Monday, December 29, 2008

Joe the Other Plumber, Part 4 ... and Denis Shaw

I just stumbled upon this old picture that Denis Shaw drew of me.

It's in a book called Here We Come Again: La Honda Poets which is so thoroughly out of print that I couldn't even find a used copy on the internet.

The book, published in 1982, contains five of my poems, three of which are actually songs.

The book cover is another Denis Shaw drawing, this one depicting Apple Jack's, our local tavern which was originally built as a blacksmith shop during the Gold Rush. Limey Kay added a lot of brick and stonework there over the years, which is fitting since it was his second home.

Denis, by the way, makes teddy bears. Hundreds of them. Never the same bear twice. Works of art. Some are "real" bears and some are fantasy bears-from-another-planet. He designs them, then builds, leaving the head for last. When he applies the nose, he says, the bears can breathe - they come alive.

La Honda is the kind of town with the kind of economy where the stonemason trades work for beer and the plumber can be stretched out on the floor thinking about poetry with his head under a sink while the homeowner sits at his kitchen table sewing, giving life to a teddy bear.

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