck in Detroit thinking “I have no anger issues.” After the tea truck I’m as mellow as after a two hour massage. I stepped up to the entrance and Max waves me up into the space with the Heavy Metal pulse and saw blade edge sound ramping me up from that tea truck bliss to wanting the release of crushing shit. I’ve spun 180 degrees, love to evol. Max rips the wrapper off the Jesse James Bourbon – I take a good swallow of the hot rich whiskey and start smashing bottles with a crow bar. Life is good.

Later I see a gorgeous woman typing at a table lit by a single lamp. There is a second typewriter and blank paper. She is typing like a hound chases a rabbit. I don’t bother her as I struggle with the mechanics of typing on a manual typewriter. It’s been many years since I have touched one of these machines. The long stroke of the key to push all the linkage such that the symbol hits the ribbon to transfer the ink. It’s somehow so steam punk. After a few thoughts A.D.D. kicks in and I wander away. I try to sign up for the outer body experience but am told I need a partner. I long ago decided that when I need a partner I should ask the most beautiful unattached woman I can find at the moment. Back to the typewriter lady I go only to be told she’s working. That she is part of the exhibits. That she is taking requests for poems. She is banging them out like a jazz player breathes through the instrument just to have it disappear into a pocket never to be seen by her again. Disappointed that she is busy but now excited to request a poem, I ask for Non-Linear art and she nails the concept and gives me insight on the child mind it takes to be open to these events and their subsequent insights.


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