Saturday, July 11, 2009

Corn Stars and Crimes of the Heart

As my friend Jace' would say, "MAN ALIVE!....This week has been a tough one!" In any case this blog is about finding what is "right" with this week...instead of focusing on what is "wrong." So without further delay allow the celebrating to begin.....
Months ago I was involved in an email exchange with my friend Johnny Seale (you will no doubt recall his "Top Ten Songs to Groove By.") In fact, the email exchange was regarding the layout of this blog. Not only does Johnny do layout production for a living, he also was just born with a really good "eye" and impeccable taste. During our email exchange he mentioned that the publication he works for, Cowboys and Indians, would be writing an article about Papa Dean's Popcorn for their July issue. I remember thinking, "Hmph...and this is relevant to me because...?" As it happens, Papa Dean's is located in the Sunset Ridge shopping center in Alamo Heights. I immediately went to their website and was blown away! This website is authentically kitschy, wackishly western, vivaciously vintage with sexy popcorn humor thrown in for good measure! (Oh yes...I am dying for a tee shirt with "Corn Star" emblazoned across my chest!) Beyond that, the story of how this local popcorn shop came to be, and continues to thrive today is warm, heartfelt and one of human triumph. Read the story on the website...and of course the magazine. Their story will remind you that there is room in our hearts for everyone and the more people you allow in, the more enriched your life will be. It is one can have too many loved ones! Again....I must digress.

After reading the website I could NOT WAIT to visit Papa Dean's and sample each and every one of their unique flavors. I told Johnny I would be swinging by Papa Dean's on my way to campaign headquarters (very close in proximity). He asked me to take my camera and shoot as many photos as I could. He said the magazine might be able to use some! (To be perfectly honest I felt he was giving me a "project" at one of the lowest points in my life! Like any good friend, I figured he knew I would enjoy getting out, visiting somewhere genuinely good and vibrant, doing something fairly arts-y and ultimately allowing me something "else" to focus on! If that is the case....thank you, friend! It worked!)

The day I visited I met Katherine. Words can not describe the genuine happiness and joy this woman exudes. She is gifted with the unique ability to make you feel as if you have known her your entire life. She asked if I could come back on Saturday so that she might look "cuter!" (Not that she wasn't absolutely precious that day!) I agreed and thought I might bring "my gals" with me! Jace' and Christine agreed. (I believe Danica was out of town.)

In the interest of brevity...which I seemed to be HIGHLY concerned with all of a's how the story plays out. I take the photos, Jace' and Christine hang with Katherine and sample the various flavors and then I fall in love with Dill Pickle popcorn! Okay...I am leaving out a few very important elements. First you are seated at an old fashioned, antique bar and you are served a sample of any popcorn you like. The popcorn containers are lined up just like fine bottles of liquor. The bar stools are old saddles...yes, you have to straddle so don't wear a dress...unless you are skilled in "side saddle." You may purchase a tin and bring it in for refills! They also provide smaller bags of customized popcorn for special events. There are so many flavors of popcorn and some of them are uniquely blended to reflect the cultural fabric of San Antonio like "Fiesta" and "Chile Limon." And finally, it is truly like "Cheers!" You walk in there once and from that point forward "everybody knows your name."

Undoubtedly at this point you are wondering: a) where are the damn pictures and b) what is there to celebrate? Pictures are approaching henceforth AND Johnny emailed to say not only did one of my photos make it into the article (I have NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO really was total randomness and probably good photo editing) but several photos also made it onto the Internet. YAY! Click here to see the photos. The first few are mine. The super cute boots and food are not; though I wish they were because that is a precious idea.

Johnny has informed me the issue is poised to hit the news stands on July 21. Please, please, please pick one up! And consider a subscription. This is a gorgeous publication with tremendously interesting content! And there is always some rough and weathered hottie on the cover like Robert Redford, Sam Elliot, Tommy Lee Jones.....

Here are some of the other photos I took. These are not edited at forgive some of the flash reflecting, non cropping, etc!

At the end of the "photo shoot" we all just enjoyed Katherine's company and the myriad flavors. Jace' loved Snickerdoodle, Christine enjoyed watermelon, and I loooooooooooooved Dill Pickle and White Cheddar! Thank you to Papa Dean's Popcorn, Katherine, Jace', Christine, Cowboys and Indians and most of all Johnny! (PS....the shirt I am wearing in the photo above is from Johnny's wife's store...The Gypsy Wagon....another shameless plug! When you are in Dallas you MUST visit The Wagon!)

As a side note....this is the day I decided to start collecting vintage cowboy boots....for obvious reasons! Katherine told me exactly where to go......
Last night I went on a first date....sort of! Not really. My mom has a Pilates client named Donna who she has been dying for me to meet. Donna is a retired English teacher who does a lot of freelance writing now. She loves the arts; particularly theater. Mom mentioned to her that I also love the theater but don't know much about the scene in San Antonio and often find myself attending shows alone. Donna told mom there were several shows running this weekend she thought I might like to attend. So she called me up and I accepted! (See...just like a date!) We had a lovely evening at the Jump Start Theater at The Blue Star Arts Complex. We watched "Crimes of the Heart" by Beth Henley and directed by Diane Malone. The performance was put on by The Renaissance Guild which is a theater company founded in 2001 by Latrell Bright, Danielle King and Paul Riddle, Jr. This not for profit organization "is dedicated to the examination, preservation, and celebration of the Black experience through theater; providing educational outreach programs to the San Antonio community and surrounding areas and providing opportunities for artistic expression to people of color." The Renaissance Guild is just completing it's 8th season and is proud to be open to people of all ethnicities who seek to bring the company's vision to fruition! The show is running for three more weeks. Check it out and enjoy and lovely evening of female emotional turmoil flipped upside down showing how laughter very often accompanies tears!

This was especially interesting to me because I performed a piece from this play for my "Intro to Acting" class my senior year in college. I chose a piece written for the character Meg. At the time I read the play and watched the movie! (Great film...amazing performances!) It was nice to see it again with 13 more years of life beneath me. I appreciated it in an entirely different way.

This is being silly again and I can't move the graphics around! So I must sign off here.

Have a wonderful weekend friends. I need to get this day started! I have been lazy waaaaaay too long today!

1 comment:

  1. Patty: you took very nice photographs on your assignment, and us folks at Cowboys & Indians are very grateful for your contribution. It's a great story, and I'm glad you could get involved. Thanks for the promotion as well!