Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Wooden Ships

We had read about it in the Gazette, as had many others, apparently.

UMass grad student and local artist Steve Snell had hit upon an artistic concept unlike most: build a wooden boat around an old junk couch, and paddle it down the river. Post-Pop-Art, as it was described in the article. This was something that had to be seen to be believed. (Which I think is what they said MAKES it post-pop.)

He was scheduled to come by the Norrwottuck rail trail bridge about 3 o'clockish. We arrived about 3:30, and there was no sign of the bold artiste yet.

The usual boat traffic came and went underneath us and 3:30 turned to 4 o'clock.

What, did he sink? Some people could be heard murmuring sly jokes to each other, like, "Well, he's an artist, not a navigator. Sooo, I'll see you tomorrow."

But few spectators left.

The event was to be well documented. I saw a couple local blogger types and one local news camera, TV22, amongst us.

Then there was this guy smartly getting the live angle shots.

Finally, with a few squints and some pointing; a soft rise in voices signalled that the dubious had become real.

It was a guy... indeed paddling down river... indeed, on a couch.

Just when you think you've seen it all...

The crowd began to hoot and holler as he glided under the bridge. His Post-Pop-Art vessel seemingly as stable as any.

The artist-turned-sailor looked a little exhausted from his trek, which had begun up in Hatfield several miles away. Still he mustered up enough energy to play up the crowd with some exuberant paddle waving and hoots of his own.

He seemed relieved to have reached the end of the trip and called out to the camera boat following along that he'd take out at nearby Sportsman's Marina.

The couch while evidently seaworthy probably wasn't the sleekest hull on the river that day. But then, I supposed that's one good thing about floating a couch..

...when you get tired; wellll...

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