Journey to Ukazoo-Slide Nine

The Frog Race

Journey to Ukazoo

Slide Nine: The Frog Race


Stopped in Kermit, Texas, the same week they were host to the State Fair. Spent most of the weekend wandering around taking in the sights and indulging in cotton candy, pizza and a favorite, Fried Dough. One booth featured Swedish Meatballs, but I’ll be darned if I could understand a thing the guy behind the counter was saying. Passed on the Meatballs and opted for a Blueberry Muffin at the next stand and it was sensational, to say the least.

Not everything was eating, I enjoyed a few games on the midway and relaxed to some great music-a smidgen of Country, a touch of Bluegrass, a band that played old Animal tunes, Blues and even a little Gospel which was very inspirational.

Events for Sunday, the last day of the fair, featured a host of frog related events such as Lily Pad Jumping, Snatch a Fly With One Flick, and the new How High Can A Frog Leap entry. Then in the evening, the final and ever popular main event, The Frog Race.

It was a clear night, Flood lights lit the field, and a jam packed crowd, primed for the main event, was growing wild with anticipation. Money changing hands and bookies writing like crazy as the champion from the next county over was to face off against the hometown favorite. Working the stands were soda, beer and popcorn vendors and at the top of one section were two old guys leveling insults at the visiting frog’s fans. Earlier they had also heckled a comedian working the intermission and most of the crowd happened to agree, he was barely funny.

At the sound of the starter’s pistol, I took this picture just as the frogs were dropped at the start line and began to jump for the finish line, but it wasn’t long before the cheering started to subside as people started to realize you couldn’t tell the two frogs apart. Concern and disarray swept the crowd. Confusion over possible misplaced bets ensued. As the frogs crossed the finish line and the race ended, the crowd was in a near state of panic, the Judges and owners convened and it was determined that both frogs were twins, each going to a new home when tadpoles and each assuming a different last name, so no one knew they were related.

One of Kermit’s more upstanding citizens, Sam, blessed with sharp eagle eyes was asked to check each of the frogs and he found, on the underside of the winning frog’s chin, a very faint birthmark in the shape of an alligator. The Judges decided to delay the final results while they waited on their request to fax over the birth records to determine which frog had the birthmark.

The crowd waiting, the comedian gone, so with a chicken sandwich in hand, I wandered around.

Half an hour later, the fax was in and raced over to the judges stand. By the roar of the crowd there was no mistake that the winner and birthmark belonged to the hometown frog. Hoisted up on shoulders, the frog was paraded all over the fairgrounds, creating a mood that was truly celebrational.

What a night. What a lot of eating-cotton candy, fried dough, pizza, chicken and of course, those wonderful muffins.


Art notes:

All images and text are copyright Craig L Haupt

Postings of Journey to Ukazoo Slides are every Monday.

Facebook: Craig L Haupt

Likes and Shares are welcome.

All towns and cities are real with the exception of Rachel, Tenn.


Journey to Ukazoo-Slide Eight

The Letter

Journey to Ukazoo

Slide Eight: The Letter

 Stopped in Waurika, Oklahoma, and found a wonderful rustic looking Bed & Breakfast. Later in the day as I returned to the inn after a walk I found several of the guests conversing in the Dining area. Much of the conversation centered around trying to find a fourth for Pinochle, and not just any Pinochle but Double Deck Partners. Without hesitation I jumped at the opportunity.

Chad, Mitchell, and Trey, as my partner sat down in the dining area to begin playing and it was during our game that John, a rather quiet but slightly emotional owner of the B & B opened a letter from his wife. She had, several days ago, gone to visit and help out a sick friend of theirs. John proceeded to read about his wife’s stay and how during the caring for their friend “she gave thought to what it would be like to fall in love with him and continue to stay even after he had regained his health”. That, upon her decision to stay, she would ask you to “box up and mail all my belongings” and would you “send the checkbook as I would need money to buy fancy new shoes and clothes” and also “have someone bring over the cat too”. The page concluded with “These were some of numerous thoughts that went through my head”.

