Friday, May 31, 2013




 As I write this, a tick falls from my hair and scuttles across the keyboard. That's why I'm a mac person. Can't spot 'em on those black PCs. The season ended at noon today. I gave it one last try. In the woods by 4:45 am, I heard one roost gobble about a mile away, towards Diamond Dave's. That was it. I saw nothing and heard nothing more. Aside from the ticks, the mosquitos had awoken with the warm, wet weather, making the hot morning even more miserable. I confess, I didn't make it until noon. All in all it was a spotty season. I'd missed birds, and hit birds. But that day, when they gobble at everything and they drive you crazy all morning, never came. The weather was unseasonably cold and rainy. The birds never talked. But as much as i bitch about silent turkeys and bad weather, I got nothing on little brother Smokey. Here's how he spent Memorial weekend.

As told to me by Smokey, as best as I can recall:

   Smokey and my sis-in-law SueBO arrived at their lake house in the dark. They brought with them all the fixings for a festive weekend with the kids and grandkids, as well as the new interior for their pontoon party boat. The first thing they noticed, even in the dark, was how high the lake was. That was a good thing. The pontoon boat would float right off the trailer. They'd recently installed five sectional docks, jutting 50 feet into the lake. Smokey shined his light out along the poles. Two were missing. In the light they could see the white caps and five foot swells. The docks had floated right off the poles.
     The wind was out of the Northeast. With some shore searching, Smokey located and secured the missing docks and loaded the party boat interior into their basement house. The hill had recently shifted and cracked the foundation. There was now a 9 inch drop in the floor. The spring line had broken for the umpteenth time, so they had decided to drill a well. They were down over 380 feet and it was still spewing black gooey slime. "I've never seen anything like this." the 80 year old well driller told SBO, scratching his head. "We hear that a lot." was all Sue could muster.
   Smokey awoke at 2 am to a god awful crashing at the shore. Two more docks had escaped and now joined the captive two, smashing against the rocks in a splintered, orgiastic, cacophony. If they had built any closer to the shore they'd have been washed away. Any higher on the hill and they'd have ridden the mud slide into the drink. Smokey shined his boots with his flashlight. Maybe it would look better in daylight. Yeah.....right.
    In the morning, as one kid after another canceled and SueBO bundled up in the 40 degree weather, trying to keep a good face, raking rocks pointlessly, Smokey disappeared. After a half an hour SBO began to wonder where he'd gone. After an hour she was worried. The gale force wind whipped the lake, the sky dirty with freezing rain squalls. When Sue could take it no longer, she headed down the steep path towards the rocks. She met Smokey coming up, disheveled and soaking wet. He'd gone down to try to salvage the last of the 5 docks, when a swell hit it, knocking Smokey off his feet and flipping him into the icy water. The storm had destroyed 4 of his docks and the fifth one tried to kill him. Sue let him have it. "I HAD NO IDEA WHERE YOU WERE! YOU COULD'VE BEEN KILLED AND WASHED OUT INTO THE LAKE AND I'D NEVER HAVE......."
Smokey wrung out a shirt sleeve and looked up at his wife. "I only wish." was all he could muster.
   I told him to arrange the pontoon boat furniture in the basement, buy some posters, black lights, and a keg a beer, draw the shades, lock the door and never look at that lake again. "It's over." he said. "I give up. This place beat me. We called the real estate agent yesterday." He seemed happier than he'd been in years.

FOR SALE- Beautiful lakeside property on Lake Champlain, Vermont side. As is.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013



 I got no reason to complain, but God Bless America, we provide an institutionalized forum for just that. As everyone knows by now, I'm buying the old Glen Wild Synagogue. I will finally own the two remaining religious, as well as historical, buildings left in Glen Wild, NY. My master plan is coming together. I don't know who said  "Control religion and history and you really got something." Maybe it was me. But in any case the cost of this , although more than reasonable in purchase price, comes with a hefty tax bill. My 90 year old real estate agent Ruby, assures me that the town will be reasonable. So after a weekend of cows, turkeys and supermodels, I went to "grievance".
   After having dewy supermodels fawning over me, I now sat before 4 or five locals in power. This scares me way more than........almost anything. I don't know if you know this, but I have a tendency towards self-righteous indignation and despise of authority. Meeting with local government is not my strong point. Yet, when taxes are involved I can be as compliant as a church mouse. I laid out my case calmly. I needed the town's help in saving a historical building and felt if it was assessed at what I paid for it, i could achieve this. True enough. I also was not certain I was buying 1.6 acres or a building lot. The county man sat glumly in the audience. I'd met with him earlier in the month. This Socratic exchange took place:
"Sir, please don't argue with me."
  As I told the committee how I owned the church and now the synagogue, in order to......... I was cut off.
"......get into heaven" a woman chimed in with typical Borsht Belt timing. I played along.
"Dosen't hurt." I offered. I think they were on my side. But they could always turn rabid at any moment. They leafed through my paperwork and photos of the messy interior. When i told them I was an artist, the comedian woman said her daughter was an artist. It's kinda like having a mentally challenged child. I saw her pain. She pitied me and that emotion would work as well as any in lowering the assessment. I left, without an argument, pretty sure my taxes will go down. The funny woman said she'd send her daughter over to see my work. I love America. No. Really. I do.

