Monday, March 10, 2014

From a Nissan Frontier Pickup to a Long Nose Pete

An Artist’s Trucker Tale From a Nissan Frontier Pickup to a Long Nose Pete As a young girl, I noticed the beauty of the Big Rigs that transported goods across the country. I remember feeling that I wanted to be an airline pilot, an actress, or a long-hauler. But I followed my mom’s wishes and took business classes, got married, had kids, owned businesses, taught school, and along the way managed to take a few art classes from established artists. I’m still working on the actress goal. There is a town off the I-40 (the old Route 66) named Laughlin, Nevada. right on the majestic Colorado River. In the summer,my husband and I would stop there and play the video poker machines, then on to Santa Fe. New Mexico. He is a rocket scientist and had friends in Los Alamos, where he went to do rocket testing. Eventually, because of my Southwest art I exhibited my paintings in Taos, NM, at the Gov. Bent Gallery and in Albuquerque at the Charlevoix Street Gallery. Also my daughter, Ann Strieby got into the Veterinarian School at the University of Georgia in Athens, GA, so I drove the I-40 in my 1993 Frontier Pickup more than once. It was always a scenic trip, but around Flagstaff, there was usually rain or snow. And, on one trip a rainstorm followed us all the way to Athens. Now don’t get me wrong, I adore the I-40 and as soon as I leave Barstow, California, I think I’m on vacation. The Colorado River is here, the Grand Canyon, Death Valley is not too far away, Albuquerque, the hugh hole where a meteorite fell to earth, the Petrified Forest, Laguna Pueblo, just to name some of the highlights. I envy the Big Rig drivers who get to whiz by these famous places and get paid, no less. I wonder if they think they are on vacation, too. We always stop at a truck stop on the New Mexico-Arizona border, called Speedy’s where the over-nighters are lined up while their drivers are getting a much needed rest, a shower, refuel, get a meal and snack food, and water--Speedy’s is a real desert oasis. Because of my love of these trucks, I created a boardgame WannaBtruckers--not only for me, but for my grandson, Marc Magistro, when he was three years old. It is a counting game that needs to be played on interstates and the live, Big Rigs are part of the game--no batteries and the whole family can play! It is sold on Amazon. The game’s box lid features a painting I did of the trucks lined up at Speedy’s. You can find the painting on Google called Desert Schooners. (This painting will be in the Southern Nevada Museum of Fine Arts in 2014 featuring the artists who are in the 2014 International Contemporary Masters, Vol. VIII, and also representing the International Contemporary Masters at the Los Angeles Convention Center). I still drive my pickup in Los Angeles, but you might wonder how I got to ride in a brand new Peterbilt tractor with a very handsome Navajo driver with 25 years of experience with no accidents. This is the rest of the story: (to be continued)


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