Reading this created several outbursts of, “oh me’s” “What did I do wrong” and “How could she’s”. I took this picture after John had dropped the letter and he started into the “should I end my life” phase of moaning. Janet, a frequent guest who was sitting nearby, was concerned enough to pick up the dropped letter and looking closely saw that two pages were pressed so close together you thought it was just one sheet. Janet took it upon herself to separate the pages, calm John down, and insist that he read the second page his wife had written that started out with the sentence “but that didn’t happen, couldn’t and wouldn’t happen” and went on about how she found a “reaffirmation of love for John….”.

After the major drama of the letter had subsided and we went back to our game, John regained his composure, relaxed with a glass (or three) of wine, retired to the kitchen to bake a batch of chocolate chips cookies to share, and took requests for drinks. I asked if per chance he had a bottle of a local brewed root beer. He did.

Double Deck Pinochle, exceptional Pinochle players, home baked Chocolate Chip Cookies, local brand of bottled Root Beer. I would have to say that this was one of those-’It doesn’t get any better than this” moments.

Art notes:

All images and text are copyright Craig L Haupt

Postings of Journey to Ukazoo Slides are every Monday.

Likes, Shares, and Comments are welcome.

Journey to Ukazoo-Slide Seven

How to Spin a Top

Journey to Ukazoo

Slide Seven: How to Spin a Top

 It was evening when I pulled into Arkadelphia, Arkansas. Found a restaurant to get a bite to eat and at the next table over I met a couple, Jack and Kelly. After getting to know them, I was cordially invited to their son’s debut the next day of trying to spin a top for the first time, in front of family and friends, since reading a recently acquired instruction book.

To his family the act of top spinning was as important as learning to read and write, and for several generations they had won various trophies at Top Spinning competitions. Yet their son, Kirk, could not master top spinning-not even with the help of relatives, friends, How to Books, after school programs or even “In Your Sleep” instructional tapes.

His repeated failures to master the art of top spinning had effected him personally and I was told there was a period several years back in ‘01 to ‘03, after a very close friend had moved away, that his depression became so bad that even all the different types of tops he purchased were predominantly blue in color. Family and friends helped him through those rough years but outwardly you could still see the lingering effects of that period.

The instruction book he received was from a long lost cousin in Spain was based on some rather abstract ideas. The book took standard Top spinning instructions and illustrations and rearranged them in ways he had never seen before but to his mind they breathed an air of clarity where all other straight forward instructional techniques had failed.

I took this picture of Kirk, as a set up shot. He had just finished spinning his top for the first time but he wanted the picture to represent the reading of the book as the true reason he was finally able to spin the top successfully.

Afterwards, Kirk told me he felt like a weight had been lifted and he was walking on a bed of roses after being so down and blue for so long. He also decided that he was now intent on mastering Chapter 12, “Seven Steps to Spin a Top on a 3”x 3” Cube”. The cube is to him one of the more challenging tricks but after considering all the steps, if he took away “Two” the method became even clearer.

Great family, will miss them. After breakfast tomorrow its onward to Ukazoo.

Art notes:

All images and text are copyright Craig L Haupt

Postings of Journey to Ukazoo Slides are every Monday.

Facebook community page-Craig L Haupt

Likes, Comments, and Shares are welcome.

Journey to Ukazoo-Slide Six

Blueberry Earrings

Journey to Ukazoo

Slide Six: Blue Berry Earrings

Stopped at a corner market on Canal Street, just off the Turnpike in Yazoo (not to be confused with Ukazoo) City , Mississippi. While standing in line, I met Cynthia Trout and her boyfriend Rod, a real nice couple. In conversation she mentioned that she has a cat, fish, and a parrot named, Porgy, who would perch on her shoulder and loved to eat pumpkin seed and an occasional worm or maybe even a fly, at least when he could snag one. 

