Home » ARTSY FARTSY » JEAN SHEPHERD Kid Stories, Half-time Sousaphone & (117) ARTSY Cloth, Bone, Feathers

JEAN SHEPHERD Kid Stories, Half-time Sousaphone & (117) ARTSY Cloth, Bone, Feathers


Was he being sarcastic?  What was he being?  I’ll never tell.  All I can say is I learned a lesson.  I can’t figure out what the lesson is—yet.  I’m running it through the lab.  I’m trying a little titration on it, maybe a little litmus paper.

All I’ve got to say is, when you see that band and those half-time ceremonies marching out and striking into the wind, you are seeing a machine that few people understand.  Only those who have been in the middle of one know what it’s like.

I can still feel that little tingling around my lips once in a while when I hear a band playing “Semper Fidelis.”  That little chapped feeling of a guy who’s rehearsed long and hard on the second coda chorus of every known march that was ever printed.

Pumpapapumpapapum!  Drump-pum-pump! Drump-pum-pump! Drump-pum-pump!  Oh yeah!  Come on, Pick up them knees, you guys!  Come on, move out, move out!

Drump! Pump! Pump! Pump! Drump-pum-pump! Drump-pum-pump! Drump-pum-pump! Drump-pum-pum! Drump-pum-pump pump pump!


Pumpapapumpapapum! Here we go now!  All together now!  The torches light up, the crowd is going ape! Bababapooombapoooom!

[End of “Halftime Sousaphone” and Part 6]





My interest in cloth as esthetic subject began when I started doing a bit of research for my trip to Peru in 1980. I’d be spending time mostly in Lima, and the Inca highland capital of Cuzco which is a center for traditional Peruvian weaving.

We got the name of a good retail shop in Cuzco where we could get quality woven cloth from highland Peru and Bolivia. These objects are traditional ponchos and other pieces made for local consumption in the early-to mid-twentieth century that had been used and then sold, so that Americano tourists could buy and transport them back to adorn walls and furniture. Eventually I’d also buy some minor pre-Columbian objects from there and from other sources. (The photo shows the kind of serious fabric store one can find in Cuzco.)

Beautiful craftsmanship again expands my idea of “art,” though weaving still doesn’t make it to the highest levels for me. Mostly I’d say, it’s “quality, attractive craft.” Yet I enjoy looking at my few pieces and contemplating them.

My wife and I have two major walls in our living room, one with

musical instruments, the other with cloth and artifacts.

A variety of pieces including a poncho, a very long piece

that might be a scarf, a highland campesino’s hat,

a cloth baby carrier from the Amazon,

an Inca feather-work piece, a small, pre-Columbian cloth doll,


End Part 1 of 3




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