I was dropping off one of my cowboy and indian, mixed media sculptures for Dr. Jeff Gaskin (dentist who works at the local Federal Correctional Institution). A hop, skip and a jump way from the old miners’ union hall, that he’s now renovating into a bed and breakfast establishment, is an abandoned building that looks as if it may have been a bar.
The building had three levels to it. At least one window was broken on all the levels. There was blue spray painted large letter graffiti next to the window on the left side of the main door. I was unable make out what the graffiti said except for raca…think…remember? The main door had a sign attached to it which read, “DO NOT ENTER. UNSAFE TO OCCUPY. It is a misdemeanor to occupy this building or to remove or deface this notice. BUILDING OFFICAL TOWN OF CLIFTON.”
Even though I wasn’t personally going to occupy the building – a cowboy and indian icon art piece would have a new home on the windowsill next to the graffiti. There I placed, photographed and documented #126 on the window’s ledge. Task finished.
Before I drove away, I noticed a disheveled man in tattered clothes as he obliviously walked up and down Chase Creek. He had a beer can in his hand and sort of drank out of it. Never gave me or anything else a second look. He somehow looked lost or “out-of-place.” All I thought about as I drove through the rocky hills home, was that an actual human being or the spirit of a man who use to drink in that building when it was a bar? He could’ve been a homeless person who lived and died in the building when it was no longer a bar. Did the sign on the door have anything to do with the man I saw? I’ll never know. Never.