October 13,2019


excerpt from

Ash Fork Madness©️

written by

Nana Cook and Charlotte Madison

copyright 2019 Nana Cook and Charlotte Madison


                         Baby Tale

The first time my daughter, Nana, stepped off the plane in Las Vegas with Morgan in her arms, she pulled back the blankets on her little bundle and I stared in wonder at the new baby girl, but the new baby girl stared at G.B.. He reached out and took Morgan into his arms and his heart. From that moment on if G.B. was in sight Morgan stared at him and followed his every move.
When Morgan learned to walk she would toddle behind her Ganga wherever he went throughout the house but her favorite trip was to the kitchen. While Western States Stone business waited G.B. would pour a long cold Pepsi and fill his pockets with forbidden sweets to share with her, and then he would pick her up and carry her to his chesterfield. There they would settle themselves, she in his arms staring into his loving eyes, as he told her stories.
“One hot summer day, me an’ m’brother an’ two a’ m’cousins knew where these watermelons was — down by the Washita river. We crossed the river on our horses, jumped off an’ sneaked into Fitzgerald’s melon patch. We was a-thumpin’ an’ a-stealin’ watermelons, an’ suddenly up the melon rows here cum Johnny Burks — a good ol’ boy. ‘Course us kids didn’t like him a whole lot right then.”
“Here he comes! We turn tail an’ run! Ooo-ee! Got up on our horses an’ that mean ol’ man took to shootin’ at us, tryin’ to scare us an’ stop us, but weren’t nothin’ we was a-gonna stop fer now! I was a-ridin’ Skeeter, ‘member m’ li’l ol’ Spanish mustang with the blaze white face?” Morgan wide eyed and just inches from his face nodded enthusiastically, eager for him to continue. “So we was all a-carryin’ watermelons in our towsacks — on our shoulders they was. We rode a li’l ways an’ d’rectly juice was a-runnin’ out’a two holes in m’ watermelon an’ a-drippin’ through m’ sack. He was a-shootin’ at us, to scare us. An’ tha’s how far he missed me by!” And Morgan hung on every word.
“Bo-o-oy! My daddy made us boys go back with him an’ he stood thar while me an’ m’ brothers an’ cousins all told the ol’ guy how sorry we was, an’ then my daddy paid the farmer right thar an’ then, with cash money he couldn’t afford to spend! That evenin’ my daddy made us buck bales, we call it, to work off our debt. Had to earn ‘nough to pay ‘im back before we could do our chores an’ homework. It took two a’ us to load each seventy-five pound bale onto a trailer wagon, an’ then we had to scoot ‘em off the trailer wagon an’ put ‘em on the truck. That was real tirein’ work fer boys. Oohh my daddy was a hard man, but he was an honorable man an’ the best man who ever lived.”
At that point Morgan reached up, gently patted G.B.’s cheek and then softly demanded, “More Ganga, more.”
Many a person had felt G.B.’s wrath for telling him what to do, but when Morgan gave G.B. orders Ganga obeyed — always!

Posted by Charlotte Madison at 07:52
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April, 2020
March, 2020
February, 2020
January, 2020
For over forty years, painting related totally to the American Southwest. It was people of the dry hot desert, solid mesas, cacti, stone and canyons that made my heart leap.

When I realized I would never see the desert again, I began a search for something to paint. Nana suggested, B.C, vineyards and took me to Penticton where I did one painting. Nana and Gary then began to take me on Mystery tours of the island and always included a vineyard. But they all were so green! So many leaves so many trees - I don't do trees and I rarely use green - dont really like looking at green, but I got started on a duty series not an inspired series.

I guess it was July or early August when we were driving home from a winery visit. I was grousing about painting the Festive Flying Grape series when Gary said "Start another series, you can work on more than one at a time."

For some reason those words triggered the words "I could paint the Island artists!" Nana and Gary agreed and it was the topic of conversation all the way home

For a while I was afraid I wouldn't get volunteers to pose but it is rolling and each one offers something special to inspire me. And it is lovely to feel all I am doing was sparked by Gary and like all I do, supported by Nana.

April Update 2012 Sixteen fine artists, many of national repute, have posed for Artists of Vancouver Island and many are booked or promised. There will be no poses after June 30,2012. When I have painted all twenty-five I will turn my thought to . . . what next?