NOSE PRINT- Rosie the cow


Sunday, May 26, 2013



 Memorial weekend 2013 started Friday night with the arrival of 'duardo- HWSTV camera man and his beautiful wife and daughter, Cicalli and Layla. Next came Chuck McC, his wife the Contessa Hughes Freeland and their son (and CLGM Cardinal) Tristan Epic. Lastly we all awaited anxiously to see if the stars of the weekend would show. Around 8:30, in came the supermodels- Hollie Witchey, Mystery Girl and the newest member of the team French stunner Tangerine. The cast was complete. Shewo outdid herself with another one of her amazing meals. The idea was to get up at 5 am and hunt the morning behind The Hollie Witchey Project. Obstacle number one: the weather.
   It wasn't snowing, but it was almost cold enough. As we ate, drank and partied into the evening the wind whipped the trees and rain hammered the windows. Maybe 5 am was being a little too optomistic. No turkey worth his salt would talk in this weather. Pour me another glass of wine. Issue #2- we were all going to be hungover.
   When 'duardo and I showed up the girl's house at 8 o'clock, they were just having tea. Out came the guns, the camo, the face paint. They were all wearing frilly babydoll teddys and sexy French lingerie that suupermodels always seem to sport- even on hunting trips. The turkeys wouldn't know that sexed up gear was under that camo, but the girls (as well as 'duardo and I) sure did. It can make the difference between missing a bird or making that kill shot. Confidence is everything in this game. Some times sexy undies is the ace in the hole. We were out the door.
    Once Mystery Girl located the birds, I motioned for Tangerine to stop sexting and sit against a big oak tree. Mystery Girl disappeared behind a bush and Hollie took the 12 gauge and nestled between my legs. The turkey roared. He was coming through the high grass.
     Now I know from the outside it may look like I have it all together. But huntingwithsupermodels is not all nuzzling and cavorting. This was serious business killing an animal as wily as a tom turkey. I instructed HW to aim for the weenus. "Put the sights right on the weenus and squeeze..." I whispered into her ear. Then something unexpected happened. Ms. Witchey wouldn't put her finger on the trigger. She was moaning and not in a good way. She looked like she was gonna cry. Could we switch shooters without that tom making us? I turned my head towards Tangerine. "Ca va?" I asked. "Cava!" she answered and with the grace that only high end runway models have, they switched places. The 12 ga. echoed. The tom fell dead. I looked at 'durado and he gave me the thumbs up. Money.

  Later that day we were to have a bikini car wash and cow branding. Immediately we were in trouble. 30 mile per hour wind, streaking rain, not to mention highs in the low 50's, sent the supermodels into a tailspin. It was decided to postpone the BCC until today and try to brand Rosie the cow. Around 4:00pm I stuck the pointed cane branding iron in a webber grill filled with hot charcoal. I was already getting heat about the branding from PETAJohn and Pigpen. Now others were joining the chorus of protest. I tried to ignore them. They were a vocal minority. Full steam ahead.
    Once in the field, Carlito lassooed Rosie on the first throw. Things were looking promising. A minute later, as Rosie drug him across the field, plowing furrows with his boot heels, things weren't looking too good. This cow weighed 500lbs and was not liking the gathered crowd and rope around her neck. In a swift move by Diamond (cowboy) Dave, he had the rope wrapped around a tree, and Rosie immobilized. Quickly I  inked her nose and was handed two large sheets of paper, in order to pull "nose prints". That done, we were ready to brand. I sprinted across the field to fetch the hot iron, and rushed back to the cow. I showed it to Carlito and he stated flatly. "Not hot enough." There was no way we were going to keep this cow attached to this tree, while it got hotter. I thought fast. This was my out. "Carlito proclaims the iron is not hot enough. Rosie will not be branded today." I announced. Then with the help of RNButch and Cowboy Dave, Rosie was let free to the cheers of all the "Free the Cow" folks.

