October 21,2019


excerpt from

Ash Fork Madness©️

written by

Nana Cook and Charlotte Madison

copyright 2019 Nana Cook and Charlotte Madison



               JUST A BIT MORE . . . MADNESS 

I needed more material for my three, seedy old rock doodlers’ dialogue.
There were many outlandish reminiscences I listened to while I painted doodlers in the quarries, but I hadn’t paid enough attention to register the details and I suspected that the exaggerations were more like lies. I needed to hear true tales about the good old time rock doodlers during the fifties when they were young and wild, powerful quarry bulls. I wanted stories filled with the excitement of booming times in the new stone industry.
Although G.B. spoke with colour, his tales were always true, so I decided to inveigle him into taking a long Sunday drive where I knew he would have time to ramble. G.B.’s storytelling was enhanced by an audience, so I invited a couple of friends to join us. G.B. saw the opportunity to combine work with pleasure, and decided we would drive down to the Mayer quarries.
Sunday morning at eight a.m., with Sheila and Ivan in the back seat, a substantial supply of Pepsi on ice, a pen and pad in my hands and G.B. driving, we left Ash fork and drove south on Highway 89.
“What’s the pen fer Charle?” G.B. asked.
“I want to write to Mum and include some of your old rock doodler stories.” Which was true — more or less. “Will you tell us some as we go along? And I’ll take notes.”
G.B. was extremely flattered by my request. He reared back, swallowed, smacked his lips and took in a deep breath. “Back in the old days, when the railroaders stayed in my hotel an’ ate in my café,” He turned to face our friends in the back seat while speeding down the highway. “The vacant ol’ wooden hotel an’ café where I first met Charle.” he clarified, and then turned to face the oncoming traffic again. “I had friends do the cookin‘ — real good food. Anyhow, ever‘ one was busy with eatin’ lunch when this drunken ol’ rock doodler come in an’ set down at the counter. While he was waitin’ fer his meal, he stuck his foot up on the counter, right beside some ol’ tourist woman’s plate, to show her the new shoe shine he got — on his bare foot! Sure ‘nuff his bar’ ol’ foot was as black as tar, an’ he just set thar admirin’ the shine.”
Before continuing he said, “Pass me a Pepsi Hon, m’ mouth’s so dry I’m spittin’ cotton, an’ ever’ time I swallow my stomach says ”thank ye.””
“I recall one time a bunch a’ the boys was drunk as skunks, out huntin’ they was, out’a’ season too. Well, come time it began to rain an’ they got their danged car stuck in a wash. Couldn’t budge it, so two a’ the men slept in the car an’ one curled up under a tree. Durin’ the night the temperature dropped real low. The one sleepin’ on the ground kept waken’ an’ drinkin’ an’ waken the others fer one more drink, so they was still as drunk when they woke as when they went to sleep. When mornin’ came, the one sleepin’ outside, found his danged hair was froze to the ground. So that dumb doodler took out his pocket knife an’ hacked hisself free. Looked like a quarry dog with the mange! Anyhow a game warden drove up an’ couldn’t pass their car in the wash, so he scooted up to it an’ pooshed. His bumper hit their trunk an’ up flew the lid, an’ thar it was — a fresh killed deer ⎯ out’a season. Afore that was over y’all can bet it was a mess. Judge told me, “‘G.B. I’ll turn these three loose into y’all’s custody if y’all take yer god-damned rock doodlers out thar an’ chain ‘em to a tree ‘till they sober up.”’ An’ I did just that!”
“Ohhh, we was a wild bunch Charle. Y’all a-keepin’ up with me?” He asked with a mischievous grin.
“One Sunday I was a-loadin’ an eighteen wheeler when three doodlers fixin’ fer a fight
told me to give ‘em their pay. Told me — an’ on a Sunday! By the time the truck driver got the deputy into the stone yard I had one tied to the telephone pole, one laid out cold, an’ I was a-beatin’ on the other with m’ pick handle. Deputy said to me, “‘G.B. y’all can’t do that. Y’all should’ve called us sooner.”’ I told him in my most respectful deputy-talk, Y’all can go straight to Hayll while I pray fer ye! Deputy sputtered, “‘G.B. ya’ll can’t talk to me like that. So I stuck my finger in his face an’ just answered him thar an’ then. I already done done it!”
On and on the stories flowed, with a brief interruption at Mayer and another for lunch. By the time we arrived home from our Sunday drive I had my forth act script, and asides for the three doodlers who would introduce each act.

Posted by Charlotte Madison at 03:34
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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?