|1969, the last year I watched the Kiddie Parade from the sidelines.|
A few years later, my friend Teri and I, having done a few parades together, planned a beautiful swan costume that would be sort of like a mini float, akin to the ones in the Rose Parade. My oldest brother, Ramon, helped us give it a neck made from a bamboo carpet pole that could bob up and down, and shoulder straps, so we weren't carrying it on our heads. The bird's head was papier mache, and lacking anything else, we made the feathers from grocery bags cut into strips of fringe.
Alas, it did not match our swanly vision. Sigh.
Out of time and resources, we had to figure out how to salvage it. After a bit, we decided it actually was a pretty good chicken, so we set aside our visions of elegance, put a sunbonnet on it's head, practiced strutting and pecking, and when an old neighbor surprised us with giant styro eggs, we created an egg-laying routine. The judges loved us, the crowd roared, and we realized that a dancing chicken was a lot more fun for everyone than an elegantly gliding swan. Blue ribbon in the "Comic Costume" division looked pretty good hanging around Henrietta Cluck's neck, too.
|1975, Tiger tamer with tiger and beautiful assistant.|
Once again, the blue ribbon was for "Comic Costume", not "Most Beautiful", but the minute the parade turned onto Main Street, our disappointment was forgotten, as people laughed and pointed and clapped. Thus cheered, we put on a great show of whip cracking and bowing (me) and graceful posing like a model on the "Price is Right" (Kelly). It wasn't about getting attention, it was about creating something that made people happy, and we knew even then that the elegant float we had planned wouldn't have done that.
|Robbing the Sumpter Valley Railroad with the Baker Community Repertory Players and Dance Company, 1980.|
So, while my work is usually about creating beauty, my way of being apparently always has been (and surely always will be) more about seeing and sharing humor. If I had to choose just one? Well, it was a blue ribbon day a few days ago, when I ran into my chiropractor, whose office I've decorated from front to back (and his home from top to bottom), but whom I haven't been in to see in awhile, and he said "We've missed your laughter". I hope your 4th of July was filled with laughter, mingled with moments of beauty, and gratitude for the freedom to enjoy them both.
Need a decorator with a sense of humor? All the info on how to hire me, along with my portfolio, is on my website theartofthehome.com.
Need advice on a DIY project, or your latest parade costume? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I'll answer whatever questions I can.