I just got a call from the supermodels. Thankfully the sun is shining, but Mystery Girl and HW both have the sniffles and Tangerine is taking a warm bubble bath. They just aren't feeling it for the Bikini Car Wash. I'm disappointed, but just a little. It was a great first episode of HWSTV. Hollie failed to make the shot (for personal reasons), but Tangerine, stepped seamlessly in and made the kill. Rosie didn't get branded, but I pulled two great prints and appeased the hypersensitive animal fags by holding an unbranding. It's too cold for a bikini car wash today and that's OK. Can't change the weather. Oh yeah, I did buy a bunch of explosives and was planning on stuffing a turkey decoy with feathers and ordinance and blowing it up for a great finale. I shot a full box of 30.06 shells at the bird and never hit the bomb. Wait for the outtake reel where I cuss every shot and nothing happens. And stay tuned for the next episode of HWSTV.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013




  A couple of days ago my GOD LOVES FAGS and GOD LOVES DYKES billboards returned to retake their places along Old Glen Wild Rd., just in time for the Memorial Day Hassidic migration. They're a little bulky, so yesterday i rang up Pigpen to see if he could give me a hand at the end of the day. He and PETAJohn showed up, along with PP's dog Darby. When I say this mutt is brain dead is to do him a favor. Don't get me wrong, he's pleasant enough, but.......he barks every time he sees me and takes after my cats with "intent". "Oh, he's just playing." Pigpen assures me. No he's not. He's serious. Ray streaks behind the wood pile. Spooky heads for the church and Ballzy runs up a pine tree. When all the excitement dies down and Darby gets exiled to the pick up, Nicole climbs on the table and sneezes blood into Pigpen's "Glen Wild Ice Tea". "Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwww......" We're all disgusted.
"You have to put that cat down.....she's suffering." PETAJOHN insists with an expert tone.
 "Nicole is always blowing snot and wheezing." I insist, not quite ready to put a bullet in her. But then I take a good look. She's a mess. She's skinny, filthy, and her nose is crusted red. Damn. They usually do me the courtesy of just disappearing. Paris Hitler vanished. Mr. Kitty hasn't been seen since winter. Monkey Balls- gone. Do I really have to deal with this?

A little cat history:
    Nicole showed up with Paris Hitler, after Monkey Balls, Cali and her kittens Itchy, Bitchy and Twitchy, about 10 years ago. Then came Ray Gilkey, Spooky Cat, Mr. Kitty and most recently- Ballzy. With Mr. Kitty now gone, it's a solid population of four felines. Perfect Cat Lady habitat.

   We drank, ordered pizza and discussed Nicole's fate. I couldn't believe PETAJohn's rush to euthanasia . Hope Rosie cow doesn't get the sniffles. My cats had never been to the vet. Should the first visit be to the gas chamber? I was conflicted. Yet, I had to admit, like her namesake Nicole Ritchie, "Nicole the cat" had morphed from a soft cuddly, chubby little thing, to a gaunt, thin haired beast with blood running out of her nostril and crusted shit on her back. Maybe it was time.
   Today i talked it over with her and it was decided. She was so weak she offered no resistance getting in the car. Of course I had no carrier. "Top down?" I suggested. Maybe not. Although that could solve the problem. A little meowing and before you knew it we were at the Animal Hospital. The place was cutesy pie as hell and all the TV's were on the Pet Care Channel. There were tornado and heavy hail warnings out, the sky was slate grey and I was learning how to brush my pet's teeth, instead of getting weather updates. Could this be my reward for taking the cat to Dr. Death?- we both die in a twister.
  The doc- assistant stuck a thermometer up her ass, weighed her and took her blood pressure as i held her as best I could. "The Dr. recommends an AIDS test." IFF! I don't have health insurance and Nicole has AIDS! The sky got darker. What good was paying for cat AIDS tests? (And they ain't cheap). I looked at Nicole's snotty, squinty eyed face and tried to say goodbye. "This is the right thing....right?" I asked, hoping for a little reassurance. The assist. nodded. Then the Doc came in, wiped Nicole's nose with a wet rag, tickled her belly and suggested a $50 shot. "It lasts for 14 days. If she's no better we can put her down then. Thanks for caring as much as you do." Nicole wheezed. I breathed a sigh of relief, the storm never hit, and the two of us drove home- top down.        

