the old school

today, it was hard to find something to paint.  i walked up the stairs, then down, waiting for something to catch my eye...until finally, this cup.  we've had several like it, mostly handed down from karie jane, they always make me think of her.  it probably graced her walls with the world's best collection of old fashioned wall plaques full of every cornball kitchen wisdom idiom you could possibly imagine.  once she grew tired of her collection, she would pass the coveted chotchkies to me.  maybe before that, this cup or one just like it could have been seen on the walls of the edison cafe, back when kj worked there, before jasper was born, before i knew her well as the powerhouse artist mother badass she is.  back then, she was some tough-looking girl with short black hair, tattoos, and a whip-smart mouth. she poured coffee to the old guys who knew her well.  she was an insider.  back then, i was new around here, and i could tell i needed her approval, first. 

call me superstitious, but i believe small towns are like that.  there's an inside circle.  the old school.  they control things.  everyone knows each other.  it's political.  you have to work your way in by earning people's trust and respect, by making friends, by being good and true.  and then, that town will take care of you.  and if not...well i've always figured that if you don't pass the test, that small town will spit you right out, back to where you came from. 


  1. There are two places like that: small towns & ghettos. You've to put in your time and prove you're not a tourist - prove that you LIVE there. And it's important, because in both places you need folks who have your back.