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

“I Can't Hear You”
by James Glaser
September 28, 2007

I think it was on Tuesday, I was driving around to the back of my shop to unload my truck which was filled with plywood. As I started around the building I could see a fruit truck right behind me, and I remembered that Mark, my neighbor in Rail Road Square was going to paint apples and oranges on the side of that truck along with the company name and phone number.

As I made the second turn to the back alley, wouldn't you know there would be a car parked right in the middle of the road. Well, as I looked ahead, I could see this woman pounding on Marks door, and knowing he was at lunch, I rolled down my window and shouted that to the woman. She didn't even look up, but kept right on pounding on that door.

After a bit, the woman looked around, and seeing my truck, walked over to talk to me. Right away she said, "I can't hear, I'm deaf, but I can read lips." To which I replied, "Mark is at lunch." She looked right at me and said,"I'm deaf, but I can read lips." So, I said again, "Mark is at lunch, but he should be back soon." The woman was looking right at me, and she said again, I'm deaf, but I can read lips." To which I said, "Not very well."

Well she could read that, and she started to laugh, and said that she would move her car, and off she drove. I pulled up to my door and the produce truck parked behinds Mark's studio and started to unload my plywood. Mark came back just as I had finished unloading. Yes, timing is everything. I told Mark about the woman, and he asked what she wanted. I told him the story and he laughed too.

The next day the woman came back, and referring to the day before, she said every time she told me she was deaf, she somehow forgot to look at my lips to see what I was saying. Then she did look when I said, "Not very well." That made her realize how many times she had given me that same line about being able to read lips. She then thought that was so funny, and she was embarrassed because she was laughing so hard. So all she could think to do was to drive away before she said that she could read lips again. She really is good at reading lips—when she pays attention.

It is fall in Tallahassee, and I can tell it is getting cooler. Not a lot cooler, but I am getting more done, and I am working longer hours and enjoying it more. Daytime seems just as hot, but really it is only in the 80's, and at night it cools down into the high 60's. So you get some real nice outside work time if you get up early enough.

Progress is evident at the new gallery. The inside is painted top to bottom, and I have only a couple pieces of trim to put up. Now I am building display shelves and freestanding display cabinets. The outside is ready to paint, and I bought that today. It will be off-white with Hunter Green trim. I am building three, six-foot long window boxes to go under the three windows. The metal-working guys across the street will build metal inserts so the wood boxes won't rot out when I put dirt and flowers in them.

Next is the new door that needs to be installed. The current door opens on the side street, and this new one will face the main street where all the traffic is. After that, I'll have to get everything in the shop, stock the shelves, and open for business. I haven't listed the thirty more steps between the door going in and the business opening, but it would probably tire me out if I wrote them all down again. I do have a "To Do List," and I try to cross something off every day, but every time I cross something off, it seems like I am adding something new to the bottom of the list. I guess about all I can do is to keep plugging along and keep getting something done every day.

I started a new sculpture today. During all this activity and flurry to get the new gallery/store open, I have to keep in mind that I am having a big show at the LaMoyne Foundation in January. When that time comes, it would be nice to have too many pieces, so that I would have to pick and choose which ones would be best for the show. I must say, life is not at all boring down here in the Southland.

Free JavaScripts provided
by The JavaScript Source

BACK to the Essays.