I got a call a few days ago from the Sanford Herald, I was going to be the subject of an interview for the paper. Peter Reilly, a freelance reporter wanted to ask me questions about my art. We played phone tag then set a date. I got nervous, what kind of questions? How would I answer them?   Would I sound ok or really dumb? Would I remember stuff to tell him that was important to me?  So I role played with my own psyche and gave myself license to participate in my own self-examination for a fictional interview in which I played two roles of interviewer and interviewee. I had read a quote on FB earlier by Fanny Brice: “Let the world know you as you are, not as you think you should be, because sooner or later, if you are posing, you will forget the pose, and then where are you? ~ I was thrown for a loop, where am I? Who am I? Who should I be? Am I only a poser for a photographer because I really don’t know all my settings?  And even though I am writing, am I only posing as a writer?  Ok, Sometimes I am a slacker, no posing  or disputing that. So what would I be telling the reporter? Would he be thinking, “what a poser!”
So here’s the scenerio I imagined with the Fictional Reporter : I am invited in and sit down next to Abbe Arenson who is in her pink bathrobe and sock monkey pajamas. She looks tired, cats are meowing, she feeds them as we make small talk..  MSNBC is her background noise.  I ask her to turn down Dylan Radigan so I can interview her. But she interrupts me:
“He’s brilliant!” She spouts out loud while pressing the Mute button. She changes the muted channel to CNBC. “I like watching stocks fly by, how do you feel about Derivatives? she smiles and throws off her slippers.
“Tell me about your childhood and when did you start taking photos?” I start the interview.
She looks out the sliding glass door and grabs her camera, “wait, I’ll be right back, I see a Thrasher.” She leaves and takes photos of a bird taking a bird bath in a container she has filled with water  on the ground. The bird gyrates in the water for several minutes before it finally flies off. She’s smiling when she comes back. “Sorry she says, did you see that? where were we?”
“Your childhood”, I remind her, “when did you start getting into photography?”
“Oh, yes, 55, I was 55 when I started taking pictures. That was five years ago when I got into the camera hobby.  AS for my childhood, I blame that on my mother. Just today the television said  there’s a report out that children of smokers have many delayed developmental problems, especially with ADD and learning disabilities. She smoked 3 packs of unfiltered Lucky Strikes a day, my lungs should be mush, so I blame it all on her that it took five decades for me to decide to take pictures, that’s how developmentally behind I am. I live in reverse cat years, every 5 years I am one, so technically, I’m about 12 now, just ready to hit puberty,” she shoves her chest forward looking at me for a response,  I chuckle, is she pulling my leg? I go ahead and fire again,
“What do you learn from taking nature pictures?”
She ignores me and grabs the camera again, “Oh, look at the cat! Is that position too funny!” She proceeds to snap away at the cat from many angles.
“Abbe! I only have a few more questions, please sit down.”
She comes back and then pops up again, “How about something to eat or drink?” she asks.  I say no thanks, but she grabs a can of coke and some cookies and gumdrops, “This is a staple in my life, I need this sugar high.” She eats two gumdrops and crams a chocolate chip cookie into her mouth and washes it down with a swig of the beverage. She says she was given the first camera from a guy named Bert who dated her daughter. She went out to take photos and one of the first batch she took were of sandhill cranes. She runs to the computer and tells me to come look. She scrolls through her many many pics,
“It was this one”, she says pointing.
I see inside the pupil of the crane’s eye is a human figure. “That’s my self portrait,” she says proudly and gets up again, “Sorry”,  she says and grabs her camera and rushes back out. I walk to the door and watch as she looks at a tree and points and shoots. I go back to her computer and sit down noticing the  hundreds and hundreds of nature shots she has taken, I look at  fox squirrels, manatee, crows, grackles, fish, zoo animals. Some of the sky shots are surreal, some like postcards.
Finally I open the door and yell, “Mrs. Arenson, I only have a few more minutes, please come and sit down and finish the interview. She happily comes back in and breathlessly speaks,
“That was a red shouldered hawk, what a beauty, sorry, it’s just I have this addiction.”
“Addiction?” I asked thinking this would be a real scoop for the article.
“Yes”, she answered, the camera is my crack, I can’t stop photoshopping!” With that she picked up her camera , pointed at me and took my picture over and over. It  was getting annoying so I asked her to stop. She got a bit snippy –  “What do you expect from a 12 year old?” She laughed and continued to take photos. “Hey look! Here comes my sandhill cranes!” She jumped up  again and left the sliding door open this time. I watched as she took photo after photo from east to west, north to south, before hurrying off to a flowering bush yelling, “Be inside in a minute, I have to look at the blooms on that hibiscus, and wait, there’s a spider web and a bee. Hey, you can come and look too if you want.”
I strolled out and she pointed to a bug, telling me about it’s habits, then she showed me an intricate spider web, and suddenly she looked up.
“OH, LOOK AT THAT CLOUD!” She stood and changed settings snapping away. “I love mares tails – that means the weather is going to change!” She then looked off in the direction of the lake. “Oh come on down and see the lilies.” Before I knew it her pink bathrobe was billowing in the wind coming off the lake as she was fifty feet ahead of me showing no interest in finishing the interview.  “You should come at night, there’s a full moon tonight, I love the moon, you will too!” There was no mistaking her feelings for moon light.
“Bye Mrs. Arenson, I can’t stay any longer, I have to get to my next interview.”  I yelled as I walked back inside to get my paper and pen seeing I had very little written down. I had the impression that she might really be only 12 with the attention span of a kid and also the wonder from a child’s perspective of nature.
Suddenly,   I understood what photography meant to her, I really think I got the story, the detailing of nature and art etched into ones’  soul.
When I walked back to my car, I threw the pad of paper on the dash and stopped. Normally I would have gotten in and driven away, but I didn’t, I  looked up at the beautiful,  cloud laden sky for the first time in a long time. I wondered which cloud had Abbe’s attention.  I even knew that tonight I would take a few minutes to look at the full moon.  There’s always so much to do working and writing, interviewing, caring for kids, chronic computer and cell phone use, texting, reading my Kindle, nature wasn’t even a top ten priority.
I cranked over the engine and threw the car into reverse and smiled, and as I drove away from her house, I realized Abbe’s priority and silently thanked a 12 year old for her 60 year old wisdom…
So that’s the fake interview in my mind, The scoop is that the REAL article will be out next week in the Sanford Herald. I don’t know how he will sum it all up, but in meeting Peter tonight, I was very pleased at his kindness and impressed with his credentials. Maybe he will read me better than I do!
Today was so busy. AT 5:30 I stopped by the US “Green Chamber of Commerce for the Grand Opening of the new Green building. It was geared to be a big event for showing off the energy efficient space they now occupied and it did not disappoint. Plus I did not think I would know anyone but Michele THatcher, but I saw an old aquaintance, Neda Villabois-Bell who lectures on butterfly gardens and going grass free, she is a Master gardener who really loves helping people create a friendly environment in their yard. I saw Gabby Milch too, and in walked GK Sharman, camera in hand doing her reporting for the magazine she works for.  I am only a ‘posing’ blogger, G.K. is a real reporter. There were all kinds of energy businesses represented, probably about 150 people. The food was great! too, have a look at the space at 1130 Business Center Dr. in Heathrow:

