artist - musician - craftsman
and furniture maker
[June 6, 2021]
simply revland: mark your calendar (1982)
On this morning, I remained the consummate creature of habit, regardless of what may have crossed my path. I placed my order of bacon and eggs (over easy) at the Dutch Maid grille, my per-diem day break security blanket, on Eighth Street and Main. It provided me the early-morning emancipation ... to facilitate the momentum required to round out the remainder of my day. Familiar faces, sounds, and smells. The magic elixir for daily endorphin release.
It was May of 1982, and I was searching for a proper way to celebrate my 29th birthday, after spending most of the last two years in self-isolation. It was time to get on with my life. I had recently sold my two-bedroom bungalow in south Fargo to pursue a period of downsizing ... if there was such a thing in those days. Renewal, however, was the most logical motivational step moving forward, and basic sustenance was my new mantra. I was also cognizant that I needed to reintroduce myself to the community, make new friends, and expand my horizons.
In downsizing, and instituting an invigorating path toward evolution, I opened a new shop three doors down from the Dutch Maid and simultaneously stumbled across an efficiency apartment directly across the street from my studio. That timing was impeccable so I embraced this pocket-sized Eighth Street community as my new home, my belated birthday gift, and went out of my way to enter the lives of everyone I met.
Revland High Back Chair
I decided that 1982 would be the Year of the Chair, my new obsession, something I had yet to tackle as a craftsman.
The Revland High Back Chair soon came to fruition, as did the Strinden Hill Sculptural Foyer Chair, both providing assistance regarding the connection of my seven major neurotransmitters, expediting my healing process.
Woodworking had become my natural antidepressant during the day, but unfortunately, drugs and alcohol continued to be a part of my evening ritual, a necessary evil, even though the majority of my new friends were riding on that same bus
Revland Strinden Hill Sculptural Foyer Chair
The Old Broadway hadn’t seen me for some time now ... and the pub was now within perfect walking distance from our Eighth Street societal association, now called “Top Floor.” At least now I was attending with friends, which in turn led me toward an introduction of perplexing magnitude, at the time anyway.
On this night, I was approached to be featured in a men’s calendar called “Fantasies.” Now, let’s be real. I had yet to consider myself to be in that particular category nor was I in any kind of “beefcake” physical condition.
The calendar promoters had wished for me to go shirtless, as in a bathing suit, so knowing what would be revealed underneath my white button-down shirt and snazzy sport coat, I politely yet graciously declined.
A day or two passed and the calendar organizers by now realized that there weren’t a plethora of bulked-up male patrons at the Old Broadway, nor other recruitment stations to choose from, so they again approached me to enter as a “fully clothed” participant. They even offered me my choice of month. Seeing as there would be no compensational offering, unless you’d consider ridicule some form of stipend, I chose May, my birthday month. They set me up for a photo shoot sitting on a century old concrete bridge piling on the bank of the Red River, near the offices of American Crystal sugar.
After publication, offers for modeling came our way, and a few of us started doing ramp work, escorting, and, of all things, disco fashion shows. (Use your imagination in picturing that one.) I was also asked to attend a woman’s bridge club event one night, wearing only a robe. The local modeling agency was getting quite audacious, in my opinion, anyway, and I always had the option to decline, which I did. Quite frankly, there was no reasonable explanation for exposing anything “flesh-like” to a group of 50ish upper-crust residents. Enough said.
Well, the rest is history, and I don’t have enough ink to explain what else was derived from this bizarre, fortuitous experience. It was, in an outlandish sort of way, life-changing …. perhaps finding myself one step closer to maturity, as I was assuredly a late bloomer. Right place. Right time. One day at a time.