THIS OLD MAN, part 4: This Old Table

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This is my drawing table, a gift from my parents on a Christmas sometime in the early 70s. It has been in Arizona, in Glendale and Phoenix and Cottonwood and the Village of Oak Creek in Sedona, and it has also been in Las Vegas, Nevada. I almost gave it away to someone for no other reason than that he had his stuff on it. I almost threw it piece by piece into the dumpster by my last apartment, faced with the prospect of having to U-Haul it to my new place. (I have just moved out of one apartment and into another one.) I am SO GLAD that luck and good sense and friendship conspired to keep it mine.

The lamp vise-gripped to the right edge of the table was part of the Christmas gift, and it works like a dream still. The stool and the fatigue mat were gifts from my former sweetheart Denise, and my gratitude to her continues. The banjo to the left of the table was another gift from my parents, and I gave it away once, hoping it would be well used; alas, the guy I gave it to never used it, so I took it back. (Alas, to this day I cannot play it.) The painting on the right is a superb nature study of butterfly and reflection by my dear friend and Confidante, Gen L (or E, depending). Another gift, and I am so grateful to be so gifted, and so egomaniacal to suggest that that has a double meaning. (I will play the I’m Just Kidding, Folks card if asked.)

But a crucial gift that keeps the table mine is of time, elbow grease, and the use of a magic red Pick-Em-Up Truck from my TRULY gifted friend, Russ Kazmierczak, Jr., creator of AMAZING ARIZONA COMICS. Russ and his truck moved my possessions entire from 35th Ave/Northern to 29th St/Indian School on two consecutive days. Russ offered me this help some weeks ago, when he found out I would be moving. When I took him up on it, he proved his rarity by cheerfully agreeing, showing up cheerfully on-time-or-early as agreed, co-muscling my stuff and Tetris-ing (his verb) it into the bed of the truck, and shlepping it to where it now belongs. Russ is a keeper, as his wonderful girlfriend Randi well knows. (And vice versa, as Russ well knows.)

So here’s to continuity: of Friendship, of Creativity, and of Love, of companions along the way past and present. Life is as good as we take it.

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