Okay, so we’re beginning our annual Vermont vacation a bit early this year. My sister is renting the place we rent every summer this week, and our rental begins tomorrow, so we’ve been her guests since yesterday, and she’ll be our guest starting tomorrow. Political blogging will be sparse, though who knows, I may inflict more than I normally do up here, as, Allah or whoever be praised, our rental has wireless this year. No need to go to the Long Trail brewery to check email, a development that is decidedly a mixed blessing.
On our way up yesterday we stopped, as we always do (traditions are important) at the Vermont Welcome Center, where we saw an exhibit about the Vermont Institute of Contemporary Arts, newly opened in our second home town (very long story…we own property there) of Chester. The pictures on display featured Jim Morrison, Amy Weinhouse, and Jimi Hendrix, by an artist named Jack Dowd. So, we had to check it out.
The exhibit, titled Jack Dowd’s 27, features portraits of 27 rock starts that died at age 27, apparently a popular age for rock stars to die, when they choose to die young. Actually, from what I gathered from one of the very friendly folks at the gallery, there are more than that that died at that age, and Dowd hasn’t actually finished the full 27 he has in mind, but let’s not quibble.
Starting from the left that’s Jim Morrison, two that I can’t remember and can’t see well enough to jog my memory, then Jimi, (Janis is hidden behind the projecting wall, then Alan Wilson of Canned Heat, Brian Jones of the Stones, and Robert Johnson, who I didn’t realize died so young.
Speaking of Canned Heat, here’s our musical interlude, since I don’t think I’ve every posted anything by them. This features Wilson, who apparently was a highly talented but also highly depressed guy.
So, back to the art. I thought the Morrison portrait was the best. Unfortunately, this photograph is not that great, as the Wilson portrait is reflected in the glass covering Morrison.
Finally, another dead artist, who didn’t die when he was 27, greets visitors in triplicate as you enter and exit.
We were happy to learn that Chester has, at least for now, staved off a threat from the Dollar Store chain, which has been trying to open a store in town. We got a mailing a few months ago about the threat, and sent some money to the folks fighting against it, and it was good to learn that they have so far been successful. Apparently it’s too early to declare victory, but things are looking good.
What is also quite impressive is how well the Vermonters have come back from the flooding last year. Our agent told us a fairly hair-raising story about her own adventures, when she almost got swept away by the flooding. So far, we’ve seen only a few signs of the devastation.