Friday’s Weekend Column
About a Minnesota Man Exploring Life in the South

Yes, They Are Still Out There

by James Glaser
April 6, 2007

Just in case you were wondering, 19 Americans have been killed in the first five days of April in Iraq.

Tonight I was working at the studio, and it was perfect weather. I had the large overhead door open in the back, and the temperature was about 68 with a soft breeze. You can't ask for better than that if you have to sand wood. The breeze takes away all the dust, and you don't get hot working.

When I work at night like that, I have the open sign in the studio on, and people drift in and come to the back to see what I am doing. Tonight two different groups of people stopped by, and it was like they had just gotten out of a pro-war/support the President meeting of the New South Republicans.

Either they saw my "Semper Fi" front license plate, or they had heard tell that I was a vet. Both sets of couples that stopped by wanted to talk about Iraq more than look at my art work. I didn't say all that much as these people were all in agreement that the only mistake we made over there was that we didn't make the place into one huge parking lot four years ago.

These people are George Bush's base, and killing Arabs to them is a good thing. From what they said, they think killing people over there is protecting America, and I got the impression that their ministers feel the same way.

When you run into people like that, it kind of makes it easy to understand why the world feels the way they do about us. Americans think Osama bin Laden is a threat to peace in the world, but most of the world thinks that George Bush is way more of a threat.

So, as these people were having an extension of their meeting in my studio, I continued to sand and shape the pieces of wood I was working on when they came in.

George Bush has about 30% of the American people still behind him, and I got to see what a sampling of that group is like tonight. They are well educated, well spoken, and to me, totally scary.

Other than that, things are going great. The weather is nice, I am working every day and enjoying it, and a very nice gallery in Tallahassee is now going to show my work. The gallery is Thomas Eads Fine Art, and Thomas has been working on getting together the best contemporary artists to North Florida to show their work at his Gallery. image 1

Here are three recent pieces that I have completed. image 2

I have a show coming up in January of 2008, and must have twenty two sculptures finished. Looking around the Studio, I have 15 done that I could show, but I would like more than 22, so that I have the ability to pick and choose. The show will be at the LeMoyne Art Foundation. It is by far the finest place to show your work in Northern Florida, and I feel very fortunate that they have asked me to show there.

Tonight is First Friday at Rail Road Square where I have my studio. The first Friday of each month most of the artist's studios and galleries are open for the public to see completed works and works in progress. There is live music, some great gumbo and other food for sale, a drum circle, and about two to three thousand people show up to take a look see. The Leon County Cultural Affairs, has set this up with all the galleries and artists studios county wide, and they even have a couple of tour busses to take you all over the area for a gallery hop. image 3

One advantage of having this showing each month is that it gets you to give your studio a good cleaning. All my tools get put away, the floors are vacuumed, my windows are washed, and I give all my work a good cleaning, wax, and buff. It also gives you a little goal to have something new to show.

So, I think I am spending my time in the South productively. At the same time I am getting an education about the people and their culture down here. This is turning into quite an education.

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