They say you can’t go home again. Who’s they? I don’t know… Faulkner? Thomas Wolfe? Somebody like that, probably. Then again, I think Dylan (Bob, not Thomas) said “Whattaya mean ya can’t? Of course ya can,” though I don’t see him hanging around Hibbing, Minnesota very much.
Anyways (as they say on “Deadwood,” repeatedly), I went back earlier this month to the place I lived till I was 18; my hometown, North Muskegon, Michigan, population 3,901. August – especially a hot, sooty New York August – is reason enough to visit the west coast of Michigan (the big lake was running a temp of 75 degrees all month, making for perfect dippin’), but I had another: an art show at the Walker Memorial Library, where I had probably checked out a couple hundred books in my day (“Periwinkle Jones” and “Mr. Mergatroid” stand out as faves).
What’s with all the parentheses?? I’ll cool it for a while, I promise. My mind is like a Habitrail © of diverting thoughts today.
Okay, so: I “went home again” for a show earlier this month. Shipped a few paintings in early, and brought a few on the plane. Installed the show on the 10th with help from my wife Colleen and my sister Tracy. Opening night was Friday the 13th, the very same evening as the Taste of the Northside, out in the park, and a classic car show on Ruddiman Drive, in front of the library. A busy night in NM.
As with all shows, there’s a period of anxiety leading up to the opening. Artists are often a worrisome, self-critical lot, and I guess I’m not different. Will anyone show up?, Is my stuff any good?, etc. Well, people did show, and for that I’m grateful. Thanks to a well-written article in the Muskegon Chronicle by my NM classmate and friend Mollie Vento and some help from other dear friends, we had a good little crowd. Among the visitors: my dad’s old tennis buddy, my third grade teacher, my oldest friend’s dad and wife, a bunch of classmates, other teachers, and even my old principal, who summers in the area. It was a reunion. It was nice to be home again.