Monday, May 20, 2013




  You won't believe me, so let me list them first. Madison Hill Farm- owner RNButch, manager: Carlito. Denniston Hill Farm- owners Julie Merhetu, Paul Pffeifer and Dr. Lawrence Chua, Trussbridge Farm- owner Diamond Dave, Irish Liz and Pigpen Rothman, PETAJohn Animal Sanctuary- owner GNJohn, Majestic Farm- owners Birka, Wheels and Buddy Budde....and that's just in the neighborhood. When I first moved here there was Ray Gilkey's Pony and Beefalo Farm and a rodeo rider by the name of Bill, who trained cutting horses on the Parker Place (now Madison Hill). All these other operations have moved here in the 21st Century. And like the century itself, they are redefining what it means to be a farm.
   First one must have "Ag" plates if you want to be taken seriously. I'm pretty sure RNButch's orange muscle car and Diamond Dave's jet black Porsche both sport the coveted tin. GNJohn had them on a pickup that became a planter in his yard and Pigpen's and Carlito's equipment fleet definitely require such. Next you have to actually raise something. No problem here for the entire group. My extent of farming is mowing my lawn and feeding my cats. RNButch and Carlito have ostriches, camels, llamas, donkeys, horses, cows, sheep, chickens, etc. Pigpen and DD raise veggies, have ducks, chickens and now Rosie the cow. The Buddes have multiple unnamed sheep and pigs being readied for slaughter. It is not unusual to find Birka with her arm up to the elbow in pig and Wheels cradled in the other arm, at 8:00 am in the morning. "Mornin' Mam." I say with a tip of the hat, on my way to my deer stand.

   I don't know why I got on this subject. I guess it's because I now know more kooky farmers than I do artists. (And the turkeys aren't gobbling.) Throw Drekes and Andrew's Permaculture Paradise and Slick and Beeks Outlier Kashimi Bunny Farm into the mix and it's almost the entire crew. The artists I know are the few old friends in that world who will still talk to me and a smattering of new blood. Not that many anymore. And that's not to say I don't consider these farms art, even if the farmers deny it. The lifestyle is the new street art, only removed from the urban environment, and plopped down right here in 21st Century Catskills. It has the same energy to it. And what's even better is it doesn't require galleries or curators or critics in order to place it in context. So long as i get permission to hunt the me baby.

Saturday, May 18, 2013




  About 10 years before Damien Hirst bought a cow, had a butcher cut it in half and put it in a big fish tank filled with formaldehyde, I had already found a number of individuals to be tattooed, and had purchased, branded and boarded a cow on a farm in California. The correlation between the tattoos and branding was simple. I had considered the gesture of tattooing, and all it's implications of "the mark" and pain. Pulling "bloodprints" from each person, I was confident that the final product firmly placed this within the art context. The mark was permanent and the pain was temporary. Wanting to expand this to an animal, the logical choice seemed to be a cow and the traditional use of a hot branding iron as a device in order to achieve the mark. The human pain of getting a tattoo seemed about the same as a branding for a cow. About a year after branding the cow, it somehow got out on the road and was hit and killed by a pick up truck. The hide was regrettably lost in the shuffle, but the farmer did send me numerous steaks, which I salted and dried, turning them into art objects. 33 years later I still have them.
    In the early 1990's I returned to hunting, after a 20 year absence, once again using art as the pretext for the activity. Now i would be intentionally hunting and killing an animal, in order to either use the carcass as art or exploit the performance aspect of the hunt with intellectualized reasoning. I not only saw this as a completely enjoyable and challenging task, but as part of my job as an artist. Twenty years later it remains one of my major ways of working. Between deer and turkey seasons i spend the better part of 4 months per year in the woods. I can't think of a better way to make art.
    Next weekend i am going to revisit the branding piece, as part of Bikini Car Wash Weekend. Diamond Dave has just purchased a cow, named "Rosie" and agreed to let me brand her. And like most of my work, it is not without controversy. In these days of "slow food", "organic everything" and freshly killed, free range critters, the idea of branding seems to be a little hard for some to swallow. For one, GNJohn (now known as PETAJohn) is all up in arms over the proposed branding.  "Why don't you get a brand." he snaps, bemoaning the fact that the cow has no choice in the matter. I admit this, but what choices DO cows have? DD had purchased 2 cows. One made the choice of escaping. It's been weeks since there has been a sighting of "Burgers Tonight" anywhere in the area. The coyotes probably made a choice to eat it. See what happens when you let a cow make a choice?
   As with all my work, I stand behind it. I never want to see animals (or humans for that matter) suffer. PETAJohn's characterization of the branding as "torture" is a little extreme. Yes, it will hurt....but just for a little while. The hair will be singed, the skin slightly scarred, and the mark will remain. A tattoo or piercing hurts, but you don't see anybody up in arms over those clitoris rings. Lets keep things in perspective here. Don't forget Rosie will eventually end up on your plate.    

