Recently, I was standing behind the counter of the Trading Post closing out a sale on a pair of Ella Toney's silver hoop earrings. The customer was a seventy-something-year-old matron, coolly dressed in a light floral print blouse, brown wool slacks and spiky heeled open toed shoes. I wondered to myself just how effective those shoes had been in traversing our gravel-encrusted parking lot. When the woman first entered the store she seemed a bit high strung and jumpy but calmed noticeably as we walked the cases and spoke of the artists and their creative nature. I felt that the woman bought Ella's earrings more on my explanation of Ella and her gentle, easy going ways than the look and appeal of the earrings themselves; maybe she was searching for a calming influence.
King of the collard lizards.
The Kokopelli doors were flung open wide to let in the splendor of the day, but I was contemplating closing them and turning on the refrigerated air. It was afternoon and the outside temperature was hoovering at the 90 degree mark. I estimated the temperature in the building to be in the low 80's. I thought either Steve or Priscilla would have attempted to cool things down by now but neither one of them had. Steve was in his office on the phone and Priscilla was in the rug room folding and hanging handmade textiles. They were probably too busy to think about it. Looking into the woman's hazel eyes and along her salt and pepper hairline I did not notice any trace of perspiration. The rule of thumb around here is: if the customers are not sweating, conserve the energy.
As I ran the credit card transaction I looked out the wide picture windows to my left and noticed that the parking lot in front of the Cafe was jam packed. People were strolling about the wide, shaded porches taking in the sights and wandering through the gift shop and Trading Post. I saw a middle aged couple and what looked like their two young grandsons stopped in front of Steve's "We Give Bear Hugs" sign hung outside between the windows. They were laughing and nudging each other as if saying, "You go first!" Steve, Priscilla and I have been getting a whole lot more affection since that proclamation was placed. I personally have a stronger testimony regarding the difference between an affectionate embrace and a serious snuggle. Anyway, just as this woman was signing her credit card receipt we heard an explosion of high pitched screams and a thunder of commotion. I looked up again and saw a low to the ground torpedo shape figure sprint past the front doors followed closely by two young boys, screaming merrily and manhandling each other in an attempt to catch the scurrying creature.
Because of the strident squeals and tumultuous upheaval going on behind her the poor lady jumped perceptively and scratched and tore the paper she was attempting to sign with her pen. She whirled around and let out an oath that would have made a sailor blush. I know it did me! The woman watched the boys rush down the porch then turned to face me once more. My wide eyed look and reddened complexion must have given away my surprise at her hellish oath because she also blushed. Regaining her composure and focus the outspoken woman signed the ripped check and handed it back to me in a most delicate fashion. "Oh my goodness, that frightened me so." she said in an attempt to lighten the mood. "The boys were chasing 'the King'." I said sheepishly. "The King of what? Do you mean Elvis?" "No, not Elvis", I laughed. "The king of the collard lizards." "An uproar like that over an itty-bitty lizard." the woman said to herself as she exited the building.
'The King', in actuality, is no "itty-bitty" lizard. As far as we know he is the fourth generation of Giant Collared Lizard to have earned that title. Our children have chased and held these brutes for as long as the Trading Post has rested beneath the towering Twin Rocks. The current title holder measures somewhere around ten inches from the tip of his spindly tail to the end of his brutish nose and is a good two inches around the middle. He is not the largest of his line but a 'bruiser' all the same. The boys never did catch the royal roughneck, that is a tough challenge to inexperienced handlers. He is an elusive creature, we see him from time to time but we know he is here more by the expletives he is appropriated..."Did you see the size of that @#$%&*! thing?"
With warm regards,
Barry, Steve and The Team
Great New Items! This week's selection of Native American art!
Our TnT's purchased new treasures! Check out Traders in Training!
Enjoy artwork from our many collector friends in Living with the Art!