Sunday, August 30, 2009
Not much surf left from Danny, but no harm in putting on the wetsuit and taking the boogie board out for some rides
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Having the Presidential Welcome on the trailer is a nice easy way to move from place to place. Like a lot of new ideas, there are pretty sure to be a bunch of bugs to be worked out. I try to think of what can go wrong and fix problems before they have a chance to bite me. Earlier I got out my pole saw and trimmed a bunch of low branches between my studio and where we park our cars. For some reason I put off trimming branches on our driveway, so naturally I forgot all about it and discovered that I had hit the man's upraised arm hard enough to cause it to bend and break the shoulder. The good news is that it should be pretty easy to repair in the morning. We shall see.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
How soon with the time come when your family will need a permit to hang out a Menemsha for the day? You already need permits to go to Squibnocket and Vincent Beach, and even then that permit won't do you any good if there is powerful surf that some idiots might be too stupid to respect.
When I got home for lunch there was a voice message from Riggs Parker, one of the Chilmark Selectmen. He feels that the Presidential Welcome needs a permit, even if it is just hanging around for a couple of hours. By that logic (and I do have a PhD in Mathematical Logic from MIT), if you have a beach umbrella and you write "Welcome President Obama" on it, you would seem to be required to have a permit from the Parks and Recreation Department of the ever growing bureaucracy of the Town of Chilmark.
So I called the Town Hall and listened through several layers of recorded messages, but no extension for the Parks and Rec. Finally I got through to a very nice real person and left a message for the head of Parks and Rec to give me a call to see about how the whole permitting process works.
That was hours ago so I drove down to Menemsha with my trailer to pick up the Welcoming Family, but since it was a beautiful day there was a small group of cars circling the parking area waiting to pounce into any space that might become available. So I came home and will go back later when the afternoon beach crowd starts leaving and before the Sunset crowd jams the parking lot all over again.
The really sad thing about this whole permitting business is that it isn't really about permits. It is all about power and saying no. It sure isn't the Chilmark I grew up in.
While I have been taking the Presidential Welcome around the Island for the last few days I have interacted with a lot of people. There has been a lot of smiles and laughs and pictures taken. The reaction from real people has been overwhelmingly positive: I can't even think of any negative comments except for "official" type of people whose only concern is about having permits.
Well I am pleased to report that I have just spoken to the head of Parks and Rec and we agreed that since the Sculpture is temporary and quite possibly a free speech issue, and there is now way that the Parks and Rec could issue a permit this afternoon. (For what we are not quite sure - is it Art? What the heck is Art or art anyway? is it a beach accessory, the way an umbrella might be? Who Knows?)
Back in 1963 when a friend and I were picked up by the New York City Police for making a 8mm film about a bank robbery, one of the cops gave me some of the best advice that I have ever been given: "If you don't want to do harm to your 'person', now that's a technical-legal term for your reputation and stuff; DON'T DO THINGS THAT NORMAL PEOPLE DON'T DO. If you want to make movies, fine, make movies of the family, friends, high school football games, stuff like that. Remember, if you want to stay out of trouble, DON'T DO THINGS THAT NORMAL PEOPLE DON'T DO."
Being a privileged white boy, I was a Princeton University Sophomore (wise fool in Latin, I believe) at that time, my friend and I were never cuffed, fingerprinted, or arrested. The embarrassing downside was that my mother had to leave work and come get us out of the 50th Precinct House.
And now, as those of you who watch Jay's View on MVTV know: I make videos about the family and friends and travel and working on sculpture. I haven't ever again attempted to film a bank robbery. The problem is that for me living with sculptures has become normal. They add a lot to my life. I like sharing them with more people than go to Art Museums and Art Galleries. It is easy to think that the only people to appreciate "Art" are the elite. If that is true, then I am proud that a lot of my work is not "Art". I have talked to all sorts of people leading many different lives who feel better for having the Swordfish Harpooner be a part of their lives. It belongs to all of us. I feel that way about the Presidential Welcome. A lot of people think that it is a sculpture of the Obamas. Sometimes I think of it as my family back when our family was a lot younger. Sometimes it it your family. Sometimes it is the Obamas. It doesn't matter, it's whatever you want it to be. We are all Americans.
IIt doesn't seem to matter that there is no reason to believe that the Obamas are coming to Menemsha. It is fun just to have them on the Island. We can understand that they may just want to "chill", this is a good place to do that even if is pretty hot today.
Monday, August 24, 2009
game at the Farm Neck golf club.