I apologize that there are no photos in this post. I did not have a camera with me this morning. I may go back later and get some art, but I wanted to post this while all was fresh.
I walk down Broadway and the morning sun is bright, the air crisp and cool. Broadway is the main drag through Truth or Consequences. I pass by the Red Bone, a store that has been closed for months, and I hear music—the cheerful wail of an early morning trumpet. I know the source.
Though the Red Bone has been closed, the store is not empty. Inside, several folks who need places to live have set up housekeeping, with the owner's permission, dividing the back of the store into sleeping areas and fashioning a kitchen. The front of the store, visible from the outside, looks like furniture store with chairs and tables and couches.
One of those staying there is Garland, former trumpeter in the Marine Corps Band and horn man for many groups in the 1960s, '70s and '80s when brass was big in rock. He is older and grayer now with a huge mane of hair and a white Santa Claus beard that makes him look like what an aging Jerry Garcia might have looked like had he lived as long. I don't have to go around to the back to go in to know the sound spilling out under the door and onto the sidewalk is coming from a man sitting in a chair, eyes closes, fingering the worn brass valve stops, lost in thought and music. I go on
Ten minutes later I am walking back down Broadway on the opposite side of the street. Again I hear music. But this time it is coming from an open door a few yards in front of me. I approach and peek inside. I see Ruth, the owner/artist doing a dance around the bright Jackson Pollack style paintings she is working on spread out on the cement floor. Paint and high spirits are splattered everywhere, including a pooling puddle of school bus orange beside a half done canvas.
And Ruth, in the middle of it all, dancing, eyes bright, looking at her paintings. The music finishes just as I enter. She stops with a grin and a bow, beaming.
I hadn't been in her gallery in a week or so but I notice a change. The price tags she had been putting up beside her works on the walls have all been taken down. I mention it.
"You know, I had to. Once I start thinking in dollars and cents something goes out of me. I have to paint for pure joy and expression."
We hug. There isn't much more to say.
There is music in the air.