Friday’s Weekend Column
A City Without Students

by James Glaser
March 10, 2006

Tallahassee has two universities, Florida State and Florida A&M, plus a large Community College. All together they have close to 60 thousand students, but this week is Spring Break Week and Tallahassee is a pleasure to be in. The students are off partying someplace other than here, making life for some other community chaos.

Traffic is light, the mall in empty, going out to eat is a pleasure, the noise level is even down, and people seem more polite. I love it!

I have no idea of how many people work at these three schools, but that number must be well over ten thousand. On top of that Tallahassee is the State Capital, which means the place is awash in State employees. About the only place that is hard to drive around in now is the Capitol complex. The new legislative session is starting this week and it isn't the influx of elected officials that make it so crowded, but the whole city is crawling with lobbyists. You can always spot a lobbyist because they wear two thousand dollar suits.

I am still on the hunt for a new studio. I am working out of my old one, but the power has been cut, and everything is now being done the old fashioned way... hand tools. You can't appreciate power tools until you no longer can use them. I spent yesterday hand sanding, which I haven't done for years. I keep wanting to reach for the electric sander. I have to admit though, the finished product looks a lot better even with real close inspection, if you hand sand. It is a lot quieter too.

About noon my arm felt like it was about to fall off, and I headed to lunch at the Savanna Buffet up the block on Gaines Street. Southern cooking all the way. For $7.50 you can eat all you can hold of salad, fried or baked chicken, corn bread stuffing, black-eyed peas and ham, boiled cabbage, lima beans, peas and carrots, mashed potatoes and gravy, squash, roast pork, (I am thinking in my mind of the selections as I am writing this and getting a little hungry all over again) three desserts, Oh, I almost forgot, pancakes, biscuits, and fresh made dinner rolls too. The price includes your drink, I had sweet tea.

After eating I went back to work, and just didn't have it. I was tired and wanted to take a nap, so I headed home and thought I would write my column, but I could think of nothing. I went back down to the studio thinking I would at least clean the place up. I stopped at Rail Road Square, a section of Tallahassee filled with art studios to see if there were any openings coming up. I have been on their waiting list for almost a year. I was told that for sure, maybe, hopefully, if everything worked out I could have a studio there on the first of the month.

Well that pumped me up, and I headed back to work with all thoughts of the nap gone. I put in another three hours of sanding, WATCOing, and polishing different projects. Then my body said that I was done and I was. I came home took a long shower, sat down to write and I did. I finished and sat back and read it. I then e-mailed Ken, my web-master and explained to him that I had no column for Friday and would send one in today. Nothing I wrote made any sense, I was just too tired to get my thoughts in order.

I have been trying to work out more and I have been increasing the distance I walk, which is good. You sleep like a rock when you have a work out routine, and you feel better too. I have no yard or garden down here, so I'll have to put in more studio time. Someone gave me five tomato plants, and I will plant them in containers this weekend.

Back to the studio. I have the whole building to myself now and can put my sculptures in the window for display. I sold one piece this week, but would rather have the luxury of not selling any until I have enough for a show. I think I need about twenty or so. That means twenty sculpture stands too, unless the piece is a stand alone work or one that hangs on the wall.

The new studio, if everything goes right will be 1400 square feet and that should give me enough room for a small gallery. Maybe Gallery/clean finish area. I can think of all these things I want to do, but until I sign a lease and start moving in, I better just keep plugging along and work at what I can.

The heat is coming on in Tallahassee. It will be in the 80s this weekend and next week I'll write about the three day spring they have down here.

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