Sunday, November 16, 2008

Portrait of Martini the Missouri mining heiress

I'll have much to say about last night's poetry reading by Russian legend Yevgeny Yevtushenko at Chandler Hill Vineyard.

For now I will say it was the first time I ever threw down in one night with someone who personally knew Joseph Stalin (the poet himself) and someone who played keyboards with Bob Marley when the Rastaman was an unknown immigrant in London who couldn't get a gig (Harold Russell, a client of the law firm that celebrated its 20th anniversary in this wonderfully unique way last night).

All that and Gary Wiegert, president of the union for the St. Louis cops, who (I now know) goes about bald not because he harbors skinhead tendencies but because he got tired of getting razzed for wearing bad rugs.

The individual sketched (and who signed) here is one Martini Desloge. If her last name sounds familar to Missourians, that is because her family started an eponymous mining firm that gave its name to a company town that is now just a regular old town in the foothills of the Ozarks.

I asked to sketch her mostly because I wanted to draw her fabulous red hat, but then I started her face too low on the page and had to give the hat short shrift. I could have started all over, but it's not clear how much an amateur sketch artist should impose upon a mining heiress at a wine party.

I invited Martini to our Poetry Scores Art Invitational on Friday night at Hoffman LaChance Contemporary, 3100 Sutton Blvd. in Maplewood. Here is hoping she comes out. I like the way "mining heiress" rolls off the tongue, in connection to a Poetry Scores fundraiser. Our previous high rollers include Gillian Noero, a former anti-apartheid activist who consulted on the writing of the South African constitution, and Tom Danforth, a Senator's son. Why not a Missouri mining heiress?

p.s. I noticed the wrong spelling of "mining" on my sketch, but left it to make a point, namely, that some of the masterworks of our literature (e.g., the works of Chaucer and Shakespeare) are rife with wrong and alternate spellings. The teacher don't know but the poet, he understands.

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