Tuesday, September 14, 2010

the telephone pole (reprint from pimp my spleen, feb. 2008)

the telephone pole has been intriguing me lately as an interesting element to include in my paintings. the telephone pole says a several things at once. its nostalgic, even though they are still around, aren't they?
are there many of the three tiered type around anymore?
they also represent to me, pre cell phones. an era almost totally forgotten. they were always consider a blight on the landscape, but they were everywhere, one in front of almost everyone's house.
remember green acres? oliver had to go up the telephone pole to make a phone call to his old employers back in new york? even lisa went up there once in awhile. silly.  course her conversations never made sense.  that was the best part.
there was this one telephone pole on my street that i past every morning on my way to school. it fascinated me.  it sweated tar that hardened like resin. we used to hang around it and pick off the bubbles. of course it had a whole history of romances carved into it too, and many libelous postings. mostly ugly stuff about other kids in school - regular name calling.
there was on nasty deep cut in the pole - i think it was a bike rider who crashed into it. i doubt someone actually took a hatchet to it.  a car crash would have brought the thing down.
we would use the pole as a meeting place after school as an identifiable place to just hang around and talk. "where are you going?' my dad would want to know...."oh, i'm just going to meet annie by the telephone pole and talk..." which translated to .....annie and i would really meet at the telephone pole and talk - yeah, we weren't ones to smoke or meet boys much.   we were always being limited on our phone use at home because someone important might be trying to call.  so we met outside, near the school and pondered the world. occasionally someone we knew would cycle by and hang out too.    we never knew who might come by.  we always hoped for a cute boy, but we never chased them. sometimes a neighbor would ride by on a horse.  we envied the horse owners. 

i think my friend janis and i actually tried to eat the bubbles of tar.  er, maybe that was only me. i think janis only like to poke them with a stick.

my husband grew up in new york city. there were no telephone poles where he grew up - everything was underground. this realization has made me feel sad for him. he doesn't know the true smell of a telephone pole. it is kinda like the smell of the piers at the ferry landing.  remember those ferry rides to coronado island? that's a memorable smell.  it combined nicely with the smell of salt water.  i miss that too.  no more ferry rides - just a fast couple of lanes over the bridge.  hardly the same.  i remember the ferry cashier would sometimes save the end rolls from his cash register tape and give them to me if i asked.  i would draw long pictures on them all day long.  all my friends would ask me where i got the long paper like that.  i said the ferryman.

anyway, rosie actually wanted me to post a photo of herself that she photoshoped, but i can't find it in the filing cabinet.....i will tell her in the morning about the telephone pole pic and she will roll her eyes at me for writing about something so boring.. .


Anonymous said...

Not boring at all. I enjoyed reading your memory. Maybe a telephone pole challenge?

Anonymous said...

Not boring at all. I enjoyed reading your memory. Maybe a telephone pole challenge?

Anonymous said...

So interesting you would write about the telephone pole. As an object of interest. I have always been interested in the for their ubiquity. They are everywhere but just fade into the background. While I was reading your blog I had to look out my window to see if I had one! And I do!! Tall and brown and ugly with boxes and wires, yet silently blends into the beauty that is my neighborhood. Thanks Lisa!

Mary Jo

priti.lisa said...

Certainly not boring! I remember the tar bubbles, too...
What a great read.
And of course the art, is intriguing :)

Joy Logan said...

Funny I have been wanting to do birds on a wire, smaller scale of course. There you go you have already done it and I must have missed it before. Love it!

Anonymous said...

Hi Lisa, I really love your painting! Would you mind if I use it as the header of my wordpress blog? I'll be sure to credit you.

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