Thursday, December 11, 2008

Mail Call from Texas

Yesterday, a package arrived from my sister. It said it was from Kathy to me, but it was from my mother and Kathy to Fred and me. It was a wedding gift. When Kathy asked me for suggestions about what to get us, I said we'd like something done by my friend, Pam.

I met Pam during my senior year of college. I was a little (read: completely) unfocused in my art and I had no idea what I wanted to do after graduation. Pam came to teach a ceramics class and I fell in love with clay and with her. (Keep in mind that I was gay as a box of birds, so "in love" means that I had a big platonic crush on her.) She was 34 and always tan. She had long hair that she pinned up in few seconds with a pencil, and she was just the kind of person that I wanted to be: sort of wild and free spirited, but with manners and able to run in more polite circles when necessary.

Pam inspired me immediately and made me think about clay in a whole new way. Then after graduation, I became her studio assistant - her first - and I spent most days during the week at her studio cleaning and preparing clay and doing whatever else she needed done. (And I waited tables at night.)

The idea was that I would make pots and become a potter, but after a while, Pam noticed that I wasn't making pots and said, "If you were really a potter, you'd be making pots." (Words to live by, children.) So we spent the days talking about what I really wanted to do with my life. It was all about graduate school. The only question was what and where.

I decided on art therapy and when I started looking at schools, I said, "This one is supposed to be the best, but it's in Brooklyn, New York."

Pam said, "Go. Apply."

"New York?" I asked.

"Andy," she said. "I'd love to have you hang around here and help me forever, but Fort Worth doesn't hold anything for you. It's time for you to get the hell out of Dodge."

And I did. I applied for school, got in and moved to NYC, which shot my life in a completely different direction. I'd never be in Amsterdam if it wasn't for Pam lovingly kicking me out of the nest. So it's nice to have three pots on the shelf and a little Pam in my house. (We've had the white one for a while.)

Kathy bought the green one (Pam knew I liked green) and then threw in the blue one from her, which makes it extra special. There's not much about Texas that I miss in terms of living there, but Pam is certainly at the top of the list. She and her husband, Raymond, have an amazing house and studio (he does some great glass work) that I always make time to visit when I'm there. She's always busy, but it's great to sit and catch up a bit while she does her thing.

Reminds me of one of my favorite quotes: Don't you just love people who really love you?

Of course I'm the one that said that, but it's still a favorite.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love how you displayed the vases. Did Fred ever decide that he liked the color? I hope he did. The gloves arrived yesterday and the boys were very excited! They both wore them to school because it is really freezing here. The green hat fit Jonathan and he loves how it feels. Thank you!! Love you - Kath