Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Greenlee County Country Club - York, AZ September 29. 2010

Got lost on my way to patient’s home - which isn’t unusual. I drove into the parking lot of an aging white building with a swamp cooler and vast manicured lawns. Yes, this was the local golf course. Not a golfer in sight though. This was not any rural golf course. It was the local "country club." If I hadn’t read it on the sign at the entrance, there is no way I would’ve imagined that this was a country club.
Where I come from in Michigan, country clubs have paved or asphalt parking lots - not dirt and gravel. Many, many years ago I dined at the Grosse Pointe Country Club in Michigan. The staff, mainly male, wore white dress shirts with a simple tie and black trousers. Their socks and shined shoes were, of course, black. The tables were donned in ivory table cloths and napkins. On the table were simple fresh flower arrangements.
No linen table cloths at the Greenlee County Country Club. When I walked into the main dining room to ask someone for directions - a young woman, dressed in blue jeans and a tank top was busy behind the bar. She shouted out a greeting across the room and inquired how she could help. I walked up to the bar, got my directions, thanked her with a smile and left.
I stood on the front patio and looked around. No flower or shrub beds of any type. The cement patio had a few plastic webbed chairs that could’ve been from Walmart in Safford. Between the chairs was a white bucket that had a few cigarette butts at the bottom of it. A half a dozen empty beer bottles, stood like soldiers, next to the chairs. I even noticed a few empty beer bottles scattered under the odd bush.
I decided to place one of the cowboy and indian icon art pieces here. I walked back to my car and got it, my notebook and camera. Instead of putting it some where right next to the clubhouse, I placed, photographed and documented #65 in a small tree across the road from the clubhouse. Much like me, it was as if the art piece was a voyeur at the clubhouse. Strange to this environment, it would now be witness to the club members’ comings and goings. However, I drove away - a voyeur no more.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

City of Safford Victim/Witness Building - Safford, AZ September 27, 2010

I discreetly placed, photographed and documented cowboy and indian icon art piece #66 right under the corner of bush before anyone arrived for the annual candle light vigil for the National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims and their survivors. Life size, plywood silhouettes - painted black - of men, women and children were erected all around the front of the building for the occasion.
At first, I wasn’t sure if placing one of the art pieces here wasn’t too cliche. Yep, Native Americans and cowboy brethren were indeed murdering one another due to underlining fear, anger, greed, jealousy and revenge. Probably these were the same reasons why the deceased, who would be honored here tonight, met their untimely death.
However, the past memories of "cowboy and indian" violent acts would be the story lines that fuel the imagination of cinematic adventure narratives and innocent childhood enactments for decades to come.
For today, the cowboy and indian art piece, even though hidden, would be part of the other objects left here in tribute of senseless loss. A tribute that is never a thrill to be part of.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The OutPost - Greenlee County, AZ September 14, 2010

I just purchased off of ebay a "Dunny - Kidrobot" toy. This 3" vinyl toy figure has three points of articulation: a 360 degree rotational head and two arms. An artist card or sticker is also included with the toy. There was a particular Dunny was designed by Michelle Valigura is named "Cowboy/Indian." One half of the figure is a cowboy joined down the middle to the other half which is Native American. Both halves are frowning. The cowboy half comes with a separate gun that the figure can hold in its hand and the Native American half comes with a tomahawk.
This inspired me today since I had just picked it up from the Safford Post Office prior to driving to Duncan.. This correlated with my cowboy and indian icon theme and was contemporary which I liked.
While driving down AZ 75, I came across a mom & pop store with a sign that read, "The OutPost - Beer - Wine - Picnic Supplies" a few feet from the road. Underneath that sign was a two-sided plastic, three foot Coca-Cola sign that had the capacity to be able to be lit up. The lower right hand corner had a piece broken out of it the size of a fist. Why not place cowboy and indian icon art piece #59 within another icon?
I tried to be as discreet as possible since customers were coming and going from The OutPost about 40 feet away. One guy, all dressed in black, with greased back shoulder length hair, got out of a black, four-door, battered early model Lincoln Continental. He was all dressed in black with a 45 caliber gun holstered on his belt. The man resembled a sinister-type who could have been a character in the David Lynch movie, "Wild at Heart." An elderly lady with curly, gray hair and glasses remained sitting in the front seat of the car. Was it his mother perhaps? He graciously left the car and the air-conditioning on for her while he went into the store.
I decided to place, document and photograph #59 inside of the broken corner of the Coca-Cola sign and get away from that store. What if he was going into the store to rob it instead of making a mundane purchase like a pack of gum or a bag of pork rinds? What if he saw me with the camera and assumed I might be spying on him? Either way, I wasn’t going to find out. Got back into my car and drove off before he ever left the store. Byeeee!