frybread; you've got to be nice to your customers
photo by aura bogado
it's been a crazy, crazy couple weeks. so crazy in fact, i'm not even sure where to begin. for example, last weekend jb came up from phoenix with 2 other artists to paint the back of the vendor's stand at navajo bridge. the woman who manages the stand asked me on 2 separate occasions to please put some art on that ugly metal stand. so jb decided to go for it. while jb and his crew were painting the navajo nation pd rolled up on them asking if they had a permit. jb didn't have one so he called me and asked if i'd speak to the officer.
that in and of itself was interesting. the officer said he'd received a complaint about some people doing graffiti on the back of the vendor's stand. i told him that i know the stand manager and dropped her name several times. he finally said "...okay, next time let us know you're going to be doing something like this and get an agreement in writing to have onsite." now i know.
then 2 days later my friend, the stand manager, sent me a text saying "the park service says the art isn't appropriate for the area and that i have to paint the stand back to it's original color." ugh. my friend elaborated that although she manages the stand, the actual structure is the property of the national park service.
meanwhile, two pieces i put up over the past 2 weeks have gotten tagged beyond recognition. they are owen at moenkopi wash and the halloween kids in cow springs. i think this struggle about claiming territory. i give up since i'm never there to engage the people as they're going over my piece. still, i really liked the owen piece.
also this week i got to go back to austin mix's roping arena "the rope zone" in preparation for the tuba city fair. i only see austin about once a year now while i'm working on his stand and each time i see him i'm reminded how wonderful and positive a human being he is. tuesday after work i drove to the rodeo grounds to scrape off all of the piece from last year. i painted the stand as well just as it was getting dark, dark. thursday night i went back after work and pasted the piece. this morning i added the "wind swooshing the hat off" marks.
as i was driving to the tuba city fair parade this morning i noticed mrs. woody's stand wasn't where it normally is.
"hmmm. that's very odd," i thought. "maybe she loaded it on a flatbed trailer to take to tuba city send sell food at the fair." it bothered me all day wondering why her stand was down.
coming back from the fair i stopped to talk with mr. and mrs. daws and to get some roasted mutton from them. mrs. daws broke it down. apparently mrs. woody was having a run-in with one of her customers and was chasing him or her across the flea market grounds when a gust of wind came along, knocked over a pan of hot frybread grease onto an open flame and burned her stand to the ground. poof. just like that. no more source of income for mrs. woody. no more doodles' art.
mrs. daws said repeatedly "...it just goes to prove. you've got to be nice to your customers."