Thursday, May 16, 2013




I'm on the phone with Mystery Girl, going over plans for Cow Branding Bikini Car Wash Saturday. She and Hollie Witchey were having a meeting without me in the city, while I concentrated on trying to get famous fotog George Holz a turkey. I tell MG how we've been gorging ourselves on fresh watercress, chantrelle mushrooms, fingerling potatoes, venison, trout and ramps......when she cuts me off in that charming "stamp her foot" way she has. "If I hear that word "ramp" one more time, I'm gonna puke!" It shows just what a foodie culture the NY has become. Forget sex. It's all about the chow.  Fresh ramps go for $35 per pound in the city. Where I hunt the ground is literally covered in them. Then I tell MG my recent hunting camp experience guiding George Holz.
    The first night George showed up we cooked up some venison steaks, those little potatoes, a watercress salad and delicious, carmelized ramps. Topped off with a six pack of good beer, and apple pie and ice cream, it was a indulgent feast. We had to get up at 4:30 am, so after putting the pie away, we both hit the sack (without digesting). I woke myself up around 3:00 am with a fart so loud, and so enduring, I could've made coffee before it was finished. Once awake, George joined in the chorus. Mystery Girl interrupted again. "You both sleep in the same bed?" I shuddered. "Please get that image out of your head." I told her. No. These farts were so loud they blasted through walls. It was gonna be a stinky morning
    We hunted Diamond Dave's. Only one gobbled on the roost and he was a mile down river. We had no choice but to head for the curve and see if we could strike up this bird. Still sick with "ramp gas", we were now sitting in a river valley covered in the bright green onions. My stomach was churning. We got nothing going, so decided to head for WSS. After driving 30 miles we found a pick up in our spot. We now were forced to climb the mountain behind WSSP II. Farting our way up the hill, when we reached the top it started to rain. That was Day 1.

   After putting away a dinner of fresh trout (that GH caught), chantelle mushrooms (that Savage Lynch grew) and wine I bought, we eased off on the ramps and arose at 4:00 am to hunt Mupp's. "I hope we don't hit a deer or a bear." George said, climbing in Shirley in the dark. I didn't pay much attention. I'd run out of coffee and wasn't thinking too straight. Right before the Rock Hill firehouse a big deer slammed into Shirley's side and I slammed on the brakes, laying rubber for 50 ft. I thought it had shattered my window and caved in Shirley. To my amazement It had just hit the mirror. That was the shattered glass I saw. Except for a snot trail and a broken mirror, Shirley was unscathed. The deer disappeared in the dark. We got coffee. Could George predict a turkey kill?
   As soon as we parked the car one was gobbling across Mupp's road. Looked promising, but the only thing we called in on our side of the road was two other hunters, hugging the property line. We decided to come back up the mountain and were behind the cemetery by 10:00 am. It wasn't long before we got one gobbling and finally I was able to get one in. I watched as a jake putted and came within shotgun range for GH. I couldn't figure out why he didn't shoot. I keep calling. The bird kept putting and still no shot. Then I heard a gobble farther out, then another behind me. All of the sudden we we covered with them. But, as you all know by now, it can go silent fast. And it did. They moved off and I went over to GH. Unbeknownst to me Georgie had a big tom in view the whole time and was holding out for a shot. He made a good call. It just didn't pay off. But that's hunting. I ordered a new mirror. We'll see what the morning brings        

