Lost Arts studio

A lot of the fiber arts I enjoy are things like tatting, netmaking, chair caning, and even weaving, where people will come up to me when I demonstrate and solemnly tell me, "That's a lost art."

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Location: SW Outer Nowhere, Michigan, United States

On the Internet, nobody knows you're a chicken. (With apologies to Peter Steiner.)

16 February 2006

Dead Buick in the Driveway

(I can't remember whether I heard this story or read it, or where it came from. But anyway:)

I live in a land of gravel and dirt driveways and two-tracks. A "two-track" is the pair of ruts that form in a grassy area when people drive on it repeatedly, or a road that is nothing more than the two ruts.

So somewhere I heard of some people with a dirt two-track driveway. A friend of theirs came to visit, and when he went to leave, his old Buick was dead in the driveway. They tried various fixes to get the car running, but no luck. It was dead, dead, dead. So one of them got their car, and they drove around the Buick and gave him a lift home. And when they came back, they drove around the Buick to get the car back up to the house.

In the morning, they drove around the Buick to get out and get to work. When they got home from work, they drove around it again. One of them called the Buick's owner, let's call him Ted, and said, "Hey, Ted, when you gonna come get your car? Only it's right in the driveway." And Ted said, "Yeah, I'm gonna try to borrow my dad's truck and his tow-strap."

With the promise of the car getting moved, they drove around it every time they had to get in or out, and pretty soon they were starting to get new ruts that went around the Buick. On the weekend, they called up Ted again. "Man, your car's still in our driveway. Your dad gonna let you borrow his truck?" And Ted said, "Yeah, I'm real sorry about that. My dad's truck blew a head gasket or something. He says I can borrow it as soon as he gets it fixed. Probably be next weekend or maybe the week after that." "Well -- okay. But see what you can do, Ted, the thing's right in the middle of the driveway."

A month or so went by, and they drove around the Buick until they hardly even noticed it any more. Other people came over, and asked about the car in the driveway, and they said, "Yeah, that's Ted's. We'll have to call him again. He still hasn't borrowed his dad's truck and towed it home yet." The ruts in the driveway got to look more and more like the driveway -- it just took a little swing out to the right and back, around Ted's dead Buick.

Then after a while, the people they saw all the time got used to it, too, and just made the little turn of the steering wheel around the dead Buick in the driveway without even thinking about it.

Now where is this story going, and what on earth does it have to do with "lost arts" or fiber arts or anything?

Sometimes I get a project on my floor loom, or on the knitting needles, or right now, on one of my knitting boards, and that thing dies in the driveway. I've got a project on my knitting board, nicknamed "the endless belt", that I think has been there for over a year. I'm wearing new driveway ruts going around it every day. I want to use that knitting board, but there sits that project, stalled, dead as Ted's Buick.

I'd show it to you, but the camera has gone for a ride with my husband again.

Public Notice: I *will* finish "the endless belt" by the end of February! I will get that dead Buick out of my driveway!

[Ted did eventually come and tow his Buick away. But it took a long time before his friends quit automatically swinging the steering wheel out and driving around the car that wasn't even there any more.]


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