On Saturday after Boy’s Choir practice, Sally surprised Tucker and me with the gift of a scrap metal Saint Francis from the NC Botanical Gardens Sculpture Show. The catch was that the Saint whilst shorter than Tucker is still pretty damn heavy and I was to get him from the Gardens to the car and into his new home in our yard. Luckily I’ve been using my gym membership wisely. Unluckily I had had a good workout only about two hours before. The load of a Franciscan, even when he is a man of steel quite literally, is made light by the love and joy that is in his care so it was not a tough task.
The sculptor, Joel Haas of Raleigh, writes:

Even bird brains notice those mass produced cement St. Francis’ are waaay too earnest to attract wildlife.
This St. Francis is JOYFUL to see all sorts of creatures, and offers something more than earnest cement prayers.
Fill the various feeders with seed, water, or bread crumbs, and watch as heattracts something besides ants and ennui.

I didn’t see any feeders, but I did take a spoiled half a cantalope from the fridge and stick it on/in the Saint’s outreaching left hand.

On Sunday, we went to Jane Tyndall’s Gallery Christmas opening. This show has a piece or two from most of the artists that Jane represents so it makes for a different look for her gallery and a good one. Tucker was anxious to get his Dero poster (“We’ve been watching you while you sleep…”) from the nearby frame shop so we could only hear a little of Chris Reynolds’ trio and nothing from the Janes an acapella group with our friend Sylvia as a member.
Later Sally and I were among the honorary hosts for the ArtCenter’s 30th Anniversary party which was held at Spice Street. The place was crammed full which was great news to ArtCenter Director Jon Wilner and to founder Jacques Menache. It was not like the ArtSchool I found in 1978 when I moved to Chapel Hill. We were in one small walkup spaceheater warmed room in those days. Jacques grew and grew the organization for a number of years until it found it’s present home. It will be growing again soon under Jon’s direction.
I have to say that despite the wonderful wine, the great food, the nice people and old friends [many of whom were the same] and general good feelings. I almost shouted “NO” when Jon said that the ArtCenter would be a regional resource not a Mom-and-Pop operation. I loved the days that a 20something who lived poetry could sit on the porch of a wood heated hand made house out in the woods with Jacques and dream up ways to bring nationally and internationally famous poets to Carrboro of all places — not to the University or to Raleigh. I hope that spirit continues. I was delighted not to hear that the ArtCenter was out of funds and about to shutdown which we used to hear regularly in the old days when we even passed the hat, literally, to get money to cover the rent.
Here we not only got to hear Chris Reynolds play (when the crowd was toned down some) but to sit and eat and chat with Chris, Les (his wife), Jane (of the Gallery) and Sylvia (of the Janes).
Politicians were abundant including our good State Senator Ellie Kinnard and State Rep Verla Insko and school board member Michael Kelley, Chapel Hill Town Counciler Ed Harrison and our very favorite Council Member, Sally Greene.