Monday, May 13, 2013

HWSTV world headquarters



   I started the season with 5- 3" #6 12 ga. shotgun shells. What with all the controversy over what to shoot out of Jake, he sits patiently in the corner, until I can figure it out. These shells are what I shoot out of my Browning pump. It's a good turkey load. I thought that would be enough for the season. I was wrong. So lets recap. I missed a bird with Tristan and shot a bird behind Diamond Dave's. Yesterday I slid three shells in the gun, and parked Shirley down by the bridge. My plan was to walk GNJohn's mountain and see if I could raise a gobble.
    I no sooner got ready, than a big silver pickup passed me and then backed up. It was RNButch. It's impossible to keep track of which shiny new pickup these guys drive. RNB rolled down the window and I went over. Before you knew it we were in the midst of a production meeting for HWSTV. Hey, you got to catch the producers where you can. RNB informed me that TVZack was on the west coast and he had two possible fish on the line. "I told Daymond about the Bikini Car Wash and Cow Branding." RNB informed me "And he said to make sure I take plenty of video." I already had scheduled 'Durado as my camera man and hopefully had Hollie Witchey and Mystery Girl on board. The idea is to hunt, wash cars and brand a cow, as part of an overall festive holiday weekend. Maybe we'll even blow up some shit, just for fun. RNB was all for it. Once our meeting was over I bid my producer goodbye and trudged up the hill. This is the real business.
    It was a little windy and cooling off fast. Turkeys tend to shut up in this kind of weather, so I wasn't too surprised at the silent woods. I kept walking and calling. On the back side of the mountain I caught a flash of something coming through the green undergrowth. Coyote. I immediately took a knee behind a tree and peeked around the trunk, slowly raising the gun. He had me  at 50 yards. I put the sights on his chest and fired. I never touched him. Running full bore down the ridge, I picked an opening and tried to steady for a second shot. When I saw fur I squeezed the trigger. He never flinched. A clean miss. So be it.
   Today it's cold as hell. We're supposed to have a hard freeze tonight. I never even got out this morning. I have one shell left and the next time I hit the woods I think I may take the bow. I've yet to get a turkey with the bow. It's the ultimate challenge for the turkey hunter. The long johns are back on and they'll be frost on the fields tomorrow. Will I be able to drag my ass from the warm covers in the morning? That has yet to be determined.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Friday, May 10, 2013




  These days, when I'm not in the woods, I'm catching catnaps, checking emails and watching reality TV. I'm off fb. It was a mutual split. The TV watching is research for what's out there in the genre, just in case I get a chance to step up. It's pretty bleak. The really successful ones like Duck Dynasty or Deadliest Catch are boring as shit. And new contenders are still coming. Chasing Tail is a group of addicted deer hunters from Vermont plopped down in suburban Ct. to "lawn hunt" pesky bush eaters. These guys can't get enough deer killing out of their blood back home, so they lay a buck down on the pool cover and hang another stand over the tennis courts. It's kinda pitiful. The one bright light is Small Town Security. This one rocks.
    STS is a sick crew of characters, that by my trained eye, are genuine. The Captain is a toupee wearing hoarder, whose turds are so big he has to always have a "shit stick" near the crapper to dispatch of the offending log, in order to spare the pipes. The Chief is a complex, charmingly freaky woman, who laughs so hard at the sound of farts, she pees herself. She also cusses so much, her voice has a musical rap cadence to it. An assortment of dimwitted security guards and "investigators" round out the cast. It's fucking BRILLIANT!
   All this pee-pee, poo-poo entertainment must be in the air. There is now a pee-tweet being implanted in diapers for a test run on Brazil's infants. Very simply if the kid does his or her business you get a tweet. I hope you get a turd or splashy icon, so you can prepare yourself. I don't know how I will work this use of scatological imagery into HWSTV. But I can see it's going to be important to stay current. Looks like a supermodel table reading is in order.


