Ash Fork Madness©️
Nana Cook and Charlotte Madison
copyright 2019 Nana Cook and Charlotte Madison
Props and Pigeons
Once G.B. knew about Madness I was free to fly!
Over the next six weeks I painted thirty feet of twelve foot high, masonite scenery flats, created a black lacquer Chinese screen and a life-sized red and gold stage-coach.
Each day as I painted, my Park Avenue Pigeons paced back and forth across the top edge of the flats, occasionally splashing their own medium onto the scenery below. While I painted volunteers worked on papier-mãché fire hats, Connie worked her crafty magic on papier-mâché, and after a few days she had made a fine crop of prickly pear paddles, pears and blossoms.
I was perched atop my ladder painting the gold lettering onto my stagecoach when I heard Connie call down the old building.
“Char-lee, I’m having a problem! Every time I try to attach these darned paddles, I don’t get a cactus, I get a cartoon mouse!”
I crawled down from my ladder and went to see for myself. Connie sat on the floor covered in flour, surrounded by bowls of water and flour paste, sacks of flour, piles of shredded newspaper and dozens of papier-mâché prickly pear paddles.
“Oh don’t worry Connie, you’re too conscientious. Unpainted papier-mâché is always grotesque.” I said reassuringly as I looked at the abomination. “No one will ever notice — once it’s all assembled — and painted green. Well, what if we just . . . .”
It was too late. We had both imprinted on cartoon mouse ears not prickly pear paddles and we were thereafter condemned to see cartoon mouse ears no matter how Connie arranged them. When she finally painted and added the beautiful prickly pear blossoms to her four foot high cactus plants — we had cartoon mice with flowers in their ears.