Some Kids I
Art Train, 2004, Ponca City, Oklahoma
Marianne felt if the
President himself invited them for a night out she would find a way out of
it. She was trying to revive a relaxed body after she had soaked in a hot
tub to remove dirt from under her toenails and fingernails after a day in
the garden and yard. It didn't seem to be worth the effort. Nevertheless,
when the Art Train comes to town it really is a big deal. First of all the
people who put out real dollars have a reason and means behind their action.
They realize how much art can benefit and prosper the whole community.
The next problem was
motivating her ten-year-old granddaughter to wear something besides shorts
to the reception. After haranguing around and about over this and that
garment they finally came to an agreement. The outfit wasn't a dress but the
blouse had an old fashioned cut which was trimmed with a small dainty ruffle
around the very long cuffs on the arms. Small tucks on front were also
trimmed in this way. A basketball game only minutes before left the little
girl's hair wet and hanging in ropes. There was no time to shampoo so a hair
brush and hair dryer had to be enough. The hair was okay but not
outstanding. The child was anything but interested. She could have cared
less about going.
Everything to go
wrong happened. They went to the wrong building with a strange group.
Marianne couldn't recognize one person there and when she finally got the
nerve to ask someone they were looking at her with a blank stare.
What exactly are you
doing? Someone asked.
I'm volunteering and
will be demonstrating drawing. Marianne kept looking around to try to find
someone who knew what she was talking about.
asked, What group?
The Art Train?
Marianne was beginning to get suspicious.
OH! Oh no, this is
not that group. They are meeting at the Art Center.
The grandmother was
feeling more and more senile as she continued along through this evening.
I'm sure they told
me the clubhouse. Oh well. Whatever. She was up on the vernacular of the
day. Wheelchair in tow, the reluctant ten-year-old and her patient
husband, Marianne now was ready to run from the group that was by now
looking at her like she was definitely with a problem.
The stately old
mansion where the reception was being held, of course, had no ramp. They all
had separated into different tours in their busy little investigation of the
None there. Her
husband met her around the side.
There wasn't one on
that side. The little granddaughter was beginning to get into the evening
I asked. They do
not have one. I suppose we will just leave the chair and girl out here while
one stays with her. Marianne had not had this experience in a number of
years. No sooner had she made that decision than a well-dressed gentleman
I believe the two of
us can lift her right up these steps. Don't you think? He spoke to
In a split second the
chair was up the steps and they were into the elegance of the old home which
had been turned into an Art Center.
The granddaughter was
quick and sharp. She was taking in the massive tables simply heavy with
delicious tidbits and delicacies to eat. The well-dressed older and
younger women were impressive in their lovely stylish outfits. She did not
miss the only other child who was there either. The younger girl was dressed
in a beautiful bright colorful costume complimenting raven black hair her
grandmother had twisted into a bun. All the battle over dress was balanced
in the favor of Marianne at this time.
Beautiful works of American Indian art work graced the walls, but this was
nothing compared to what they were to see on the Art Train itself. The genre
of the work spoke of the strength of their own people. Lighthearted in so
many ways it too demonstrated their resilience in being able to live in a
world where two cultures were upon them.
If Marianne remembered how miserable the evening had started out she shed
those emotions as easily as she kicked off her too tight new shoes when they
were home again. Somehow her tired body was not important in the least. To
see the bright new light in her granddaughter's eyes as she for the first
time had a taste of something besides their every day, mundane, chore laden
life was like a sparkling drop of water on the tongue of a thirsty person.
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