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Taylor made 

A slice in the life of an artist's reception

click to enlarge PHOTO BY GLEN STARKEY
  • PHOTO BY GLEN STARKEY
It’s Friday, Sept. 3, and I’m walking into Frameworks for Tracy Taylor’s art reception. I immediately spy Chad Brooks of Brooks Woodcraft. How could I miss him? He’s, like, seven feet tall with a noble bald head and a lopsided grin.

“What are you doing here?” I ask.

“Tracy made me come,” says he. “She said she’d set my car on fire if I didn’t.”

Yep, that sounds like Tracy, and there she is, sitting next to Berkeley Blake and Stacia Momburg, who’s trying to rein in her jubilant son, Magnus Stewart, 7.

“What’s your favorite?” I ask Magnus, who’s running around the gallery with his arms pulled into his sleeves.

“Pull out the T-Rex arms,” scolds Stacia. “Glen’s asking you a question.”

Arms now out, Magnus points to a brightly rendered watercolor of a Chinese checkers game.

“Do you collect Tracy?” I ask Stacia.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY GLEN STARKEY
  • PHOTO BY GLEN STARKEY
“Yes, I get her fingernail clippings and toenail clippings,” she deadpans.

Everyone’s a comedian in this family.

“I do,” she now says, “but I’m a special friend.”

“Special-needs friend,” pipes in Tracy as her daughter Stella sweeps into the room like Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Stella and Tracy are wearing similar fancy dresses.

“I’m a friend of your mom’s from a million years ago,” I tell Stella.

“Everybody is,” Stella replies dismissively.

Teenagers!

I turn to Tracy and say, “She’s snotty, just like you.”

“No, I’m not,” Stella says in a huff. “I’ve had a long day.”

“Her pretty pink shoes are pinching her feet,” Stacia offers in her defense.

“So, are you creative like your mom?” I ask.

click to enlarge PHOTO BY GLEN STARKEY
  • PHOTO BY GLEN STARKEY
  “No,” she says, but then her personal chauffeur Gill Larson jumps in and says, “You’re creative.” To which Stella replies, “I’m Stella.”

That’s just the sort of attitude that broke up the Beatles!

Suddenly a woman comes in whose name I don’t catch but I overhear her saying Tracy’s her “patient.”

“Are you a hypnotherapist?” I ask.

“No.”

“Psychiatrist?”

click to enlarge PHOTO BY GLEN STARKEY
  • PHOTO BY GLEN STARKEY
“No.”

“Marriage and family planner?”

“No.”

Turns out she’s Tracy’s chiropractor, whom Tracy claims is a “healer.”

Then I see a painting of a rooster, so I borrow a red Sharpie from Sara—or maybe Sarah—behind the counter and make a “Tracy hearts” sign to put above it.

Think about it: Rooster? Also called a … .

Tracy finally gets it and starts cackling: “You are so wrong!”

Five children! I say I’m right!

Now there’s a bunch more women in this joint, and since I’m sitting next to Tracy, they’re surrounding me and all talking to her and each other at once. There’s “Dr. Janet,” who says, “I love these colors!” Then they’re talking about some place called Lotus Land. Then Tracy says to one, “You have one of my paintings, so you should buy another,” and to another woman, “You should start collecting me.”

click to enlarge PHOTO BY GLEN STARKEY
  • PHOTO BY GLEN STARKEY
“Going for the hard sell, eh Tracy?” I quip.

“That’s not the hard sell,” she returns. “I didn’t say ‘Take your goddamn fucking wallet out.’”

“That’s so going in the story,” I say, scribbling furiously.

“I will kill you! I know it says ‘Art Bash,’ but that was last week. This week, you’re supposed to go easy on me,” Tracy says.

“Last week was the nice stuff,” I reply. “This week is the bashing.”

“On no.”

“Oh yes!”

Then Gill chauffeurs Stella home, where she’ll be babysitting Magnus, and Berkeley and Stacia leave to eat Thai food, and Tracy settles into a chair in the lobby. It’s been a long reception. Tracy sold six paintings. I got her to swear embarrassingly in print for the second week in a row. My work here is done.

Glen Starkey takes a beating and keeps on bleating. Contact him at gstarkey@newtimesslo.com.

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