December 03,2019

# 7   Thieves in the Quarry

One clear moonlit night while I sat inside the little pink trailer, London sat at the edge of the butte listening to coyote calls. Through the window I noticed a pair of headlights winding their way along Coyote Pass. When the lights finally arrived at the base of my butte they turned left into the quarry, and in the moonlight I saw two figures climb out of a car by the stone company’s equipment. Each figure turned on a flashlight and began moving about.

            London stood up and began growling, preparing to bark. But I did not want that. It would draw attention up to the trailer and the prowlers might consider it ripe for the plucking, dog or no dog. I quietly crept outside to grab London by the collar and keep him from barking, but he darted away and started trotting toward the road that lead down from the butte. If I called to him, I could not make my voice sound like a man’s, and hearing a woman’s voice might bring them to me.

            The prowlers opened their car’s trunk and one of them hurried into the darkness. Moments later the figure returned carrying something the size of a truck battery and staggering under its weight.

            If I moved toward London again, he would take it as a signal for a walk and bolt ahead of me. If I whistled to him, the thieves would not know whether I was a woman, alone and vulnerable, or an armed quarry guard signalling an attack dog, so I had one chance to do it right. I licked my dry lips, took a deep breath, and with luck, gave one shrill whistle.

            London came running to me, flashlights went out, car doors flew open and slammed shut and a car engine roared to life. With spinning tires and a cloud of dust glowing in the moonlight, the thieves pealed out of the quarry, straight through the cholla patch, missing the driveway entirely! It wasn’t until they were well on their way down Coyote Pass that I saw red tail lights come on and a flood of illumination from their headlights.

            I felt so proud of myself. I had scared them off, saved the equipment and the thieves were more afraid than I — and without a pick-handle.

Posted by Charlotte Madison at 11:28
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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?