Saturday, May 26, 2007

"Memorial Day Weekend"

Back a good thirty years ago, I got an art table for a present (probably at Christmas). I think maybe an ex-wife gave it to me. If so I'm sure it was the only decent thing I ever got out of the relationship. But, any way...

Ten years or so ago I stored it down in the basement at my parent's house because I didn't have room for it in my apartment. I really hated to because I had used it for so many hundreds of illustrations. But I always had to keep it in a back room with no radio, stereo, t.v., etc. for background noise, and I opted for a smaller more convenient size board that I could just lay in my lap while working in the living room.

The art table gathered dust and got in pretty bad shape. The doors on the front somehow went missing as well as one of the interior shelves, but I was determined, now that I have a study of sorts, to bring it over to my house and restore it for use.

I renailed the back, reinforced the sides with more screws (as it was literally falling apart), straightened brackets that held the drawing top area and cleaned it up. That's it now pictured above. It was like renewing an aquaintance with an old friend. I composed and did all of my mini comics and digest size small press artwork on this table in the 1980's, dozens of various comic strips and single illustrations, and even used it for an eisle on more than one occasion when I felt like doing a painting.

It probably didn't cost over $25. back in the mid-1970's when it was new, and I've gotten 100 times that amount of use from it. I even bought one of those clamp-on overhanging adjustable lights for it, but after a few years abandoned it because even if you use a low wattage bulb in it, those things get hot working under one, especially in the Summer time. After an hour or two under the light on that one gets to feeling that he's being grilled by the cops (Not that I personally ever was!), so finally I replaced it with a small one that gives me just enough light at the right angel for work. It's one of those types that's used on sewing machines and such, and it worked (still does) perfectly.

So now here it sits in my pc room, where I have my music, my t.v. and DVD-VHS player, radio and whatever I need for background amusement when I try to work on new artwork, and maybe I won't find an excuse to not produce some new work.

This weekend is my first one off on both days this entire month. I was lucky not to have to work The Memorial Day weekend (although I will have to work Monday). Already I've crammed much into these rare days off.

I mowed all of my lawn as well as all of my parent's yard, and cleaned up more around their garage (a project I've been working off-and-on for a year now), and scraped-painted the under-eves of my house on one side. Cleaned off the sidewalks and got the drain gutter from the street cleaned/emptied which runs in front of it, plus I went by both flea markets here locally and one yard sale (didn't buy anything).

Recently as well I finally got to finish alphabetizing 30+ long boxes of comics (now just maybe I can find something when I need it).

A friend of mine is listing some of my stuff off-and-on on eBay under the user name of: mcskager (just in case anyone's interested in looking that over). He's listing different items every week, usually for three to five days and most of the time it's on either a Tuesday or Wednesday he begins them. There's several thousand items: comics, scifi paperbacks, toys, hardcovers, and all sorts of misc. stuff, a real "hodgepodge" of items (so it's not just comic books), and only a small fraction thus far have even been listed. (End of unabashed PLUG.)

My wife is coping as well as anyone who has long one of their parents here just a week and a half back. We want to thank all who sent us kind words of sympathy.

(And finally...)

This Memorial Day while you're all out having fun at a local lake or beach, or enjoying that picnic or cookout and just generally having a good time, please take a moment to remember what this holiday is all about, which is to honor all of the fallen in our Armed Forces who put down their lives to protect all of the freedoms in this country that you treasure. Say a prayer for our soldiers overseas (whether you believe in "the war" or not) that they may return home safely to their loved ones. This is not a time to debate whether our involvements on foreign soil is correct or not. Save that debate for another time, and remember kindly those who have volunteered to protect us.


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