Monday, October 16, 2006

Crazy Idea Club follows one through

The idea to attain some church pews began forming awhile ago as the inside of the barn was taking shape. After we removed the hearth in the house, Popsey absconded with the plywood quarter-round base and set it up in the corner of the barn as a stage. He painted it, added some props, and a performance space emerged.

But we needed seating. Found some church pews on Craigslist that looked like they would fit the bill. On Saturday we drove up to Alameda to see them.

The drive involved a harrowing ride through the Half Moon Bay pumpkin festival. Our truck delicately wound its way through throngs of freshly-parked families dressed primarily in orange... double-wide baby carriages, children in the throes of sugar cravings darting among the legs of steadfast parents.

Once we made it through the main fuss, we got in behind the line of cars on Hwy 92, going past the nurseries, the gigantic metal dinosaur sculptures, and fields heaped with pumpkins. A fledgling Disney-esque farm near the end of the run caused a whole secondary traffic jam, with police directing cars as people swung their steering wheels sharply into the beckoning driveway in response to the squealing demands of their progeny who suddenly got wind of a pony ride opportunity.

We finally got through it all, and arrived just on time to the naval base in Alameda where the pews were being stored in a hangar. The cavernous hangar held some strange contents. Behind banks of old office furniture and couches, a sleek, silver train-rocket, multi-passenger, obviously a prototype for some sort of people transporter, sat in the rear of the hangar. It was shaped like a rocket only horizontal, with about six windows on each side. We didn’t get close enough to see if there was an interior, but it looked capable of high velocity. A couple of wild-eyed men in blue coveralls were wheeling battery chargers and banks of 12-volt batteries by us as we selected our pews.

The seller was a very kind man whose nearby church was going progressive...very progressive. They were selling most of their pews to make more space for performance and music. He loved our plans, and we hit it off. Luckily for us, he had already refused to sell some of the pews to a guy who wanted to throw them on a bonfire at Burning Man.

The pews were beautiful—curved, with carved details on the ends. We would have liked to buy more (he had about seven left at that point), but two would barely fit in our truck. After some finagling, we managed to stack them in a way that seemed as secure as possible, and Popsey roped them down.

To our great relief we got them home okay, and brought them into the barn. The vision was complete (although we are considering trying to get some more now). All we needed to fulfill the dream was a performance. We made some phone calls, and some friends came through. Yesterday the incredibly talented Camille serenaded us with her amazing fiddling. A dream realized. A crazy idea that maybe wasn’t so crazy after all.

The picture hanging on the wall was painted by Addison Ward, Popsey's dad. We loved the way it looks like she's playing with the beatnick guy in the painting.

There was some major toe tapping going on.

It was hard to get Camille to crack a smile while playing, until Mooka busted out in a jig.


  1. That is a great idea and a great performance space! I wonder if Mooka would jig to my clarinet playing too?

  2. Wellll, considering how long it's been since you practiced, it might cause her to knaw the fur off her paw. This morning Popsey got out his guitar which is very far out of tune, and which he doesn't know how to play. He was madly strumming off key along to a non-rhyming poem, and Mooka actually gagged and then barfed.

  3. She would still be cute even if she knawed off all of her fur!