They even had a Testa Rosa you could test drive, not me, I would end up driving into one of those parked cars.  The Chamber is looking for members, give them a call if you are interested. 407- 342-9656. I had to leave and get to Alive After 5, I was supposed to meet Peter up at Art Affair and it was already 6:30pm.

Back on the road I headed east to downtown Sanford where the theme was “America” – lots of barbeque and home grown goodies I suppose.  Parking was lousy which means it’s really full which is good. I could hear the country music band singing away and the street was crowded. It was then as I was passing Little Fish Huge Pond I saw Radha who owns Divine Mother Earth. She took me in and showed me the new Cafe called Gypsy’s Lair Tribal Cafe – it was stunning! Exotic, Middle eastern primitive sexy, cool, enticing. COLOR COLOR WARM COLOR The painting of Ganesha was something you could not take your eyes off.  The art too had the same feel. 

She has wonderful gypsy/Bohemian clothing, jewelry stones, etc. and Now an organic beverage bar! Grand opening is next week July 23rd, 7-9pm, don’t miss this. Artists will be there. I met German Lemus, (glemus.wordpress.com) who was outside with prints for sale, he’s a painter. He has a very big love of sci-fi movies that is reflected through his work.  Later he was painting outside.    Lauren Lee was set up outside with her jewelry, stones, and many fun items, plus beautiful hula hoops which she does well! (www.ensemblepieces.etsy.com)

Went to Art Affair where it was packed! Ronda blended in with the gallery!  They had musical entertainment.  New pieces and ran into Leon and Tom. It was so nice meeting Leon’s visiting sisters from Wisconsin,  Gee why didn’t I ask if they had brought cheese curds?  I met Peter Reilly, like I said, he’s a proven journalist, he can tell it like it is. Actually, I bet I’ll see him more now that I know who he is and what he does!

Love Kathy Bowden’s new style of matching modern people to old icons –
Also met and chatted with Amy Wilkinson and her husband, John. I think I did most of the chatting poor dears! They are from Sorrento Florida, She is artist of the month and had collage and paintings very nicely done! The yellow inner room complimented her work. Her collages were very solidly done. She has a very nice style. 

Great pig print!  Her work shows a lot of thought in her details. That’s John in glasses and Kim in green top.

Then on up to Gallery on First and Mary K. was vibrant as ever. Andrew Hyder showed me the progression of his piece that is a couple blogs down from this one.    Remember you can put any name in the search bar and they will bring up the blogs where the name has been mentioned. Sharon, Andrew’s Mom came out and showed me her new kitty pieces. 
OMG, my computer shut down for updates and I thought I was going to have to heave it through the window if it had lost everything, but thank goodness for saving drafts!

Time to go, I came home and fooled around with pictures and look, 3:29am, not even sleepy. Here’s a few of yesterday’s other pics:
Muscovy, my favorite ducks, they are beautiful despite what Beda says!  Gorgeous young osprey near all those electric wires, deja Vu from the weedwhacker!
The clouds were just like the yellow brick road only a white path following right into downtown Sanford. Good night and I’m telling you, Get off that computer and notice your surroundings and go buy some art!!

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