Glancing around the market, a rather minuscule place, the walls were orange, rough and cracked and on the floor over by the scale was a well worn carpet, yet this small but quaint place smelt of fresh baked bread with a whiff of fresh herbs. Behind the counter, wearing a leatherjacket, was Woolly Jones, a tall man who could cast a long shadow on a sunny day. Besides running the register, his duties included making sure stock on the shelves seldom ran out. 

While leaving, we saw a little boy named Ray who was skipping, go by us while yelling Wahoo. Woolly, sharply, but with a smile, told him to scat.

Later I hooked up with Cynthia and Rod at the local waterhole and met their friends, John Dory, Molly Miller and Saul Deans, who, besides learning how to skate in their spare time, were part of tonight’s featured band, Stargazer.

I took this picture of Molly, while she was working to tune a piano she would play later in the set. She was taken a little off guard and on impulse covered her face, as she still held a firm belief that each photo takes a little bit of the soul. Saul would play the drums and John was noted for playing a mean bass as long as he didn’t flounder while checking out the ladies.

Wonderful music, wonderful people. Will stay here another day and then it’s back on the road again.

Art notes:

All images and text are copyright Craig L Haupt

Postings of Journey to Ukazoo Slides are every Monday.

As noted in Slide One, the Facebook Slide postings 1 to 6 and this Blog post for Slide Six are now aligned and Slide Seven will post to both on Monday, July 15.

Journey to Ukazoo-Slide Five

Walking to Rachel, Tennessee

Journey to Ukazoo

Slide Five: “Walking to Rachel, Tennessee”

 According to the local radio station K-N-O-W, it’s supposed to be a sunny day, but by my outside observation at a roadside rest stop in Tullahoma, Tennessee, I know, just know, there ain’t going to be no sunshine today.

I took a picture of this gentleman, named Bob, who was walking to Rachel, Tennessee, mainly because his slow and deliberate gait projected a man focused on a singular mission and yet at the same time as a man with a lot on his mind.

I know from what I was able to visually decipher,

I know, he was concerned about a little boy who lost his favorite balloon.

I know he was glad of his decision to allow a young couple to pick flowers from his garden.

I know that if he had stayed home he might have watched the movie “Alligators from Space II”.

I also know that beyond all those thoughts,

I know,

I really know, that foremost on his mind, is where, in Rachel, Tennessee, can he find a place that does Karaoke.

I will be staying overnight in the house of some people I have met and as wonderful as they have been and as wonderful a house that they have, I know it’s just not the same as home.

Well, it’s been four weeks and a touch of homesickness must have crept in but I have a long way to go till I get to Ukazoo and I know thoughts of home will have to be put aside for now. 

Art notes:

All images and text are copyright Craig L Haupt

Journey to Ukazoo-Slide Four

Veterinarian Office

Slide Four: Veterinarian Office

 By way of some people I met here in Apalachicola, Florida, I had the opportunity to learn how to Scuba Dive for the first time. I had more trouble with the swimfins than anything else, kept stepping on my own feet!

While making my way around the bottom of Apalachicola Bay at the Gulf of Mexico, I found myself swimming into a Veterinarian Office. This is one of a couple of Photo’s I took of the Doctor’s “wading room” that shows someone entering with his pet fish just in time for their scheduled appointment.

Looking around the room, I found I wasn’t surprised by the absence of chairs but I was pleasantly surprised to find among the reading material, the highly regarded book (by undersea architects & designers) “Underwater Decorating” by popular designer and concert aficionado L.T.

For those concerned with the welfare of the pet fish, his visit was to check for any infection from a cut he had received from a rusty nail of an old submerged rowboat. He left the Doc’s office one very happy little fish. Besides no infection, his original band aids were replaced by the latest edition aquaman band aids that would make him the talk of his school.

Air supply getting low, so it’s back to the surface, and later a light evening meal, some good music at the local inn and then back on the road to Ukazoo in the morning.

Art notes:

All images and text are copyright Craig L Haupt

Journey to Ukazoo-Slide Three

Bird Bath

Slide Three: “Birdbath”

On my way to Ukazoo I have stopped in Savannah, GA, home of the musically renown Savannah’s World-Famous Crabettes, that include the talents of one member who plays a mean slide whistle and trombone kazoo.

While wandering the neighborhoods I came upon the front yard of a stately residence that was host to the LXIV National Bird Olympics. I took this picture of the Free Style diving event that was in progress. After having watched a few dives, I felt that on this particular dive, I disagreed with the judges, and in my opinion was at least a 9.5. After a few short but very informative lessons from some fine feathered bystanders about “Beak Angle” “Wing Tilt” “Tail Feather Spread” and the all important “Branch Bounce Vibration”, I realized I lacked the required Birds Eye view needed to offer a truly educated opinion. I stayed a while longer and witnessed some fabulous dives but after watching all the diving activity I became a little famished and all they had for sale at the local booths were no less then 22 different varieties of seed. Nothing against seed, mind you, but I left to find something a little more substantial.

Tomorrow morning I head for the Gulf Coast.

Art notes:

All images and text are copyright Craig L Haupt

Journey to Ukazoo-Slide Two

At the Beach

Slide Two: At the Beach

This shot was taken of a little fellow named Sherman (as he was introduced when I met him and his family) getting ready to test the water at Ocracoke, North Carolina. Even though his older brothers and sisters as well as several other kids, who were already in the water, were urging Sherman to join them, he was reluctant to go in. Being more content with playing in the sand, Sherman was not overly fond of cold water and even more afraid of any alligators that might be lurking in the shallow depths of the ocean.

His parents, on several occasions, pointed out that alligators do not live in the ocean and besides, they assured him, they haven’t seen any since they arrived.

The fact that his family had only been there for only 3 days now, and recalling a story they told about finding him in a Cabbage patch as a baby, didn’t offer Sherman any great reassurance on the absence of alligators. So after testing the water, he went back to building his sandcastle. Too cold seemed to be a good enough reason and repeatedly denied to his brothers and sisters that alligators had anything to do with it.

I’m going to head out now, it’s late and besides I thought I just heard a few swishes in the water behind me.

Art notes:

All images and text are copyright Craig L Haupt

Journey To Ukazoo (Towson, MD Bookstore)

I started a “Journey to Ukazoo” slide show on my “Craig L Haupt” Community Facebook Page, June 3rd. Below is the first Facebook post that includes a description of the “Journey to Ukazoo”.
I will be posting “Slide Six” Monday, July 8th, on the Facebook page. The intent is to post the next five Facebook slides (Slides 2 to 6) over the next few days to the blog as to bring it up to date, so “Slide Seven” on the Blog will align with the Facebook post, “Slide Seven”, by Monday July 15th. As I post a “Slide” with text each Monday afternoon at 5:45 on Facebook to my “Friends” and “Likes”, I will then post the same “Slide” and text to my “Blog” page for those on my art mailing list and new guests to my artwork who do not use Facebook.

June 3rd Facebook Post-Description of Journey to Ukazoo and Slide One:

Steppin' Out

By way of a series of small events in connection with recently displaying a few prints at Ukazoo Bookstore in Towson, MD and also securing an art exhibit there as well, starting the week of Feb 16, 2014 to April 13th, I have decided to promote the exhibit by taking a “metaphorical journey” to Ukazoo
I will be posting a “Tongue in Cheek” slide show of my “trip”, once a week (Monday) for the next 37 weeks, using images from past art shows as a series of slides of my “stops” at various locations in the U.S. as I “travel” to Ukazoo.
Besides the self-promotion aspect of generating interest for the future exhibit of new works, this slide show also gives those new to my artwork, a chance to see various examples of images exhibited since my first show in 2005.

Slide One: ‘Steppin’ Out’
This shot is of me taking that first step on my journey to Ukazoo. To be honest, the image is a little off as I do sport a beard and mustache. Now the hair on the other hand, or should I say ‘lack of hair’, is fairly accurate. The van is packed. Up front I have some tunes, my water, pretzels, and some homemade chocolate chip cookies and I am ready to go. First stop is Ocacoke, N.C.

All images and text are copyright Craig L Haupt.