Friday, October 5, 2012

The Garden of Earthly Delights

National Storytelling Festival 2012
IMG_6469Last year we met Mr. Hensley on his front porch overlooking Main Street, Jonesborough (LINK T0 MR HENLEY'S PORCH OCTOBER 2011) and had the briefest glimpse into his backyard paradise. His city lot extends nearly 100 yards back and houses several functional buildings, tree shaded patios and parking spaces available to Festival goers able to negotiate the treacherous entry from the rear street. Mr. Hensley seems to prefer Airstreams as part-time tenants and has made a place for our friend Gerald over the years. THIS MAY END SOON.
It seems Gerald, down to one pretty stationary 34 footer, was faced with missing the Storytelling for lack of a highway-capable  ‘Stream. Now we didn’t catch up with Gerald during the Festival (and I wouldn't want to ruin a good story with actual facts) but this is what I figure happened. 
That 1973 Argosy from Virginia with a lengthy list of deficiencies was not originally offered at an attractive price, so Gerald’s attendance was questionable. Mr. H. offered room and board,  as an evening dinner by candlelight on the shady patio was unthinkable without Gerald’s ebullient grace.
SOMEHOW, shortly before the festival, by means as yet undetermined, perhaps by dark of night, a similar 70’s vintage trailer appeared in Gerald’s accustomed space.
Next morning I happened upon a conversation among some frequent Festival goers, Wally club guys down from their rally in nearby Gray.
“That Gerald’s new trailer?’’
“It’s his usual space…that’s his dog…”
Yeah….It’s hard to IMAGINE how much neglect it took to get it looking THAT BAD.’’
The Argosy, a little brother to an Airstream, was originally a light brown. Color descriptions often fail us, but the most common descriptor references diapers. This one was green -- at least on top. The AC shroud, awning cover and patches of the roof were a slimy green patina of  mold…the tires looked solid, if not new (Gerald is, after all, not suicidal) and gave promise that it will soon be moving back toward Alabama, one of the few states where it will not be turned back at the border.

Now the beauty of Mr. Hensley’s garden is the beauty of  “found objects” set amongst flowers and  barn siding. The totality is gorgeous and festival goers hurrying from tent to tent often linger along the fence and peer longingly into the welcoming garden. 
No Pictures of Gerald’s new “found Object”  will be found HERE; (We have SOME standards, even if they don’t extend to fact-checking.) I’m sure, if it is not repossessed  by the authorities, the  Argosy  will return to it’s essential beauty and, with a few quirky touches added by Gerald’s loving touch be proudly on the road. Next year, or maybe before, we will see it restored.

2012_1002JONESBOROUGH 20121Mr. Hensley’s Garden of Earthly Delights

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