Confession: most of my blog entries are not actually written on the Back Porch. Oh, sure, I start out there sometimes, making notes or outlines, but almost all of the writing actually takes place inside at my desk.
I tipped you off to that awhile back when I added a picture of my bulletin board as my masthead photo. It’s not an “active” bulletin board for posting new items so much as an inspiration board I can turn to in times of contemplation or writer’s block. Hanging on the wall directly behind me, it sits where I can turn in my chair to let my imagination take flight viewing each little item and recalling the tie-in.
Let me give you a tour of the Buller-tin Board (too cute not to use).
George & Mary Bailey
The movie It’s a Wonderful Life figures greatly in the romance between me & wife. The little figurines were actually in a snow globe, but that broke, freeing these two to come dance atop my bulletin board’s frame. Any minute now, they’re gonna dance off the edge into that hidden swimming pool under the gym floor!
Every Austinite deserves a brass ‘dillo. This one served as an on-screen mascot for one of the ACTV programs from the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar in the 80s.
1 of 7 Buddhas
Granny had these 7 tiny figurines showing what I’d like to think are various incarnations of the Buddha. There were 7 in all, and I have them resting on bookshelves, window sills, and the bulletin board all around me in my office.
Antique Brass Binoculars
Not sure where I got these — just can’t seem to let go of them. I fancy viewing the past through these, perhaps…
Star Wars figurines
We have the half-transmuted “Darth Anakin” created by ripping off Darth’s head and putting it on Anakin’s robed body — just like in the movies, right? And of course, he has a Storm Trooper with him.
Jerry Garcia figurine
He may have lost his glasses, but Jerry’s still standing there (despite dying years ago), still rocking through the echoes of eternity and my imagination…
Starting back on the left, here are the items on the main part of the board itself:
Tyger’s Eye Video
My business card from the 80s when I freelanced video services for awhile. The name “Tyger’s Eye” derived from a Jim Nelson drawing that hangs on the wall above the bulletin board, which I used as backdrop to a logo roll-in piece. My brother made 3 simple suggestions for the card design: offset the text from the standard placement, put it all on a colored background, and use embossed lettering — all changes that made the card memorable. I still love this card, and most of my YouTube videos from the 80s were Tyger’s Eye productions.
Picture of the sweeping stone beach on Fox Island, near Kenai, Alaska. The Blue Finger points out where our son, Lucas (13 at the time), can be seen. The stones are large, round, flat rocks with a melodic effect as you walk across them. This is where they hold the stone-skipping championship of Alaska — or so they told us.
The three large block-letter words serve as a mantra derived from C.C. Chapman’s marvelous little book, Amazing Things Will Happen. By taking you through a series of exercises, he helps discern what drives you, showing what your focus could be in order to open up to letting amazing things happen to you
Pen & Ink Drawing of a Lute Player
Another piece drawn by my old friend, Jim Nelson — one of 3 of his pieces on this wall. There’s another one that hangs above the desk on the wall opposite this.
23rd Street mural from Austintacious Studios
Postcard version of the famous Austin street mural — this one’s autographed, as I helped crowdfund restoration of the mural when taggers sprayed over portions of this a few years ago. The mural itself has evolved since its inception, but I remember when it first appeared there — and yes, I knew some of the people depicted therein.
A Spanish-Language direct-to-disc independent movie, produced by my neighbor, Ken Johnson, 10 years ago. Production took place over a period of several weeks, even months, as he sought funding. Along the way, he asked if he could use my truck in some of the scenes, all night scenes. So Ken would come over, borrow the truck and return it to the driveway by morning. One morning, as I got in to take Lucas to school, he said, “Dad, what’s this?” and pulled out a pistol from between the seats — a starter pistol used as a prop and forgotten in the car.
“Do You Want to Know a Secret?” by the Beatles
No explanation needed — except that, no, actually, this was not mine. I don’t even know how I got it.
ACL Fest wristband
The orange hanging fabric on the far edge was an official Austin City Limits Festival 3-day pass wristband — complete with tracking chip embedded in the plastic tag. This allowed you to easily and conveniently charge food & drinks & purchases to your credit card. It also allowed ACL Fest to track attendees like migratory birds. Kinda makes ya wonder…
Above and below the bulletin board are two other Jim Nelson drawings:
- “Ginseng Dream” (Tyger’s Eye inspiration), above the entire affair
- A view out Jim’s old trailer door sits below the bulletin board
These are my touchstones — these fill my soul and make me whole.