Wednesday, May 8, 2013



The weather's been amazing. Every day dawns bright and blue. Except for a bit of a morning chill, the temps. warm to the low 70's by about 10:00 am. Perfect turkey hunting weather, right? Well, not exactly. For some reason, the same system that makes trudging through the spring woods, watching the trees bud before your eyes so pleasant, can shut the gobblers up. The woods become dead quiet. Yesterday I didn't hear a gobble nor see a bird all morning- totally skunked. Days like that, a week into the season, without a turkey in the freezer, start to wear on you. Your self esteem is at a low point. You question your ability to call, find birds, and when the chips are down, make the shot. I'm such a tool I tell myself.  I've said it many times before. In hunting, like art, you must make failure your friend. There's no getting around it. Your only choice is to set the alarm and face the music (or lack thereof) one more morning.
   This morning I turned on Mr. Coffee and he let me down. Nothing happened. He just sat there, clear water in his guts, dry grounds in his basket. I smacked and shook him to no avail. FUCK! Sadly I made tea and was in Diamond Dave's driveway by 5:15 am, maneuvering between the Porsche and high end trucks. The place looks like a millionaire's used car lot. No sooner had I loaded the gun, than I heard gobbles.....close by. My heart was racing, as I sat down against a maple tree, not daring to get closer. Then I heard a hen and leaves hit my head. She was roosted in the same maple I was sitting against! Two birds traded gobbles, maybe 100 yards out, as the hen yelped sweetly. I just sat tight, not calling and waited. Then in the dusky pre-dawn, the hen flew down. The gobblers lit up. It was on.
    I started softly scratching on my call, as a light drizzle began to fall. Now that the hen was out of the game, I had the boys to myself. They answered, still roosted in the trees. Calling sparingly, so as not to spook them, I kept waiting for that fly down. They sat tight. I flapped my hat and scratched the leaves. They roared back. Then......finally.....both birds hit the ground and disappeared. Then I saw a big white head and a fan. The gobbler strutted and stayed out on a flat, putting on a show, too far for a shot. Then another head appeared, neck stretched, looking for the hen (me). Slowly I swung the gun barrel. I had a shot....but no beard. It was a jake. Damn. I fingered the safety. Should I shoot or wait for the tom? The rain was now coming down harder, wetting my call, rendering it useless. I decided to wait for the tom.
    Eventually the jake gave up and headed back to the tom. Then all went quiet. Had I blown it? The bird in the hand had vanished. I was mentally kicking myself. Why had I not killed that jake? What the hell was wrong with me? You know, you don't get that many..........then I saw a head......and a beard. The tom was committing at last. He slowly walked towards me, the jake now trailing behind. When he went behind a tree I raised the 12 ga. When his head appeared i fired. He went down in a pile of flopping feathers.
    As I loaded the bird in the trunk of Shirley, his head drug against her silver bumper, leaving a bright red streak. I breathed a sigh of relief. My luck had changed. I not only had killed a big tom with one shot, I was still dry. The skies opened up and it began to pour as I headed for the gas station to get a cup of coffee, washing the blood from Shirley. Today I'll buy another Mr. Coffee. Tomorrow I'll sleep in. I am one happy man.  

Monday, May 6, 2013




My modeling career has been spotty. It started with MACHO MODELING. My idea was to get modeling gigs for "manly" products like guns, cigarettes, hunting magazines, ect. I did get one gig as the poster boy for SPORTS AFIELD holding a deer rifle and then I hit a dry spell....... of about 30 years. But this weekend  I went back in the business.
    The shoot was for a new line of eyewear called MR. POWERS. The photographer, Big Bill Eadon, said it was gonna be "fun" and pay $500. Screw fun. I'm in. Nonetheless Big Bill kept insisting that it would be chill and we were gonna "think outside the box". That's right up there with "fun" for me. Then he mentioned "I'm looking for a ball gown for you. Something sexy." My first reaction to this was negative. I'm never opposed to making a fool of myself for free. But as a "pro".......Did I really want to sell some guy's eyewear in a dress? I'd have to sleep on it.
   I woke up at 4:00 am and emailed Big Bill. "Dress fine. Something to match my eyes." For $500 I'd put up with a lot. Milawyer pulled in at 5:00 and we hit the road for Mupp's. No sooner had we opened the door than we heard gobbles. I scampered up the hill, with Milawyer sucking a bit of wind, trying to keep up. I was practically running to get on these bird. And just as we got set up, the birds went silent. Damn. We barely heard another gobble all morning, and never saw a bird. That was Saturday. Milawyer dropped me off after buying me another breakfast. My martini swilling, knife throwing, hunting buddy was heading back to West Virginia. And I had to be home by noon for my photo shoot.

   Three days in the woods, with plenty of sunlight had turned my face lobster red. Big Bill showed up with his gal Liz and Hollie Witchey. The girls made lunch and video taped BB and I donning the dress and rocking the shades. "Front. Three quarter. Now profile." Bill directed. It all came back to me. Even my ass hairs, that by now had grown into tiny, little needles, weren't bothering me. I was in the zone. Hollie suggested I put the tip of the frames between my teeth and look pensively in the distance. It's called "The Witchey Gnarl"- not quite a gnaw, not quite a snarl. I killed it. I was back.

