February 9, 2015

The ghost of Feldon J. Pinkle

The latest in a 'series' of rustic signage has the circus theme once again. The event this time is known far and wide as Barnyard Follies. It is a delightful show run by the legendary Feldon J. Pinkle. At 10-cents per ticket, the tents are going to fill up fast, so come early!

Acrylic on wood
approx 18" x 24"

The panel itself was part of a dresser someone had tossed in the alley near my house. For those new to the blog, my neighborhood is a series of streets crossing one another at right angles, with alleys running between each pair of roads. The collective consciousness of most of the half-wits who populate this part of San Diego is that discarded furniture should be placed anywhere in the alley because, magically, it will eventually disappear. The majority of this refuse is unsuitable for repair, and tend to remain for quite awhile. Before the debris gets hauled away, I look for the wooden desks and such which have panels I can use.

The idea that came to me first was the Harmonica-playing goat. I had recently listened to a Stephen King audio-book, The Regulators. Somewhere midst the thousands of sentences was a brief mention of a goat named 'Dirty Face'. It was completely random and was not an important piece of the story, but it struck a chord with me. So that got the juices going.

Feldon J. Pinkle is not a real person. The name is something I remember from around 1990. At the time I worked in the graphics department of a small bi-weekly newspaper. The artists around me were brilliant. They were skilled artists and production grunts, as well as unsung heroes of the comedy stage. In particular, the brilliant staff artist, M.P. Opriska, was a constant source of wit. He first mentioned Feldon J. Pinkle in, I believe, an editorial cartoon. The name was clearly memorable to me, and was given new life in my art.

The idea for 'Barnyard Follies' came from that era as well. The production manager, Mike Reilly, had served in the navy before joining us at the paper. He had a never-ending cache of tales from the ships he served on. One story, told with clear disgust in his voice, involved him visiting a fellow sailors quarters only to find a group of sailors watching an adult film wherein the women actresses are loving some farm animals very much. Mike did not stick around to see who was cast in the film, but he did learn that the title was 'Barnyard Follies'. So, I pulled the thought from my filing cabinet brain and used it here.

The rest was stream-of-consciousness. I figured 10-cents was probably the going rate for such a show sometime in the past. And, since there was a lot of imitation in circus acts of yore, I thought it would be funny to mention Dirty Face was merely the 2nd best act of its kind. This allows us to imagine just how good the BEST harmonica-playing goat must have been.