Fridays Weekend Column
Back In The Heat
by James Glaser
I left Minnesota last Thursday and got to Tallahassee on Saturday about noon. I made good time for driving on a holiday weekend. People tell me I made good time, but with having my old International truck in tow behind me there wasn't much else to do but drive.
I was going to rent a trailer to put the truck on, but U-Haul wanted over six hundred dollars for six days use and I needed it for about ten. I bought a Kar Kaddy. One of those trailers you drive the front tires up on, and your vehicle's rear tires are on the road. I paid $650 for it, and when I got it home it was a tad too small.
I had measured the width of the front tires on the truck, but never thought about how the fenders flare out so much on that old truck. I ended up taking off the trailer fenders and with about ¾ of an inch to spare, I drove it on, strapped it down, and gave it a test pull. It pulled nice. Joe Nelson our resident mechanic in Northome helped me by hooking up the truck lights so that when I put on the brakes or turn signal up front, the International's tail lights lit up too. The fenders I took off had those lights built in. Joe also disconnected the drive shaft, and bungee corded it up. When I got down here I drove it off the trailer after reinstalling the drive shaft, and now I have my "going fishing" truck here in the Southland.
Northern Minnesota was great. It was in the 50's in the morning and the 70's by the afternoon. At 6am this morning in Tallahassee it was already 76, and I am going through tee shirts constantly. Keeping hydrated is very important.
I put my house up for sale, and had to get it ready. First thing I did was mow the lawn, trimmed around everything, and then weeded the flower gardens. There were a lot of perennials blooming, but it seemed kind of empty with no colorful flowers in the planters. I had to clean up the green house, and I tilled the planters in there so that it looks ready for plants.
I was in town at the café and saw an ad for window washing and hired the guy to wash every window on the place, inside and out. After that I spent most of my time packing and cleaning. I went into Northome and bought every plastic storage box the hardware store had, and started filling them. I filled up my truck with things to bring back down here, and everything else went to my workshop across the road.
I left a few things in the house so that it still looked like it could be lived in, with a little bit of art work on the walls, and a bed upstairs. By the time I was all done the place looked so good I was almost thinking of moving back in.
The last day up there I was still adding anything I could to my truck, and by the time I finally started out, it was filled to the top. With the other truck in tow, the ride down was at 55 MPH, not because I couldn't go faster, but because I had to think about my stopping distance.
With a Kar Kaddy you can't back up even a little bit as the wheels on the kaddy turn. Therefore you are always thinking ahead about where you are going to park, and making sure that the gas pump allows you to drive through.
As soon as I got back to Tallahassee I went to the studio to unload the truck, and began to wonder just why I brought all the stuff I did. Even though I had an auction to get rid of stuff last summer, I still have too much stuff. It is a good thing I have that loft in the studio.
I am now unpacked and ready to start work again. I figure another week or two on the studio, (installing the AC is a must), and then I will start working on art work and furniture making at least part of every day. About fifteen years ago I bought kind of a fancy armature for holding a two sided sign out from a building. I now have a place to hang it.
I also plan to have a small section in the gallery area where I will have some of the "stuff" for sale. That will be kind of fun, and for sure I have enough to keep it full for a long time. Little stuff, cool stuff, stuff other people will want to put on their shelves like I did when I bought the stuff. . ...at least I hope so.
I went swimming in the lake up North one morning and it was one of those timid approaches to the water as it was so cold. Down here I can walk right into the pool, and the water feels great. Even yesterday when we had a real downpour, the rain felt warm, and it wasn't too bad walking in the rain to the house. My tomatoes are getting ripe, and I ate my first when I got back. It didn't taste like a Minnesota tomato as it was kind of sweet. The ones I grew up North had a stronger taste to them.
In those two weeks up North all of my friends and neighbors were so nice to me and helpful, and ready to fill me up with home cooked meals, and I will miss that. But when I got down here so many of my new friends and neighbors stopped over to the studio and were happy to see me back and asked for stories of my trip. I think it doesn't matter where you are, people treat you like you treat them. North or South, Americans are pretty nice to be around.
Tonight is First Friday at Rail Road Square and all the studios and galleries will be open to the public. It is hard for me to believe that very many people will come out in this heat to look at art work, but the local people tell me they will. . . .To be continued.
BACK to the Essays.