Friday, April 30, 2010

Seven Pillars and the Indian Maiden Who Jumped

Seven Pillars is a point of local interest to the natives here. Tim and I have mentioned it as a possible painting location before. Today after a hearty breakfast NOT on the 'heart healthy menu' we decided that today we'd "Wander Indiana" and set up at Seven Pillars. See the heart-killer breakfast we dined on :

Seven Pillars, as I was told when I showed up here in this region 40 yrs. ago, was a local legend. As I was told... a certain Miami Indian maiden was in love with a young Miami warrior who was killed in a battle between neighboring tribes. She was so grief stricken that she cried over the bluff looking down on the Little Mississinewa. Her tears became the seven columns we see today. She also jumped to her death because of her great burden of grief.  Now, don't any locals call me or write and tell me I am all wet!
 That is just how I heard it.
When we set up the wind starts to pick up and some species of tree flower starts blowing down on us like a rain. They drop onto my palette and in my paint. Tim is compalining also that they are falling onto his pastel board making it difficult to work. Ahh, the trials of plein air painters. It's not all sunny days and smiles. Tim finishes up first but not before we have several visitors.

A guy Tim knows from the bank where he used to work stops by and starts up a conversation. I am busy painting but I'm getting this funny feeling in my gut as he sort of buzzes around watching and talking. Maybe my radar is messed up. Tim doesn't make any comments after he leaves. So maybe I was wrong about the feeling I was getting.
 Later, two women stop by. Tim knows one of them I think also from the bank. She is standing right behind me and I'm gagging from the perfume she is wearing. I think it is Naptha No.4 with a little paint stripper thrown in. The other lady is a home-schooler ( a unique breed unto themselves) with two grade school kids who head straight for the water. Finally, I have to say something that doesn't come out quite right but does the trick. "Excuse me mam, but I can't breathe with you 'up-wind' from me. Your perfume is causing my trachea to close up. Its' not...(George Castanza line) you,  its just what your body chemistry is doing to the perfume. It is different with everybody." (OOPS..You stink!)
By that time she has moved and is 'miffed.' The other lady makes some comment about she has a friend like this too.
The kids are running back and forth. It's time they all leave! I thought this was going to be a quite concentration day of painting. I think I'm going to make Tim wear a disguise. When you've worked at a bank you tend to know everybody.  Before she leaves the lady who is giving the "guided tour" informs us as we find out she is from the area and 'is sharing the wealth' of our beautiful region with a Noblesvillian who comes from a  a properous community to our south. I wonder if she was also told the Legend of Seven Pillars? Maybe it's because I live here that the story and the scenery is a little cliche. Keeping in mind that the maiden jumped to her death on the rocks below.
I think it's real easy to get jaded when we have so much to share from here like the Amateur Circus, Seven Pillars, the old Elelphant barns where the elephants feet rotted from the dung they were standing in, in the circus's heyday...I was told that choice tidbit by a local regional well-to-do artist who painted Barnum and Bailey circus day scenes. Anyway, I like the area because it can be quiet. But please don't stop by and "share-the- wealth of the area" or I'll take of my tennis shoe and sock and show you my "Big Toe's Corn." I'll "razzle-dazzle'em."

No comments: