Journey to Ukazoo
Slide 21 Painting the Flower Deity
Arrived in Missoula, Montana to find a wonderful Bed & Breakfast run by Martha and Mitch. The interior of their house was as captivating as the outside except for the living room, which was vacant of all furniture and sealed off with a sheet of plastic.
After unpacking I joined newly arrived guests, Mary and Matthew, along with our hosts, in the dining room to get acquainted and partake in the afternoon refreshments Martha had set out. It didn’t take long for the conversation to drift to the “in progress” living room.
A seemingly testy subject prompted a “lets take a drive” from our hosts, while they would tell us the story of the living room and how it relates to a statue they was taking us to see.
In route, Mitch related the story of an older gentleman named Maurice Montbretia, who had hit the Mega Millions lottery two years ago. The newly acquired wealth, in itself, wasn’t an issue as Maurice spent the better part of his life eking out a living tending other peoples gardens.
Maurice loved flowers, grew flowers, read about flowers, and had managed on his meager earnings to build a small greenhouse. Now, with all this money and no family to speak of , he decided he would purchase a fair size piece of property to build a monument, his ode to flowers. Started a year and a half ago, this lofty project was now nearing completion.
Mitch continued, that three weeks ago just as they were ready to paint their living room a deep shade of Blue, just as their neighbors Margaret and Mark were ready to paint their addition a light Blue, Malinda and Morris about to paint their store front a special mix Violet, and Melvin and his son, Martin, were about to repaint their Barbershop pole, we couldn’t find a can of blue paint in the whole town, nor in several outlining communities.
Puzzled, our quest to find the source of this paint shortage led us to Maurice.
As we neared the turnoff to Mountain Mills Road, and the location of the statue, we found traffic backed up due to deliveries. Mitch detoured to Murray Marconi’s adjacent farm and with permission, we hiked across the fields. As we approached the construction site we could only look in wonder at the size of the statue.
I took this picture of the work in progress. The final red “puzzle” shaped designs being attached and the blue paint applied by a small workforce manning a scaffolding system that at one point must have reached the clouds. I was equally impressed with the holographic projection system creating a circular receding phase of the statues face, which I was told was particularly effective at night and on overcast days.
Maurice, engaged in the supervising, turned, and seeing us, waved us in. While treating us to a hot dog and soda from “Mean Mike”, an onsite vendor, Maurice, having become aware of this paint storage, used the opportunity to apologize to Martha and Mitch. Becoming self adsorbed, Maurice explained, and succumbing to excesses, encouraged by all this newly acquired money, he lost sight of the effects on friends and community, and this morning placed a special rush order for those paints to be delivered directly to all those in need. He would also pick up the tab for the inconvenience he had caused.
With everyone back in good spirits, I made my way over for another “Mean Mike’s” Hot Dog. They were very good and between you and me, Mike wasn’t mean at all.
All images and text are copyright Craig L Haupt
Postings of “Journey to Ukazoo” Slides are every Monday Evening.
Wow I thought I would meet you in Idaho, but when I arrived you had already left. So I am visiting another friend in Hailey ID. Maybe I run into you when you get back to Towson MD.
LOL. Sorry we missed one another. On the road again, next stop Meeteetse, Wyoming. Will be back to Towson, MD (16 more “stops”) for the my art show Feb. 10. Will see you then. Say hi to your friends in Idaho for me.