Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Met Richard Canard and all I Got Was an Amazing Experience!! AND a T-shirt!! (PART I of II)

"Primitive" Pen and Ink Drawing by Richard Canard

April 15, 2016

The mail artist known as #LuckyPierre organized a meeting between her, me, and Richard Canard--Mail Art Legend.  This blog post is my attempt at encapsulating that experience. We have his express permission to post the following, although he might change his mind when he sees it. Would he really want everyone to know that his mother put him in tap as a kid?

It was a surreal experience driving on Emerald Lane and locating 409 South as I had been writing to for years. I always remembered it because my house number is 407 South, and Emerald is my daughter's middle name.

I saw a car pull in at the same time did. My son came with me and drove the 6 hours from Chicago. It was his first time driving a long road trip and he did great.

 I was not surprised at the synchronicity of our timing. I got out and joked, "Why are you in Richard's driveway?" Turns out it was RC's sister and NOT LP. She understood that my rudeness was a misdirected joke and wasn't mad.

Then RC came out to meet us. He looked a bit different than I expected. Thin, Fit, with a gentle demeanor. He was more unassuming than I imagine but exuded kindness and hospitality.  And there was LP! Her wild and beautiful hair was unmistakable.

She looked exactly as she does in pictures. I gave her a gift of vampire blood as she works with blood by profession and claims to be a vampire.

I wrote an article about her on my other blog ( with a Real Vampire or something to that effect She put the fake blood on her face with a disturbing immediacy.

Our plan had been to cook RC dinner. RC is known for sending his (often absurd and nonsensical) philosophical words of wisdom on the back of food packaging and it seems that it was always microwave food. We concluded, incorrectly I might add, that he does not eat well.

We decided it was time to go shopping at the co-op. We took a little detour as RC showed us the Southern Illinois University Campus. He went straight to the library as he is a book worm like most of us. Right as we walked in we were drawn to a wall that was covered in large sticky notes.

It was a beautiful student project called "Take a poem, leave a poem". So appropriate as we are all familiar with RC's "poems"--pencils, dried leaves, etc. We must have spent 15 minutes playing with this and posting our own messages. You can't see from the picture, but we mentioned Dkult, John Bennett, Lisa Iversen, De Villo Sloan, Erni Barr Etc.

This was on the sidewalk--anarchy sign to me, Marla says it is a glyph with some kind of magical powers. I believe. Don't know what Rojava is, but it seems like something I might like.

He doesn't have Betty Davis eyes, but he has piercing blue Sinatra eyes.  Looks like a guy who is thinking about mail art OR how he ended up with these two crazy chics in his car.

We went past a pavillion designed by Buckminster Fuller. I knew the name, but honestly didn't know who he was, thus I am not responsible if I just misspelled his name. RC drove us a very short distance to the Buckminster Fuller dome house. It was fenced in and locked up tight. It was empty, but RC said students had lived there in the past. How lucky were they? Hope they realized it.

Marla had the idea that we should send mail here. And what is this with the addresses? 409 S. Emerald, 407 S. Liberty and now 407 S. Forest?

Next we went to the co-op and bought things to cook for dinner. Marla,  Mason,  and I cooked while RC and I had a war over the pantry door. I kept opening it to throw stuff away, he kept shutting it. He finally put the trash can out by the stove. What he didn't realize was that my plan was to steal his trash and make art for him out of it.  NO garbage in there except what I put in!!!!! He must have known about my nefarious plot. 

I had brought aprons for Marla and me to wear for our Feed the Richard event. He mostly eats out and seemed to view his kitchen as unchartered land-the spoons, bowls, pans, and 10 year old sugar ancient artifacts.

He seems to have a problem with people trying to buy his shelves, although it looks like the bottom shelf is still available for sale. Place your bids!

I saw a black spider and RC and LC are the kind of people that don't kill them. I was fully prepared to enjoy stomping on it, but at the last minute, they saved its life.
Poor RC, this is where I made him put on the rose apron for the photo shoot, but he rocked it! 

Marla looking sassy of course!!! Look at this New Yorker now!  Wearing a Gingham apron in the cornfields of the Midwest. What's next? 

Wait, what did you say?

Looking guilty

He avoided the camera as much as possible but I was able to get these by making him think i was taking selfies.

Such a mischievous little pixie. What on earth is she doing? Does RC have eyes in the back of his head?

American Gothic

We are supposed to do what?????????????? "What is a Mad-Lib?"--RC

LC made Mad-Lib postcards to send out as a collab. We couldn't for the life of us figure out what we were supposed to do with them. We tried. We wrote. We stamped. RC mailed.

Still trying to figure out the directions

Sexy little manx

Most likely posting a status update, "Now taking questions for RC"

Mason instantly hit it off with RC AND LP, but we waited too long to eat and he was hungry.

A friend of RCs came over and stayed for dinner. He was a wonderful 14 kid that was way beyond his years. He and Mason hit it off. They were discussing Islam, Islamaphobia, prayer etc and he never said a word about the apron.

The meal was awesome. The dessert was 'eclectic'. 
Who said Tiramisu and Mango Sorbet don't go together?
Thanks to Blogger.................................TO BE CONTINUED..........................................


Ruud Janssen said...

looking foreward to read part 2!

Diane Keys said...

Thanks Ruud! I'm writing in exhaustive detail, so it will take some time, but I want a document of it forevs!!

Rebecca said...

I wish I lived in Elgin or Carbondale or where Marla lives! Or you could all come to england! Fab blog!

Grace Sanford said...

I enjoyed reading the words and viewing the photos; will await part 2.

Lynn Radford said...

AWESOME! Can't wait for PART 2! P.S. The pics are PRICELESS! R.C. rocks the Casbah! And I will never look at a piece of mail from Lucky Pierre the same way again... Now where did I put the sardine can from Marla? Hmmmm....

tonipoet said...

I'm pea green with envy! Thanks for all these great details and the photos! Richard, I have to say, looks pretty much the way I had pictured him. Delightful to put faces with your names!

Diane Keys said...

Apparently there is a length or photo limit on blogger. I WILL get a hippie bus one of these days and travel all over to meet everyone. It will have to be able to convert to a boat to go overseas!

Skybridge Studios said...

That geodesic dome would be perfect for DKult activities... a wonderfully important history lesson and side trip to the co-op. Hooray for Richard Canard!

Diane Keys said...

Agreed SS--we should write and ask if they could accommodate a cult of 100 or so people. Worth a try

Susan McAllister said...

Richard looks just like I imagined except I visualized him wearing black, white and red - not pink.

karl baker [ACME] said...