I Got the Horse Right Here...

I realize my posts have been quite reflective of late, so this is short, sweet, and a very exlclusive way for you to connect with the guy I knew as Dad. Since I was a baby, Dad sang to me the opening lines of "Fugue for Tinhorns," from Guys and Dolls. He sang "can do, can do" each time either of us tried to do something challenging...

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This is a voicemail Dad left for me a few years ago when I was studying at the Art Students' League.  Hearing his voice is so damned soothing to me, and listening to him ramble a little about travel and recollection while cleaning his pistol is hysterical.

After you listen to this, please note that we found about 26 pounds of ammunition around the house after he passed away. Can do, can do...

Art, travel, love and guns. Hee.

Over and out for now. Thanks so much for following and for getting to know my amazing Dad.


Stalking en Plein Air

A chocolate-fueled ninja expedition leads to an unlikely encounter... A lot of you knew Poole as a serious man with passionate beliefs and a driving vision. He was that, for sure, but he was also keen to play, with a wicked sense of humor and an enormous, infectious laugh. He rarely let his playful side out except for his closest friends, but when he did, you knew you were in the presence of genius. Nutso, perhaps, but genius nonetheless. I'm glad to say that I was his life-long Huckleberry.

On one of Dad's visits to New York, I suggested we go to SoHo and knock around some of the galleries.  He got sick of seeing large white canvases and uniform lumps of sculpture, so I took him to one of my favorite chocolate joints, Jacques Torres.  This place is, for NYC, the Palace of Chocolate. Handmade, devilishly good.

Dad being a lifelong foodie (he would actually grunt like a water buffalo when he ate something that pleased him), we had to sample just about everything; the dark, spicy hot chocolate as thick as pudding, gold-leafed truffles, chocolate ice cream sandwiches made of chocolate chocolate chip cookies - you get the idea.  We GORGED on chocolate.

Taken shortly after the encounter. Apple Store selfies.
Taken shortly after the encounter. Apple Store selfies.

An hour later, we were both on a sugar rush that would've killed a diabetic. We got into one of our giggly, collusive moods, which we did often, but this one was fueled by sugar, so it was hysterical.   Skipping down the street, past stilletoed women and well-groomed men, without words, we decided we were spies.

We started hiding behind cars and trying to spook each other. We were playing, and it was glorious. If you've never seen a short round man shaking with laughter as he's trying to hide behind a light pole, I encourage you to imagine the scene.

After just a few minutes of confusing the people of SoHo, we spot a painter with his field box on Prince Street, and Dad's army instincts took over. He starts giving me hand signs that mean "KEEP EYES ON HIM! GO! OVER THERE! HIDE AND WAIT!" He does the same. So we start stalking this painter, both of us with wide eyes and insane smiles on our faces. Imagine cats stalking a paper sack.

In the meantime, the painter is calmly watching the sky while adding precise strokes of paint to his canvas. He was actually very good, which excited us all the more.

Guy had no idea what was coming.
Guy had no idea what was coming.

Dad ran his short legs quickly behind another light pole as I did the same.

Hearing a snort and heavy breathing, the painter turns around, and looks directly at Dad. Dad froze, wide-eyed, the remainder of an idiotic smile on his face.

The painter says "Poole?"

It was Gregg Kreutz, one of Dad's oldest painting friends, an immensely talented guy. He was painting a cityscape, and I will never forget the encounter. (Maybe someday I can afford to buy the piece he was working on!)

We both nearly peed our pants at the coincidence. Worlds collided, Dad's cover was blown, and we laughed about that story for years. He was around 67 at the time, and could still play like the best of 'em.

I think that's my lesson for this week. Playing is good for the soul, and can open you up to chance encounters. That, and chocolate can make the world a brighter place.

Hope you've enjoyed. More later.


Poole & Poole Body Shop

One of our famous "jigs." So a few years ago, Dad had a little Chevy S-10 pickup that he bought from my beloved Uncle Don (the one with the wooden leg that we called "Old Knock Knock.")  Dad was so proud of that thing.

One day when he came home, he discovered a huge dent in the left rear panel. It didn't crack the paint, but it was a big booger and had him cussing his head off. He was so despondent, I took the initiative and

went to an auto parts store, where I found a heavy duty, dual suction cup thingy that promised to remove dents.  I brought it home and Dad & I went to work.

We stood next to the truck in the front yard and attached the thingy.  Dad pulled on it until I thought he would have a coronary. Red in the face, cussing like a cross between a cowboy and a sailor, sweating buckets. He took a break to I tried it, and became a miniature version of him.  On our third try, Dad got behind me to pull me while I pulled it.  I put my feet up on the side of the truck for leverage and we were both grunting and cussing straining for dear life for what seemed like an eternity.

The dent finally popped out, sending  both of us flying ass over elbows into the yard.  I landed on top of Dad and knocked all of the wind out of him, but we were both laughing so hard we were crying.  Covered with dirt and leaves and sweat, we did a little dance of triumph, which we were prone to do from time to time anyway.

Nice to remember the good stuff.