Friday, April 23, 2010

Slinging Cotton Candy at the Carnival

So, about a month ago, just after the show at Wake the Dead in San Marcos, I was on the look out for some work to help me continue my art pursuit. I talked to a great friend of mine whose inlaws have stock in The Mighty Thomas Carnival. They travel from south to north every year much like a wheat harvesting crew, going from town to town, county to county, zig-zagging here and there for about nine months out of each year, entertaining the quiet folks from all over. What began as a phone call to see one another and visit quickly turned into a "would you like to help us out for a bit?" You see, my friend tore his achillies heel in a basketball scrimage last year and he was getting around fairly well as a "Hop-along Cassidy". I was more than greatful, the bonus was getting to hang out with him and his family for an extended period of time, which helped me decompress from some of the let downs I'd experienced in the desert and with the art show.
First off, they flew me to Michigan to pickup a new truck they had purchased for their business. It's a stretched Freightliner conventional with a twentytwo foot box on the back, used by frieght carriers as an expedited delivery wagon, overnight type of transport vehicle. My friends intended to convert it into a stock truck to carry around supplies they need for their "Candy Land" and "Sweet Spot", which are the names of the refreshment trailers they use at the carnival. It was a good trip, especially since I was thinking about returning to the highway to refinance my art ambitions. It gave me fifteen hundred miles of contemplation and diesel engine to remember that going back out over-the-road was not a heavily favored option. I didn't mind the sound of the whinning turbo engine, that whistle of void made when frieght is in pull, but what made me crenge was the time buckled to that seat, the miles one by one, endless. Reminded me of the time I was playing too rowdy in the house as a young boy, but carried away and having fun at it, and my mother pulled me away and made me sit still at the kitchen table for five minutes. I thought those five minutes would never pass so I could get back to the action. They still linger in the backwater of my mind somewhere.

After Easter weekend in South Austin, I helped them move some things up to Burnet and they recruited me to work in their secondary "popper", which is the machine they trailer around to distribute cotton candy, candied apples, carmel apples, popcorn and fountain drinks. I watched the airshow and walked around for awhile during the Bluebonnet Festival. All in all it was more than I expected. Not to mention that their patronage and favor toward me helped ease my tensions. You've kept by boat a-float, thanks Brandon and Kat.

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