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Take this Boston, Please!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

It might be argued that, as much fun as we all had at the Gathering, Chet Baker had the most fun. That dog went from lap to lap, soaking up attention like the sponge he is. He pogo'ed up to kiss people on the lips for the first hour or so, then settled on doggy lap-dancing for the rest of the visit. We decided that Baker is a cat in dog's clothing.

When Baker's really happy, surrounded by a human pack, he gets a new Nylabone and chews it noisily in the center of the circle. He makes an incredibly loud grinding noise that all but drowns out the conversation. I buy Nylabones practically every time I go to the store, and I had better have one somewhere in the plastic shopping bags when I come home, or Baker becomes despondent.

So at about 1 AM, when the music party segment of the Gathering was going full bore, with Bill and Debby Kaspari and Mike DiGiorgio grooving away on guitar and banjos,
and Sir Barry Van Dusen and Brenda Carter clacking away with spoons,
Baker was gnawing. Krrrunk krrrunk krrrunk krrunkety krrrunk. Larry Barth, who, as a sculptor, appreciates the value of a good vise, offered to hold Baker's Nylabone in the crook of his knee. Baker thought that was a grand idea.
But soon, he wrenched the bone away and trotted over to plein aire oil painter Jim Coe, and lodged the bone in Jim's leg to chew.Before I go on, I must give you a little taste of what this remarkable man can do. Look at those landscapes!! Those exquisite birds! This man paints those landscapes OUTDOORS. Plein aire. He's out there with an easel, working with oil paints in all kinds of cold and weather, and there's no other way to get a painting like that. For more of Jim Coe's work, go to his web site.

Back to Baker's pestiferousness: Do you think Chet Baker cares that the man he's pestering to death is one of the finest plein aire painters in the world? I'm not exactly sure that having a Nylabone jammed in the crook of his knee would have been Jim's first choice for the evening's entertainment. But like a cat, Baker knew where he was not invited, and pressed his advantage. Jim took the bone and tossed it back to Larry, who lodged it enticingly in his bent leg. Baker extracted it and raced back to chew it on poor Jim, who was trying to appreciate the music. Krrunk krrunk krrunk krrunk! This went on for at least ten relays, with everyone getting more and more tickled about it each time. Larry tried tempting Baker with other toys, but it was of no use.
Chet Baker preferred to grind away on poor Jim, and nothing would dissuade him.
As everyone left Sunday afternoon, I assured Jim that within a year, he'd miss Chet Baker so much that he'd doubtless have his very own Boston terrier. Don't hold your breath, Baker!

Rest assured you are thoroughly loved, little doggie.


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