Thursday, February 07, 2013

Dancing in the City Streets

It stood five feet tall in the center of the white room and radiated beneath the shimmer of chandelier lights, like a naked deity to be marveled.

“This has been my dream for the past five years,” she explained, as the dapper-dressed assembly collectively sipped from their glasses of wine, and gathered in a circle around the object.

The flash of a photographer’s camera sparkled against the arched glass windows inside the foyer framed by Grecian pillars, and danced across the gold letters inscribed in the museum’s marble walls honoring  Balanchine, Astaire, and Joffrey.

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The artist as a young man

He is depicted as a young man, picking at his shoe with an umbrella alongside his faithful dog, a German Shepherd named Odin, after the king of the Norse gods.
“You look at it and think you tend to be immortal in a sense," he says, "but realistically, you're not.”

He painted the mural, which is 23-feet-long, on the sheetrock walls of the city bar. It includes more than 200 faces of the characters who lived and played here; men with straw hats walk among vintage automobiles and horse-drawn carriages, and mingle with ladies in petticoats. A horse trailer ambles down the road. A clock tower and a widow's walk rise above the Victorian sloops of the old train station filled with long-ago characters who were known only by their nicknames: Smitty and Rock, Scooter and Skip, Donkey, and Sage, and Crazy George.


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