Saturday, July 24, 2010

July 24, Helena

July 24, Helena

Quote of the day:

There's no thrill like throwing a touchdown pass.

Pics: A picnic ground on the Gates of the Mountain boat trip; Robert Harrison arches piece in Helena; Holter Museum; graffiti on the side of a building in Helena; two versions of a anti-Meth poster; our lightly used bidding paddle.

Department of Corrections: Pete Voulkos pieces were thrown. When I used the word “slab,” I really should have said “chunky” since slab is a technical ceramics term. Who knew? And, I checked, chunky is very non-technical. Thanks to a frequent reader for the revision.

A miracle has occurred: we each sleep soundly for nine hours. Impossible. One of our tourmates reports the same thing. Ahhhhh, the night air of Helena, the magic potion!

I feel so refreshed, I am ready to tackle the elliptical again.

Uh Oh! Someone has beat me to it and I am on the bike instead. That’s a good thing, it is nice to pay homage to another triumph in the Tour De France by Alberto Contador; I’ve been watching every morning for the first 2.5 weeks, only missing out when we left for Montana. He’s a great competitor, even if there was a question of leaving Andy Schleck and his unraveling chain on the peaks of the Pyrenees.

After the bike ride, a short walk into town to visit the local farmers market. Hmmmmm, just a slight misnomer, this is the local tchatchka/craft market with a few food booths on the side. I pick up a (mediocre) scone and (below average) cinnamon twist (you can’t always find great pastry, though I give it my best effort) and a small banana bread loaf (for later).

Our first event of the day is a boat ride on a dammed portion of the Missouri river called the Gates of the Mountain, a spot where Lewis and Clark spent a few days. This is where a River Runs Through It is set as well as another book by Norman Macloean on smoke jumpers (non-fiction; both recommended...the books, not the boat ride!). We did this trip seven years ago and the picture is near a spot where back then we had a picnic lunch and THB went in the water (with one or both girls). No stop today, no dip in ice cold water.

The afternoon includes lunch in the Montana Club, a private facility. We share Greek salad, turkey club sandwich (good!), make-it-yourself Arnold Palmers, and start touring town before the cookies appear (slowwwww). Turns out the Club forgot they were providing dessert, so cookies were being prepared ad hoc. Fortunately one of our tourmates brings two for us to eat on the walk around town. Very nice!!

We visit a very good gallery in town and buy a cup by one of the Bray ex-residences and now current board member, Auyimi Horie, who is in town for the Bray board meetings and auction. We’ve chatted her up several times when out at the Bray, turns out she is also the co-curator for the gallery show.

Then to the Holter, a pretty decent museum for such a small town. Again, a re-visit from seven years ago. One gallery display is of glaciers near here, then and now. In 100 years, plenty of disappearing, and it won’t be long now for many to be gone altogether.

Off to the Bray for an early dinner for our group (esteemed collectors), board members, and the honorees of tonight’s event, one of whom is the mom of Max Baucus, one of Montana’s senators. Salmon (dry), rice with peas, grilled asparagus, and a terrific multi-layered hint-of-lemon cream thing….worth a detour!

The live auction is basically an in-house event, with mostly board members buying the 20 items. We squeeze in one bid on an Akio Takamori litho/hand collage piece, goes for way over the retail value. We’ll probably buy one from his Seattle gallery. We come away with a couple of Kevin Snipes shallow bowls from the Bray store and make a small donation to the Bray.

The live band, led by Beth Lo, a pretty well known ceramicist, on bass, starts up and our group heads to the bus.

One last note: there are a number of hand-done anti-Meth posters here in Montana (see artistic pics). It’s a major problem that doesn’t seem to have many solutions. Tom Seibel (of Seibel Systems) gave a lot of money to at least start making the issue more public. If I get a chance (meaning I have the camera ready and the bus isn’t whizzing by), I will post a few more poster pictures.

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