Friday, February 24, 2012

Drunken Monkey

That clock on the wall must have stopped. I agreed to meet Terry for a Beau Soleil concert at the Plaza Theater. Beau Soleil is a Cajun band and Terry just loves them as do I. I decided not to sketch the concert, so instead I went over to the Drunken Monkey right across the street to eat and sketch. I ordered a hot Portobello mushroom sandwich that was absolutely amazing. To drink, I ordered a mango slushy. A guy seated on a couch in the corner of the room was reading his iPad. Hear no evil and speak no evil wooden monkeys were squatting on a bookcase full of board games. The woman seated at the table in front of me had the intriguing habit of holding her index fingers over her lips when she wasn't speaking.

A heart made of broken mirror shards was mounted on four colorful panels next to the door. As I sketched, someone approached and said, "You're that artist!" I didn't quite know how to respond. It was Banjo Bob. He showed me a painting of an owl on a wood panel he was working on. He had been painting outside, but it had started to drizzle. Banjo works at the Drunken Monkey and he said I could exhibit my sketches there any time. I just might take him up on that offer sometime. Hot soup, hot coffee, warm heart. I always enjoy returning to the Drunken Monkey.

The Beau Soleil concert was amazing. The crowd was older than I expected with plenty of gray hair. When I glance in the mirror however, I realize, I fit right in. Terry and I danced quite a bit. Since I wasn't sketching, I soaked in the music and drank. After two beers I was dancing like Fred Astaire. Terry suggested we show off our best Cajun dance moves. Another couple had some really smooth moves as well. Between sets, I talked to the woman, Joanne Conero. She and her husband Al teach dancing up in the Villages. She was also a member of the Clearwater environmental group. It was at a Clearwater festival more than 20 years ago. Incredibly small world. When Terry returned with another beer, we were shown a new move which we now have to try out sometime. I miss the Clearwater, a community with a heart and a cause.

I no longer go to Drunken Monkey since they used one of my sketches without consulting me on their Internet welcome page. I usually support local businesses but I can't support theft. This was the sketch stolen.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at

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