19 August 2015

Contemporary Longrifle Association Show

The 2015 CLA show was held last week at its usual venue in Lexington, Kentucky. There were, as always, many talented artists although it seems like in the past few years, fewer new artists of note. The attendance was down considerably from say four years ago, when you could barely squeeze through the aisles. Long time attending artists such as Shawn Webster, Steve Lodding, Jeff Bibb and Jeff Bottiger were absent. They not only brought their artistry but their unique personalities to the show.

It was, nonetheless, a great time. My main goal is to visit with rarely seen friends, like my brother of a different mother, Ron. Share meals with Lisa and Carroll. Learn from Brian, Steven, Mark, Mitch and others. It may be on the down hill slide but its still better than anything else out there.

Brian Anderson's traditionally forged weapons

John Schippers engraving and restoration

Mitch Yates trade silver

Giclee prints of David Wright paintings

Alec and Matt
 Certainly one problem is the average age of both the artists and the buyers - maybe 60 or greater, very few young people. There are some talented young makers such as Alec Fourman and Matt Fennewald who will hopefully keep up their artistry and carry forward the tradition.

Many of the objects for sale are far too expensive for young persons to purchase although the Gray Hair Mafia was buying unabated. There seems to be a trend to make every day objects, such as knives, artificially precious by having multiple artists of note construct them. The emphasis has moved from utilitarian but historically accurate items to highly elaborate collectibles, never meant to be taken down from the wall. Personally, I think this does nothing to move the art form forward and forces out folks lacking deep pockets, and creating huge collections in only a few hands.

12 August 2015

A Year Later II

I maintain that it should cost as much to get married as it does to get divorced. Make it look like marriage is worth as much as divorce, even if it ain’t. That would also make the preachers financially independent like it has the lawyers.    Will Rogers

The blog entry (July 2nd) citing Frank's deposition testimony has been viewed than any entry in Stratheden's 605 postings. I assume that is because it answers people's questions about how & why of the divorce settlement, as it was intended.

 One year ago today, at 12:50 p.m., my lawyer, Mr. Campbell, and I, walked into the Floyd County court room for the divorce trial. We instantly knew something was up because April and the witnesses were not present. About five minutes before court was due to convene, April walked in with Anne Armistead, but they sat back in the gallery. Then April & Frank's lawyer, Dalton, (Frank had used the same lawyer to complete his divorce/custody several years earlier) came over to our table and dropped a "notice of appeal" on it to challenge a ruling the judge had made that April could not hide behind the Fifth Amendment when it came to answering a question about adultery. In other words, Dalton would tie up the divorce proceedings for at least another year, perhaps as many as three more years, all the while I would be paying $1,000 per month in support to them as they laughed all the way to the bank.

A minute or so later, Dalton came back over and spoke to Mr. Campbell; they adjourned to the hallway. Mr. Campbell shot back in and said "they want to know if you would offer a settlement." So, instead of possibly paying another $36,000 in support AND legal fees, I offered $30,000. Of course they accepted it. Had the trial gone forward, April would have had to answer to the judge why she told him two major lies in a prior hearing: (1) no one lived with her [my private investigator had proof otherwise, as did witnesses] and (2) she was destitute [actually she had two bank accounts, each with four figures deposited]. There were six other 'discrepancies' as well but not as key to the issues as those two.

Due to a lack of trust on our part, Mr. Campbell immediately hand wrote the settlement on a sheet of legal paper which was signed by both parties and witnessed by the sheriff, baliff and others present. The 21 month ordeal was ended, finally.

Last month, a little more than three years after Frank moved in with April, he asked her to marry him; they are now officially engaged although no date has been announced for a wedding. He is a far better match for her than myself and I wish them many years together.

04 August 2015

Summer has peaked

  Saturday morning at sunrise, the temperature at sunrise was 55F, Sunday morning it rose to 57F. Although a bit warmer today, the nights have become more pleasantly cool even though the days remain toasty in the low to mid 80s. The problem is the lack of rain - the garden is powder dry and needs supplemental water every few days. Even the weeds have ceased germination.

  It was premature to write in the prior post that the day lilies were exhausted; they perked back up and enlivened the patio for a while longer but today certainly marks the final blooms from them. It has been a brilliant season for them. Three new varieties were purchased and planted that should make their showing even more spectacular in 2016. Stay tuned.

No chemical pesticides have been used at Stratheden since its acquisition. One benefit is allowing beneficial
insects to help with controlling the problem bugs. Most years, maybe a dozen praying mantis can be seen on a given day at this time of year; much like the bees and butterflies, their numbers are down this summer. nonetheless, this mantis was hoovering pesky critters from the zinnias this morning before posing for an informal portrait.

It is always a delight when friends come to visit. Last weekend, brought the delightful company of a friend from a very long time ago and her husband of forty years. They brightened my day immensely and it will great to have them return soon. Its true that real friends can pick up where the conversation left off, even if decades ago. Here are some photos of Carolyn taken about 45 years apart. She's still the same fine human being - or more so.