Wednesday, April 18, 2012

T. E, Story #54

After we got underway, I got busy gathering up my sketch book and getting started with the drawing. First I drew a picture of the bridge as we first saw it from Oxen Run in the boat, and then I drew a larger sketch of the bolted log joints to the trestle tower. I added the comments about the bridge and the suggestion of a careful inspection. Next I will mark the page as a five mile stretch of road. During the next five miles, I will make notes on the page about anything that needs marking on the road or along the side of the road. The bottom of each page will be North and the top is South. We will, of course, be moving South for a good part of our trip down the Northeastern Peninsula.

I noticed that Josh kept watching what I was doing, so I started talking out loud as I set up the drawings and and sketch book. He seemed very interested and so I explained everything that I was doing, and he smiled and nodded his head when I asked him if he wanted me to continue. For the first couple of miles, after I finished the sketch of the bridge, I concentrated on drawing a set of old trees by the side of the road as we passed hem. I did a quick sketch so we wouldn’t have to stop, and filled it in as we went along.

At just over about four miles we came upon our first crossroad, and I tucked the road sketch book under the seat cushion. and was working on the tree drawing as we drew up to the sign. Hezzie had gone on riding ahead, so I stopped and got out of the carriage to read the sign post. The sign post had four signs on it. They all pointed West and they read:


2 Miles -- Blacksmith Shop>>>>

3 1/2 Miles -- Catholic Church>>>>

6 1/2 Miles -- Henson’s Branch Creek>>>>

The road to Fox Ferry and Henson’s Branch is a dirt-gravel road. It is probably impassable for artillery / heavy wagons after a good rain. There are fields on both sides of the road which are laying fallow, and a few head of cattle grazing. I will send Hezzie down the road when he returns to find out if there is a:
-- ford or bridge across Henson’s Branch;
--the depth of water at the bridge or ford;
--Fences or stone walls along the roadside:
--what the two churches are like on the basis of available wood in each building;
--condition of road surface;
--angle of decline or incline if any.

I was going to go myself as far as the creek but some people came out of the trees from some kind of meeting or picnic, and they saw the wagon and the signs. So the came over and one of the men asked, “Hey there, what kind of art do you do?”

I replied, “I draw freehand.. I draw things from nature mostly and then painted those things on the walls of your home as a decoration, like in the dining room or the Meeting room. I paint signs as well for homes, farms and businesses. Here is the latest drawing I did just on my way down here from Uniontown.“

The other man, a little short fellow, dressed in a nice brown suit, said, “ Uniontown! What were you a-doin; in that Yankee Nest!” The little man seemed as though he was going to bust right out of his suit. His face turned rad and his hands clenched into fists.

“I was there to finish up some bank business for my uncle. He died last week and I had to sell his house and property, and find a place for his mother to live. She didn’t want to leave her friends there. I’m not much on Yanks either but family ,-- well you know, you have to take care of them”

One of the ladies, who was holding a basket with some wild flowers in it, said, “Now you just apologize for your words, George. The man is takin’ care of his family and that’s surely the honorable thing to do. So you just keep your upset behind your teeth or this gentleman will think we’re as bad as those loud Yankee peddlers!!”

The lady turned to me and said in a very nice voice, ”Don’t you pay him no mind, young man, he’s still grumping about the price he got for his hogs last week.”

“No problem ma'am,” I said, removing my hat and stepping down from the carriage. “My goodness what lovely flowers you have there, are they from your garden??”

The lady blushed and turned to the other lady and they both giggled at my question, The second lady waved her hand at me and said, “Land sakes, no! Them pretties came out of the woods over yonder where we was having a picnic. Have you got a picture of them trees that you was a-talkin’ about?”

“Why yes I do, “ I said reaching for the nature sketch book. “These trees are drawn in black and white, but when I paint them on the walls of your dining room they will be in color, of course, and if I may say so those lovely flowers would be a dash brilliant colors to go along with the trees!”

“Oh do you think so,” the second lady said. “ Well . of course they would.” she said handing the drawing to the second man.
“My name is Barry, and that’s my farm over there.” The gentleman pointed to some buildings down the road a ways toward Fox Ferry, “How much would you charge to do a painting in the dining room of the trees, uhh, and the flowers too.” The second Lady gave him a stern look. “This is my wife Daisy Lee, and my short friend over there is Mr. Mattingly. The other lady is Lydia Mae and she is wife to Mr. Mattingly.

“I am very glad to meet you all,” I answered, shaking the two men’s hands, and bowing smartly over the ladies hands. “In answer to your question, the price of the painting depends really on whether you like it or not, but my associates and I have had a full day and a meal and a place to set up camp would be much appreciated.”

Daisy Lee said, “Well that is very reasonable. You have a sale my young friend. Show them where they can camp George, and we will see our new artist friend in the parlor in a few minutes. The four of them got into a nice little carriage just off the road and behind the trees, and went of down the road with the lady Daisy Lee beckoning to me to follow.

“Go ahead and follow the carriage Josh, while I dig out my paints and brushes,” I said to my young compatriot, “And keep an eye out for Hezzie.” As I had my paints and brushes in hand and climbing back into the wagon seat, Josh joggled my arm, and pointed down the road. It was Hezzie coming back. I hailed him over and bade him to follow us.

Hezzie rode ahead a bit and disappeared into the tree line. We followed the carriage when it turned off the road, and the lead carriage pulled over some ways down the road and about a hundred yards from the farmhouse. It was a nice grassy place and there was a big oak tree close by for shade.

George got down from his carriage and said, “You can set up your camp here, and when you have your gear, just come on up to the house. Daisy Lee is all excited over this painting deal so get there as soon as you can please. She and the other lady will be fixing dinner for you. Will that be okay?”

“That will be fine,” I said. “I’ll be there as soon as my friend joins us to set up the camp.” I could see Josh was already busy unharnessing the horses and I could see Hezzie just coming out of the tree line. I think that Hezzie will be pleased with how we handled that. The little man was a real firecracker, and I was really relieved that Daisy Lee shut him up, because that could have had really bad results if he had gone n just a bit longer.

No comments:

Post a Comment