November 07,2019

excerpt from

Ash Fork Madness©️

written by

Nana Cook and Charlotte Madison

copyright 2019 Nana Cook and Charlotte Madison


                         THE ACTOR


As G.B. and I waited for our children to arrive from Canada and Oklahoma we lolled on our chesterfields sipping tall frosted Pepsis and enjoying the rush of chilled air from the swamp-cooler. I listened to him tell one of his stories; thinking how skillfully he told it and what natural theatrical timing and expression he had.

“G.B. you should be in the show!”

He smiled modestly and replied “I know Sweetheart, an’ thank y'all Charle, fer askin’. I’d like to but I’m too busy. I haven’t got time to be an actor.”

I was flabbergasted. Obviously he had pondered the idea.
“Oh G.B., you’re a natural, a master storyteller, and as much a unique character as —Walter Brennan.”

“I knew Walter Brennan, an’ I liked the man. He came here often. I took him down to Mill’s quarries to help him pick out stone fer his house. When he came to town he’d ask fer that “Wild Young Okie Boy.”

“But you wouldn’t even have to rehearse.” I interrupted, “Just stroll over to the rock doodlers and tell the stories you’ve been telling for thirty years.” Busy my foot. My courageous Okie was scared!

“G.B., if you walked out onto that stage and told one of your stories you’d be a hit. Imagine the kids if you did it, they’d be so proud. The tourists would love you, and the locals would crack up seeing you on that stage.”

Oblivious to my last comment G.B. concluded our conversation with gentle words, “Thank y’all Charle. That’s real nice to hear.” He rose pridefully from his sofa, strode to his boot chair and donned his boots. Exiting the house he directed himself to the stone yard where his captive audience of employees were obliged to listen to his soliloquy — “’bout how I was asked to star in Ash Fork Madness!”

Posted by Charlotte Madison at 12:45
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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?