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BATIK ART BY JONATHAN S. EVANS
Confessions of an Itinerant Batik Artist

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Welcome to

 

 

WELCOME TO WILD AND WONDERFUL WEST VIRGINIA

 

 

Our little convoy of two managed to catch up with the snowstorm again later that day and we found ourselves driving into a blizzard that afternoon which slowed us down quite a bit. We got separated too when I took the correct right turn and watched the VW bus go to the left, following the wrong beige station wagon. Somehow, miraculously, we managed to reconnect further down the road. We had to stop and stay at a Holiday Inn eventually when the snow became too heavy but finally got into Arlington, Virginia on the afternoon of the second day. We went to Patch's group house to stay for a few days before going on down to the land project in West Virginia which was to be our final destination. It was great to be back with the Adams Family once more. Patch had been very supportive during my affair with Susan and my consequent "exile" in Grass Valley but I wasn't sure how supportive he would be of my relationship with Carol. He was totally caught up with his drive to raise enough money to build his dream hospital and was writing letters all over the country, giving lectures and carrying on endless telephone conversations. A very creative man who was completely clear in himself about who he was and what he wanted to do, he was a lot of fun and could be very inspiring to be around.

True to form, Carol had become depressed and spiky again and as usual, we weren't getting on very well in public. Eventually, our public squabbling lead to my feeling that I was beginning to lose all credibility with my friends and curtailed my socializing almost completely. But in December of 1985, I was still in love with my wife, committed to the marriage and trying to make it all work. At Gesundheit North in Arlington, I was surrounded by good old friends, Gareth the writer and desktop 'zine publisher and his lovely wife Pam, the best jazz singer in the Washington area. Kristin was up there too, visiting from Pocahontas County, so that I managed to get some marriage counseling in there. Dave, the building construction manager from the land, a compulsive practical jokester, was there too. So it was fun to hang out with such a crowd of brilliant people and to be part of a group house where we all shared the chores and the cooking. There was always a lot of opportunity for fun activities and late night conversations. The second night we were there, we went to hear a truly dreadful "new age folk" concert which almost sent me to sleep with its predictable music and platitudinous messages. But I did meet and have the pleasure of chauffeuring Mary, Dave's new date that night whom he went on to marry and to have a baby with eight years later. Nearby Washington was a Mecca of Culture for us and we went out to the Mall where a few years before I'd taken part in the Cherry Blossom Parade and visited some of the wonderful Museums there. The Hirschorn, with its donut-shaped building, held some of the very best contemporary art I'd ever seen. I sold a batik and watched Patch and his friend and fellow clown, Avner the Eccentric, go off to the White House on a mission of "Nasal Diplomacy". I even talked to a lawyer, David, about the possibility of my becoming legal in the States. I'd now been living there for seven years without a visa of any kind. It had never really been an issue and I sort of liked my fringe outlaw status in the country. It seemed important to me to maintain my personal independence for as long as possible and to stay off the record as long as I could. But I also knew that if I ever tried to leave the country, I might get into trouble and probably would never get back into the States again. With my new marital status, I could now apply for a green card and hoped to get resident alien status.

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