Today I was on my own in the woods. Since I didn't have to meet any one, I even slept in. I didn't get behind Diamond Dave's until 7:00 am. The sun was bright and everything was quiet. I kept walking and calling until I finally heard a gobble. It sounded like it was all the way across the river. It was. The bird was on Gilkey's ridge in a laurel patch so thick there was no way to sneak up on it. I got as close as I dared and tried to get the tom to fly across the river to me. He answered every call and a few times he was so close the tree tops swayed and the ground shook. I must've worked that bird for two hours. I even called a hen in, curiously wondering what all the racket was about. Eventually he just moved away.  Then all went silent......again.

Along with my re-entry into the world of modeling, today i also did my first Skype lecture. It was for Whitney Whitney's class at the San Franciso Art Institute. I used to do a lecture or two every year on my work, but it's been a few years since I've been "representative" to  any degree.  That's a nice way of saying they can't figure out what the fuck you are doing and the students don't know who you are. This class was on working with others, either as fabricators or collaborators. I've done loads of both. WW was nice enough to ask me to show up for a Q&A via internet. So I clipped my nose hairs, sprayed on a little fake tan and set up a Skype account. It was fun. I tried to think outside the box. But I didn't wear a dress. Modeling and Academia in one week. And still no turkey.  

Sunday, May 5, 2013




The season so far:
Opening day was Wed. Milawyer and I started out, just like last year, sneaking into the woods in the pre-dawn, behind Diamond Dave's bARN. Even though the old hillbilly that had been religiously feeding the deer and turkeys all winter, had recently gone into the hospital, I figured we had a good chance they'd still be roosting there. I was wrong. We heard gobbles from way across the road, and some from up by the egg farm, but none in close. There was nothing to do but head down river.
   We set up on a high ridge, over looking the flat, across from Gilkey's fields, at the corner of the river. I spotted a bird in Gilkey's field, who upon hearing my calls, flew to our side. I thought we were in business. Then I spotted something low and dark bouncing towards us. It was too small for a bear and too big for a mink....a fisher cat! The amazingly beautiful creature followed my calls right down the gun barrel. At about 10 yards it stopped on a stone wall and looked right at me. Neither of us felt threatened. So i squawked on the box and it scampered past us, into the thick woods. As they say in the trade- good encounter.
    Milawyer followed me down onto the flat and I fell asleep against a tree. When I opened my eyes and made a few calls I heard a gobble. It was close. They were coming right past Milawyer. After the first blast from his 12 ga. I saw a red head. I almost had my sights leveled on the bird when the second blast sent him packing. "Did you get him?" I yelled. All I heard was grumbling. No feathers. No blood. A clean miss on a bunch of birds. No worries. The season is young. If I had a nickel for every one I missed......
   The next four days found us trudging the woods from Montgomery to White Sulfur Springs with no luck. We'd hear plenty of roost gobbles. Then they'd shut right up and we'd lose them. By yesterday Milwyer had had enough. This morning I took the Cardinal Tristan Epic with me out at WSS. I hadn't gotten to bed until 2:00 am and was up at 5:00 am- hung over and bleary eyed. I forgot my belt, my mask, my box call and the striker to my slate call. Lucky I remembered my gun. It's pretty sad when I have to borrow a call from the 13 year old Cardinal. The good news is I called in two jakes and a hen. The bad news is I couldn't see my sights and missed. The Cardinal cursed as the 12 gauge, laid across his knees, echoed through the woods. At least he FINALLY had the complete turkey hunting experience. By 7:00 am he'd had enough, so I took him home and was more than happy to go home and crawl back in bed with Shewho.

Now for the big news. I'm in the process of buying The Glen Wild Synagogue. My prime picker Dick Benjamin has coffee with my 90 year old real estate agent Ruby Katz every morning. When Ruby told Dick that the old sanctuary was for sale, Dick called me. When I saw it, we made a handshake deal. With a 90 year old agent, you can take that to the bank. So soon i will own a church, a cemetery and a synagogue. The cardinal is excited about our new digs and per his suggestion we are about to write our own Torah. Not to be confused with other congregations, I suggested we use the Cardinal's blood as ink. "Don't worry." I assured him. "I won't bleed you dry. All I need is the blood of a 13 year old boy every month, until we're done." He's cool with that. Shalom.